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  1. #1
    Forum Member Station2Capt's Avatar
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    Default Rapid Intervention Team's

    Ok I need some help on Rapid Intervention Team's. I will give a brief story so you will know why I am seeking your help.

    The other day a Captain from another station on another shift approched one of our D.C.'s and asked him if the RIT SOG could be changed to allow the RIT to stage inside an engine with A/C. He felt that his crew would be more "fresh" if they were deployed. I dont think the D.C. bought into his idea but told him to bring him data and info. where this is being done and present it to the Chief's and they would consider the change. The D.C. has apporched one of my guys the one who wrote the SOG on RIT and asked his opinion. We are totaly agnist the idea. He asked us to provide data and info. on why this is not an accepted practice. We have several SOG's from our department as well as other departments and no one address this in there SOG's.(staging RIT in the A/C) I am also doing other research to back my stance that the RIT should be staged outside in the yard.

    I am asking everyone here to express there opinion on this. If you agree that the RIT should be staged outside or if you do not see a problem with them sitting in the A/C of an Engine. I want to have as much info and feedback as possible when I have to defend my/our stance. If anyone knows of any written information that would support the need to have RIT staged outside the more I have the better off I will be. I want to really knock this in the dirt. Thanks in advance for your feedback wheather you are on my side or not.
    A "Good" fire is not measured by how big it is, but by the fact that everyone is going home safe, and that we possibly learned something new about firefighting. Member:IACOJ


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    you have a/c in your engines?

    j/k, but it sounds perfectly acceptable to me, as long as the team isn't outside of "X" distance from the primary entry and/or "X" feet from the secondary entry point.

    basically, as long as the travel time from the engine to the entry isn't long, i don't see a problem with it, considering the heat levels we've seen already this year, their argument is probably valid. they'll be fresh and not exceeding body heat levels by being in the gear, sitting the baking sun while awaiting their "go" order.


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  3. #3
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    basically, as long as the travel time from the engine to the entry isn't long,

    Good comment...

    And as long as areas are doing dumb (IMHO) stuff like having guys stand around outside, sure, let them get in A/C.

    Look though at what Brunancini's up to these days in Phoenix.

    I've said for a long time give me full staffing on a shift, we wouldn't have to worry about over-extending our firefighters.

    Phoenix is now taking the companies that used to be "RIT" and "forward deploying" (I forget the exact term) to the fire area.

    Phoenix largely has concluded a RIT outside is nearly useless.

    Put those guys on the fire floor. Some can help the company in trouble get their guy out, some can help take over the task that company was doing if necessary. But put them where they can take immediate action to save firefighters in immediate danger. Not rapid intervention...immediate intervention.

    The irony is so many departments have latched onto "RIT" as the backstop for inadequate manning to begin with they're getting firefighters in trouble...when the original concept came from the "FAST" developed by some of the best staffed fire departments in the nation. Those FAST departments didn't take away from their capabilities to staff the rescue teams, they had enough resources to add FAST to the alarm. I worry when you see departments that never changed their alarm cards, just took one engine off operations and made them "RIT".
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    Good question. I can make points for both sides.


    If you have a resource that will benefit the staff, it would be
    common practice to use it, and it is important to have your RIT as fresh as possible. The question is, will this cause problems later? Aside from the possibility of everyone wanting to find a way into the a/c, or be on the RIT, when this somehow gets to be in the union contracts, I can see pumpers going out of service just for an a/c repair. If it gets to that point, will you be forced to let them stage in the rig with a/c even if it's not close by? The RIT then becomes IT.

    When someone needs rehab, they should get what they need, including a/c as needed, however, at the scene when a RIT would be needed, aren't there other people out in the sun working with gear on? Pump operators, truck companies, and command. How will they stay nice and comfortable? Maybe we should get enclosed pump panels with a/c too. I have seen one of these with a dome glass roof, but big buck$.

    It is going to be hard to look someone in the eye, and deny them coolness that is only a few feet away.


    Good luck
    There goes the neighborhood.

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    The new Phoenix concept is called "On Deck Staffing" & info on that can be found on the Phoenix Fire website.

    I do not like the idea of having the RIT team inside an engine. It is my opinion that the team and their equiptment should be staged outside, near the command post. The command post is the pulse of the operation and the Rit team needs to see and hear what is happening and where it's happening.

    If heat exaustion is that big of a problem in your area, what about sending two RIT teams and let one sit in the truck and have their A/C and sing songs & have the other outside ready for action. Then they can switch out.

  6. #6
    Forum Member StayBack500FT's Avatar
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    Our RIT Team is in motion much of the time...we focus on the condition of the building. We are in constant contact with the safety officer and share info with him/her. Generally we split the team up and keep it moving around (360 degrees with some tools and radio in hand) the fireground.
    May we never forget our fallen, worldwide.

