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  1. #1
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    Default RIT with or without water

    I have a question. One of the senior officers I work with was talking about RIT teams. He was saying that being trained to go into a place where another firefighter is down and where you do not bring your own hose for your own safety is contrary to all of his training. I was trying to explain that traditionally ladder company and rescue truck (special hazards in New England) initial functions are generally without direct safety of a dedicated water line. I am OK with going above the fire for search or even searching for the fire without a hose line in my hand, but at the same time, I am assuming that a hose line is operational (or close to operational) on the seat of the fire. What do you think?


  2. #2
    Forum Member MEck51's Avatar
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    I will try to answer what I think you are asking about. If I am off let me know and I'll try to answer better.

    When a mayday goes out, an accountabilty check should be issued and a rit placed into service. So long as there is no change in fire activity or building integrity all other operating teams SHOULD maintain their postions and jobs unless imediatly (and that means imediatly not only a floor away or just down the hall) able to help the FF/ or team in distress. That would mean that hoselines stay in place and continue what they are doing. Vent teams continue what they are doing. Let the RIT guys do their job. I don't see the need for a hoseline to go in with the RIT. As they are progressing through to their destination if they need a line they can call for one and if they are using a search line (like should be done) a hose line can easliy be taken to where it is needed. Just my take.

  3. #3
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    Default RIT water

    I think, like the tools you decide to stage and bring in upon RIT activation, it depends on the particular scene. Is the probable/reported location of the downed/distressed FF in an area where the FF or the RIT will depend on the line for protection? Perhaps the FF needs the protection of a hose line more than he needs a replacement SCBA at that moment. If there is communication with the FF, ask what conditions are present in his area. Know ahead of time where you're going to get a line from, and the stretches you will need for different areas of the building.

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    MembersZone Subscriber SeavilleFire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaySNJFF
    He was saying that being trained to go into a place where another firefighter is down and where you do not bring your own hose for your own safety is contrary to all of his training.
    Where did he get "all of his training" that he refers to? Most RIT operations are conducted without the RIT having their own hoseline. Furthermore, it is not taught in basic fire school that every interior crew must have its' very own hoseline for their own safety.

    And to answer your question, I agree that the situation will dictate whether or not the RIT should have a hoseline. The RIT should constantly do a size-up during the entire operation and make the hoseline determination as part of the development of their Quick Action Plan.

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    MembersZone Subscriber PaulChristenson's Avatar
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    Default Without

    Our initial RIT ops start without a hoseline...

    Paul in VT
    Paul in VT
    Every man is as God made him, ay, and often worse.
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    In our RIT trianing one of our scenerios, we follow the hand line that the downed fire fighters would have advanced into the building. It will not be 100% but you could expect a line to be advanced to a certian point it the building.This could be the start point for a search in some cases as well as a support line.
    With that said you could not count on it, in the event the line is unusable do to damage, being trapped under a colaspes or other unforseen problems.
    I believe predeploying a line is not practicle. You cannot know where you will need line, and a structure of any size would would take several lines to cover all possible entry points.

    IMHO

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    As several have mentioned, It Depends.

    It Depends on the nature, location, and environment of the Mayday.

    It also Depends on the resources on scene, and the ability to continue suppression efforts (which must always be maintained when a FF is lost or trapped in a burning structure).

    If a FF fell through a structural hole, or down some stairs, etc. and no fire is involved, why waste time bringing a hose. He/she may only have 5-10 mintues of air left. RIT must be fast and mobile.

    If the primary interior team was possibly overcome by fire, or lost in proximity to the fire, you better be bringing another hoseline, because you certainly can't rely on thiers.

    So again, It Depends. We train for both hose and hoseless rescue procedures.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcaldwell
    If a FF fell through a structural hole, or down some stairs, etc. and no fire is involved, why waste time bringing a hose. He/she may only have 5-10 mintues of air left. RIT must be fast and mobile.
    Hose is very strong. If you are dealing with a fall to the basement like that, it's alot faster to bring a dry line through the halls than carrying a ladder, lower the hose for a quick grab (fewer knots = fewer moving parts). But like you said, mcaldwell, it would Depend on knowing there was visibility and no hose.

