It is not a dilemna. the FAST team isnt in the "business of rescuing civilians", its one and only function is to find and help remove a downed, trapped, or lost fireman. Nothing else. If they happen to come upon a civilian, radio to the other trucks, (who should be doing their job of searching), and tell them where the victim is, and continue on with their operation. It shouldnt be a difficult scenario for any of us. WE come first on the fireground, then the civilians.Originally Posted by madison112
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11-17-2006, 02:20 PM #41Proud East Coast Traditionalist.
11-19-2006, 02:34 PM #42
I agree with nyc.....the FASTs purpose is US. With that said, 99% of the time FAST will depoly in through the same area as everyone else....the front door....up stairs, down a hallway...etc etc. Chances are, those areas will be populated, or were populated with the members. So the chances of you coming across a victim SHOULD be slim. And exception would maybe be a warehouse. But if thats the case, you have to make a tough decision based on some factors....How far in are you? Whats the persons CUPS? (tirage system comes in handy here). Can you afford to redeploy a few members for removal a the victim to a better spot? Can they get back to you fast enough...(search rope!!! ) How fast can another company get to this victim? Are members with the trapped brother? Whats his condition? These are all the things you need to ask yourself. Someday on this job you will have to make though decisions that you will have to live with. If you don't think you can do that....then turn in you stuff and find a new occupation. FAST is for us! No-one else.....if they get tied up d*cking around with a victim that is propably dead from smoke inhalation....then who is coming for the trapped, lost brother? No-one is......so chances are you will end up with two dead people....one you couldn't save, and another you SHOULD have saved.....try living with that...especially if you worked with them, knew thier wife and kids, yeah....enjoy living with that decision.IACOJ Member
02-25-2007, 01:54 PM #43
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- Jan 2006
- Jamestown, NY
02-25-2007, 04:49 PM #44
- Join Date
- Jun 2006
I would have to look at the issue as an EMS triage question. It would suck to leave a FF in a building but if you have a viable victim you rescue that victim. A RIT may never find the downed FF. I say rescue the sure thing then go after the other.
02-25-2007, 10:45 PM #45
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- Jan 2007
- Pacific Northwest
Interesting and emotional discussion.
I think we all need to remember to discuss this in a calm, professional manner. Solve the problem like you would on the fireground. No one likes Captain Screamer.
That being said, IMO there are no absolutes. For example, call pre-emption/redirection is built into our SOG/SOPs. Certain calls can be trumped by other calls, and the original call will be answered by someone else.
To those of you who would ALWAYS continue to the original call and ignore the guy in the street, what if it is a brother or sister thrown through the windshield of the rig going to the same call you're in route to? Do you stop or drive around them?
SOP/SOGs get you part of the way there, but ultimately the decision involves using some common sense and the God-granted ability to make a Decision. There are no absolutes!
Before slamming the door closed on the civilian sight unseen, I think it bears recognition that in CERTAIN situations, RIT may do something to help a civilian. I don't think it is fair to declare that ALL civilians will be ignored, ALL the time, EVERY time.
Play the cards you're dealt. If you can't make the Decision without every single eventuality being written down in advance, then don't apply for (nor accept) promotion to the front passenger seat.
With that being said, Everyone Goes Home.You only have to be stupid once to be dead permanently
IACOJ Power Company Liason
When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution
and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy. - Dave Barry.
02-25-2007, 10:58 PM #46
- Join Date
- May 2002
- Now in Victoria, BC. I'm from beautiful Jasper Alberta in the heart of the Can. Rockies - will always be an Albertan at heart!
02-26-2007, 09:46 AM #47
- Join Date
- Oct 2006
- boston, ma
Things are easy when we're sitting at our computers stating what should be done or what I would do but we know it's not always that easy. I have to agree with NYC, VinnieB and others on this, we go after our own 1st and foremost. You do what you can for the civilian, report location to nearby companies or to command to get another company in there, but that RIT company is there to find and assist our fellow brother. Mahoney, with thinking like that "rit may never find a downed FF" why have a RIT to begin with? We take care of our own 1st. I understand the oath and what we get paid to do but call me crazy but I will always go after my own 1st. I can't imagine a fellow jake calling for help and not get it because we took on another task.
02-26-2007, 10:53 AM #48
- Join Date
- Feb 2007
Ok now we have a small problem! First I want you to know I agree completley that our downed Brother/Sister come foremost on a Rit, but the problem now is this: Your team is lets say 30 feet in and you are the rear team member and out of the corner of your eye you catch movement, and you turn your head to the right and (think to your self SH*#) you just discovered an baby about 8 mo's old crawling out of a room (smoke is not bad 8-10 inches off the floor). Now you have a decession to make 1- Keep going 2-Yell at Vinnie (and it would not be nice but something like this) We got a F*@#ing problem man Vinnie (or it could be Me) what damn it we got to go, but you point out the baby and now the baby is starting to choke because the smoke is getting closer to the floor. NOW someone has to make a decission. One team member take the infant out which may reduce your team to 2 maybe 3 and continue (Which I would do) or as some have indicated (Remember I said indicated) call in another team and leave the infant.