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    I would think the biggest problem with staging your RIT team in an engine is that they cannot fully see the level of operations happening at the fire. A good RIT team needs to have a visual of the building and the operations from the point of arrival through every second after. In the engine, even if they can see 90% of the building and ops, it's not good enough in my eyes. It's the 10% they missed that may bite them in the ***** if they are called in. But this is just my 2 cents.


    And I have to agree with the question "you have A/C in your engines?"

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    RIT should be outside the engine, observing the structure, seeing what's going on, preplanning, and even performing proactive tasks, such as placing ladders where they may be needed should something go wrong. If it's a commercial or industrial occupancy, they should gather the appropriate tools (K-12, maul, etc) should they need to force entry to assist a crew in trouble.

    Imagine sitting in a engine for about 15 minutes, not knowing what's going on, not knowing what the rear of the building looks like, and not having any tools in your hand, and suddenly being told that a firefighter is missing on the second floor. You're way behind the 8 ball, and you haven't even started yet.

    I can understand the concern of crews being at risk for heat stress/stroke in the hot summer months, but hiding your RIT seems a little extreme.

    Just my 2 cents.

  9. #9
    Forum Member StayBack500FT's Avatar
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    On larger fire we use two RIT Teams and periodically move personnel between the two teams.
    May we never forget our fallen, worldwide.

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    MembersZone Subscriber CFD Hazards's Avatar
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    I personally think that the RIT company should be gathered in front of the fire building. They can see and hear what is going on. How far away would the rig be parked? A/C in the summer wouldn't matter to me personally during the summer. I can deal with the heat. I think it seems like a better idea during the winter when instead of standing in the middle of a snow bank with temps in the teens, to be waiting in a heated truck. I think I would be more focused on the job at hand instead of how damn cold I was.

  11. #11
    Forum Member Station2Capt's Avatar
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    Keep the responce coming. I like many of you feel strongly that the RIT should be staged outside where they can watch what the structure is doing, who is going in, who is coming out, and watching the ever changing conditions of the fire. How are you going to have your tools ready at hand sitting inside the cab of the engine. If you are the 3rd truck in(normaly RIT in my dept) you may be several houses down the street. How can you watch the crews from down the street? The crew that I refered to in the orginal post, I have a strong feeling that they are wanting to sit in the truck and do nothing they are using the "A/C" card to make it look like they are wanting to stay fresh when in fact they have no real concern for the responsibility of the RIT assingment.

    And yes we do have A/C in all of our engines down here in Texas where we get summer weather about 10 months out of 12 it is real nice to have, but should not be used to stage the RIT so they dont get hot.
    A "Good" fire is not measured by how big it is, but by the fact that everyone is going home safe, and that we possibly learned something new about firefighting. Member:IACOJ

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    Well Cap, IMHO

    1. RIT would have to have all equipment laid out between engine and fire building. They could be stationed inside the attack or second engine.

    2. RIT is hardly ever needed so I dont have a problem with them in the a/c. They would be fresher.

    3. RIT would be isolated from all the noise of the fireground and could monitor the radio traffic to be sure a mayday is heard or be alerted to potential problems that may be developing.

    4. RIT would be together in one place, not wandering around checking on this or that. Their concentration is RIT and nothing else. This is the most important job on the fireground when I'm in trouble! As far as stationing RIT inside the building, I think that is crazy! If the roof comes down, RIT is gonna need a RIT!


    God bless and pull the ceiling as you go.

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    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Originally posted by CAPPYY
    4. RIT would be together in one place, not wandering around checking on this or that. Their concentration is RIT and nothing else. This is the most important job on the fireground when I'm in trouble!
    I don't know about you, but if it's me they are coming in for, I want them to know where all the doors, windows, etc are in the building and what is going to be the quickest way out. I want them to pay attention to what is happeneing. IMHO, they can't do any of that sitting in an engine. If the heat is that bad, have another RIT crew staged and have them switch out......
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
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    Situational awareness would be a more important factor IMO. Having spent some time staging in the engine playing the guessing game on what is going on in the fire, I would like to think the RIT team would be in front of the building keeping tabs on the status of the fire. Next time you have a fire in your community, listen to the radio and see if you can get an accurate picture of the fire ground by listening. Much of the communication on the fire ground is face-to-face; you would miss out on all of this sitting in the truck.

    Some other points made such as placing escape ladders, and surveying the building on at least 3 sides, and gathering tools are important too. Most fires are contained in under 15 minutes; you shouldnít overheat too much in that period of time. The RIT team belongs near the command post.

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    Forum Member jerrygarcia's Avatar
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    Some of you have made some very good points. All of our rigs have A/C, we have never used it on my truck on my shift.

