1. #1
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    Default Phoenix's On Deck

    I've been studying and teaching LODDs for the past 6 years since I saw Billy Goldfeder. I admit, I basically copy his classes in that I show what happened at certain incidents and then we talk about what could be done differently. One of my studies was the Phoenix LODD a few years ago and the "On Deck" theories.

    I've been following Phoenix's use of its new principles of "On Deck" for the last year or so in the trade magazines, but had a few questions I was wondering if someone could answer.

    The way I understand it, instead of/in addition to a RIT team, they pre-position personnel as close to operating units as they can so that manpower is available to accomplish things to make the building behave and put out the fire. They are also closer if a mayday comes in.

    My questions are:
    1 - What is the feeling of the line firemen of this concept? Company officers?

    2 - How close are the on deck personnel to operations? Are they as close as they can be without having to go on air? Are they just at an entrance to a building?

    3 - Are there units still dedicated to RIT standing by?

    4 - How has staffing for a residential (1900 sf rancher for example) alarm changed? How about a commercial (3-story ordinary)?

    I am sure I'll have other questions, so anyone who can help, I'd appreciate it.

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    It's actually much more than just RIT. Basically the program revolves around air management for firefighters. Basically the way it works, is that firefighters work no more than 10 minutes while on air. This then gives you aproximately 50% of your air supply to ensure that you have enought air to get out. If you look at the order in which most firefighters are rescured, it goes something like:

    1) Self rescue
    2) Rescue by your own company
    3) Rescue by nearby companies
    4) Rescue by by RIT

    On average it takes RIT almost 21 minutes fromt the time of the mayday, to make a rescue. So, if you have already dipped into your reserve air, or you alarm was going off at the time you declared the mayday, then in 20 minutes your gonna already be dead. Thus the 10 minute rule. If you have 50% of your air left when you get into trouble, that is going to buy you a lot more time.
    Now, because of the shortened work period, it's going to take a lot more people to fight a fire, thus the On-Deck. The company that is currently On-Deck, is basically the next company to be assigned. Now that assignment could be RIT "if needed" or they may be assigned something else. When they are assigned, then another company moves to the On-Deck area. Now in the On-Deck area, should be a RIT kit that was brought there by the first On-Deck company.
    So basically you go to On-Deck, then to working status for 10 minutes. Then you go to "Recycle" where you get a fresh bottle, something to drink, and then get ready to go back to On-Deck. You do this up to 3 times, then instead of Recycle, you go to "rehab". Here is where your checked for vitals, and assessed. From there it's home. So I hope I answered your questions. Basically it requires a lot of people. This is geared mainly for large scenes, but can work to an extent on smaller residential fires also. Also, there can be multiple On-Deck areas depending on the size of the incident. There is much more to this than what I have spewed forth, but I hope that it gives you an idea of what the program is.

    BTW, I'm not on Pheonix, but I did go there for the class, because we started using this program in Minnesota where I'm at.

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    On average it takes RIT almost 21 minutes fromt the time of the mayday, to make a rescue.
    Where did this information come from?
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rekindle51

    BTW, I'm not on Pheonix, but I did go there for the class, because we started using this program in Minnesota where I'm at.
    What departments in MN are using the on deck program?
    Last edited by Golzy12; 11-29-2005 at 02:37 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    Where did this information come from?
    Bones, Phoenix did a pretty comprehensive study a couple (?) years ago and came up with about an 18 min. average if I remember. I'm trying to find a link to that article, interesting reading.

    Found it.....http://www.firetimes.com/printStory.asp?FragID=8399
    Last edited by TCFire; 11-29-2005 at 01:47 PM. Reason: add link
    In Arduis Fidelis
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    Ok, I see, 21 minutes for complete removal. 8 minutes to bring the guy more air.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Phoenix FD has completed some very extensive studies in their development of this concept and should be commended for their efforts. What works for one fire department however in their approach to RIT is not necessarily the best alternative for other fire departments that are not blessed without an abundant supply of resources and personnel. This response to this forum question may turn out to be a "loaded question" and I am certain will spark some debate but hey, that is what the learning process is about. In a nutshell and in addition to the information posted, from what I understand," On Deck" is a concept of rotating crews on the fire scene - this includes the RIT being a company that can be rotated into action to perform normal suppression duties or relieve prior assigned companies. A company from staging would then move up to take their place as the RIT. Some of the most important concerns that exist when talking about “On Deck” is the loss of continuity within the RIT. This includes focus, action plan development and accountability.

    An “On Deck” company will be focused on being put to work in fire suppression, not rescue. This will take them away from the proactive measures that they should be undertaking. A dedicated RIT will be focused on firefighter rescue and developing a plan if needed. A new company rotated into the RIT role will have to go back to square one and develop a new plan that will work for them. Relaying information from one “On Deck” company to the next will take time and may lead to critical information being lost.

    Reassignment of the RIT will also cause a lapse in conditions being monitored by the RIT- only the initial RIT knows what the conditions were upon their arrival.

    A possible problem with accountability is also foreseen with the “On Deck” concept. It is one of the main responsibilities of the RIT officer and RIT Chief to know which companies are operating where. This information can easily be lost when rotating companies takes place or if a “mayday” occurs during the switch. Communications in this regard can be a major problem also. The RIT should operate on a separate radio frequency from the tactical operations on the fireground. How many times will an “On Deck” company have to switch radio channels, will they remember to do so and will their replacement remember to switch to the proper channel to function as a RIT should?

    It is stated in the research that I have done that being assigned RIT is “not treasured” and firefighters dislike, “standing, watching other firefighters work”. Statements such as these are related to training and the lack of or understanding of solid SOGs. RIT needs to be actively involved on the fireground performing proactive behavior (such as additional laddering, window bar removal, lead out of hoseline for rescue etc.) and monitoring conditions. This is the one area that we fail consistently on at our incidents. More times than not, the RIT positions itself at the front or command post and watches everyone else work.

    Discipline, training, understanding and strong command presence are the keys to RIT being successful. Activities such as fire suppression must continue. Assigning companies in the division closest to the “mayday” as the rescue division will create problems in this regard. It is in this area that a problem exists and for that reason is most important that companies maintain or adjust suppression efforts to protect the affected firefighter(s). This is not to say that a company can not rescue one of their own when a situation occurs but often times that company will not have the required equipment or manpower to effect the rescue.

    Although all of the material available in published articles state the positives, these are some of the shortcomings that I feel are overlooked in the area of rapid intervention by this concept. Again, what works for one department may not work for another.

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    Minnesota departments having adopted this are part of the Southwest Metro Joint Operations Group which includes:

    Minneapolis
    Richfield
    MAC (Airport)
    Edina
    St. Louis Park

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