I am NOT saying to abandon our Brother/Sister, but we may have to switch to plan B. And call for addition assistance and complete both jobs. Due to safety do you want that one team member taking the infant out alone or have another team met them so that team member can continue with the RIT assignment. SO so so many things can occur that you may have to keep an open mind and not get tunnel vision. This is just food for thought.
03-03-2007, 09:32 PM #49
The decision is answered by the universal motto: Save lives and protect property.
You don't pass up a victim unless they are surely dead.
03-03-2007, 10:59 PM #50
Because who knows? Maybe the few seconds delayed for attempting a civillian rescue could be the few seconds that claims the life of our fellow firefighter or firefighters.
11-26-2007, 11:05 PM #51
- Join Date
- Jun 2005
Better late than never
I realize I'm a little late in posting this, but what the hell, someone may read this and get some use out of it.
RIT is for saving firefighters...end of story, that is why/how RIT came into existence. Passing up a civilian to save a fellow FF is not "manslaughter", its battlefield triage, read on and you'll see what I mean. I think many of you that are so fiercely advocating saving the civilian first are forgetting a key factor, and that is RIT is not the only crew working on the fireground. Odds are you have at least one, two, or more teams working in the structure that can be reassigned to rescue; you can even use a team working on the exterior (or unassigned). Put the search rope in the victim's hand, direct them to the exit, radio their location to command, and move on. Command will reassign resources as needed, that's their job, just like firefighter rescue is RIT's job. Someone on this forum stated that they would rescue the civilian first because they are a "sure thing"; says who? How many times have rescued victims died later on?
Let's look at the numbers (assuming volunteer dept. at 2:00am): Let's say it takes two minutes for the call to get through the dispatch center to us, that fire has already been burning for about 5-10 min before it is discovered (and that is pretty conservative for 2am), then it takes, at best, 10 min to get to the station, gear up, get on the road, and get to the scene; that fire has already been burning for 17-27 min with the occupant still inside. Now let's say it takes two minutes to stretch your line, mask up, and make entry. In round numbers, this occupant has been exposed for 20-30 minutes. Most MAYDAY's happen only 5 minutes into the incident; bear in mind that during the time you make entry, back-up teams get in place, RIT team(s) stages, truck company does their thing, ambulances/chiefs/tankers show up (a volunteer dept can muster up a good response at 2am-ish, when many fires occur). Now let's say your attack begins 2 minutes after entry (give or take based on building size/construction). MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY!!! FIREFIGHTER LOST, SEPARATED FROM CREW!! The RIT team, standing-by ever vigilant, masked up, tools in hand, enters the building in 1 min after gathering needed information. The victim has been exposed to this environment for 23-33 minutes (again, estimated); your fellow brother/sister has only been inside 5 minutes, breathing clean air, and wearing PPE. Think about it and tell me, REALISTICALLY, who has the better odds of survival?! That victim has already had the bad day! Also take into the consideration that many victims are found within feet of exits, so odds are your entry team will find them first. And, if you have one team committed to attack, you should have another performing a primary search simultaneously, followed by a secondary search.
Someone else said that the RIT team has all these extra members standing around outside while the RIT search team is inside, that they can rescue the civilian. WRONG! NOT OUR JOB! Studies have shown that it can take anywhere from 8-16 firefighters (RIT) to rescue an unconscious FF. Not hard to believe when you take into account the weight of the FF with their gear, the terrain, the heat, our own weight with gear, and the energy we expend just finding the downed FF. As such, no RIT member should be assigned to anything but RIT!
Another person said the last guy on the RIT crew can break off, lead the victim to safety, and rejoin the crew....WRONG! We work in PAIRS, and if your crew only has 4 members (average size of a RIT entry crew), it is not feasible for the other two to complete the rescue.
Bear in mind that the figures in this scenario are approximations and can vary, but not by much. I'm also not picking on volunteer departments (I've been on a POC dept for nearly 5 years, not much different than a vol.), I'm just writing about what I know, and many of the opponents to this way of thinking are writing from a vol. point of view. 99.9% of the time the FF will be the more viable rescue, and our safety always comes first, forever and ever.
An officer on a nearby dept. once said "There is no good reason a firefighter should die at work" and he is absolutely right. As I said, the civilian already had the bad day, our brother/sister shouldn't have one too. Reassign another non-RIT crew to rescue the civilian. It's not an easy decision to make, but few decisions are easy in this line of work; get used to it. If after reading all this (and the posts of the other proponents of this way of thinking), you can still say you would abandon a brother or sister, you should probably seek life elsewhere because you will get one of us injured or killed one day. I applaud your desire to save the life of those we are sworn to protect, but its pretty hard to do that if you're dead!
Use your head, think on your feet, and stay safe!
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