    RIT should not be somewhere other than front and center of the fireground. I will be standing next to command at all times after my initial size up. The rest of the team will do a 360 around the building/house to throw additional ladders, forcing possible escape/entry routes without hindering attack, removing security bars and gates. I will be with the IC for full size up and info. All of our RIT equipment will be placed in front including saws, stokes, EMS, spineboard, extra bottles with transfill, ropes etc..... The team meets with me for full situational update from them to me and from me to them. All KCFD personnel have a radio assigned.


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    OK,OK. You make some valid points and I never considered stationing a RIT in the a/c until I read this thread. So as we work our way thru this, I'll tell you where I'm lookin from.

    I cant begin to tell you how many times I have seen the RIT arrive on scene, set up, and stand there lookin real good...for about 5 seconds. The nest thing you know, they are scattered all over the fire scene. None of us is real good at standin around. You see some kinks in a hose and you help out, You see some guy strugglin with a ladder and you help out. so on and so on. I had one incident about a year ago where I was Interior officer on the attack crew, 2nd floor of a residential, ceilings cavin in and its gettin way too hot. I start to pull my crew back to a better position when I'm almost knocked over by the RIT passin me by with a charged hoseline! They got tired of standin around and decided it was time to fight fire! Needless to say there was hell to pay aferward. They dont do RIT for anyone anymore.
    RIT in an engine looks pretty good to me.

    God bless and pull the ceiling as you go.

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    Forum Member Station2Capt's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone who has given there opinion on this subject.

    Hopefully we(my dept.) will continue to require our RIT Teams to stage in front of the structure (location were at least 2 sides can be scene). I am afraid to think what could happen if crews are staged in a location where they can not see what is going on when crews are inside.
    A "Good" fire is not measured by how big it is, but by the fact that everyone is going home safe, and that we possibly learned something new about firefighting. Member:IACOJ

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    Originally posted by CAPPYY
    Well Cap, IMHO

    1. RIT would have to have all equipment laid out between engine and fire building. They could be stationed inside the attack or second engine.

    2. RIT is hardly ever needed so I dont have a problem with them in the a/c. They would be fresher.

    3. RIT would be isolated from all the noise of the fireground and could monitor the radio traffic to be sure a mayday is heard or be alerted to potential problems that may be developing.

    4. RIT would be together in one place, not wandering around checking on this or that. Their concentration is RIT and nothing else. This is the most important job on the fireground when I'm in trouble! As far as stationing RIT inside the building, I think that is crazy! If the roof comes down, RIT is gonna need a RIT!


    God bless and pull the ceiling as you go.

    Cap,
    "RIT is hardly ever needed" thats some scary thinking.

    Would the rit stage in the engine after they have staged their equipment outside, started their saws, checked in with command, done their 360 size up of the structure, ensured sufficient ladders and lighting are in place?
    As far as the Rit wandering around or advancing hoselines, that is a lack of command and control and should not be happening. Yeah, nobody wants to "stand around" and wait to be needed, but the RIT must be disciplined enough to do what they are supposed to be doing.

    Is your command officer(s) in a vehicle? Would they be "fresher" and be able to monitor radio traffic better if they were? If RIT can do their job from inside a vehicle, so could command,right??

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    I cant begin to tell you how many times I have seen the RIT arrive on scene, set up, and stand there lookin real good...for about 5 seconds. The nest thing you know, they are scattered all over the fire scene. None of us is real good at standin around. You see some kinks in a hose and you help out, You see some guy strugglin with a ladder and you help out. so on and so on. I had one incident about a year ago where I was Interior officer on the attack crew, 2nd floor of a residential, ceilings cavin in and its gettin way too hot. I start to pull my crew back to a better position when I'm almost knocked over by the RIT passin me by with a charged hoseline! They got tired of standin around and decided it was time to fight fire!
    All due respect, Cappy, that's a lack of control by the oficer in charge of the RIT. Freelancing the RIT team is dangerous and shouldn't be tolerated. If we are called in as an RIT team, weather it's ten minutes or an hour, we are the RIT until relieved by another team or sent home. It's that simple. IMO if the RIT needs to help hump hose and place ladders, there isn't enough manpower on the scene.

  20. #20
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    I'm of the opinion the RIT needs to be on the fireground, ready to go. If you've got good, coordinated communications, the RIT can be one step ahead of the interior crew and be setting up ladders for egress and other jobs that'll save time if it hits the fan.

    Besides, if they're setting up their RIT staging, checking equipment out and making sure everything works and that it and them are ready to go, they shouldn't have much time to sit in the A/C.

    A question I might raise is how low does the A/C have to be set to stay "refreshed" in full turnouts and SCBA?

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