    Much more important - only 5 minutes of air in a fire-free envirnoment? Primary focus is air bottles. Get him/her two air bottles, then you get 30 minutes to deal with suprises that arise and protect him with the hoseline while the interior crews continue to extinguish blaze. As long as you keep ffer cool and aired, why risk injury in a firefree environment? Protect in place, evacuate when it's safer. While protecting the brother, bring in additional tools such as ladder or irons so that if something changes, you're prepared. Fast and mobile is correct, but not clumsy and tunnel visioned.

    This of course being only a weak basement. If you think the roof is weakened and it wasn't just a weak or waterdamaged floor, that's when speed is the second most important aspect (after air bottles). Hose be damned at that point, bring your brother out!

  9. #9
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    or you can skip hose and ladders and just use ropes.
    "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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    Default Options

    As has been said, it depends. One of our Chiefs ( jay Olsen, Portland Fire & Rescue) teaches nationally RIT classes. We have the usual list of gear we set aside for RIT, a hose line is part of the list. Preconnnected 200' for a house fire or otherwise eval the situation and set one up as needed.

    Another tool seen in firehouse magazine is a 100' rope laid out in 1/4's with 2 loops tied w/ carabiners in the loops 25" from each end. The biners can be lowered and clipped and the guys up top have 4 lines to pull up on.

    An example where a hose could have made a difference is the Coos Bay, OR fire in 2002. I am not criticizing anyone by any means. A FF went down a flight of stairs and landed behind an auto shop counter just feet from the front door. Several attempts were made to get him over the counter all to no avail. An option we train for is to protect in place, get him air, throw a fire blanket over him and get a fog stream to keep him cool. Gives time to get alternatives going i.e. cut the counter away.

    I agree that hose lines in place are critical to stay in place, so a dedicated line should be available for the RIT team, giving them a protective option for themselves/the victim without edangering anyone else on the fire ground

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    A FAST team needs to be in place or in planning in the very initial stages of operation. Once the call comes in for any working fire or any operation where firefighters are working in an IDLH atmosphere, a fast team should already be in motion. My take on the thing is that the fast team should be a fully dedicated crew with proper FAST training and should bring all their equipment to the scene and stand-by near the enterance to the building ready to go at a moments notice. Alot of older/senior firefighter have commented that if a firefighter goes down, all operations can stop and everyone is going in to get him. (Most older firefighters on my department do not support having a fast team, including the two chiefs). As a LT with the proper fast training, I have tried to stress that if a mayday is called, and you halt operations to perform a rescue, your endangering every firefighters life more then it should be. Think about it..... your shutting down your lines, ventilation, SAR. I think it is important for anyone pushing FAST that you remind your oposition that 80% of firefighter fatalities today are from firefighters running into a building because a mayday was called and no one can account for them or they get in trouble themselves.

    Getting back to fast team operations. We have dedicated our rescue to perform fast operations. We trained our guys to grab the rit bag with a FULL SCBA and MASK, not just a bottle, a few tools (axe, hallogen, flashlights) and a backboard, saws, and the rabbit tool, place them in the Stokes basket, and all walkdown to the scene. This way you have all your tools in one place and you can put the basket down right where your team is stagging. We do not encourage using a hoseline because it takes one member away from the team. What we do have setup is if a mayday is called, grab the tools you need and go in with the backup hoseline team that should be in place by the door. They do any fire suppression needed, and your FAST team can do your job safely, knowing that you have a hoseline in operation just for your purposes.

  12. #12
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by truckie8
    I think it is important for anyone pushing FAST that you remind your oposition that 80% of firefighter fatalities today are from firefighters running into a building because a mayday was called and no one can account for them or they get in trouble themselves.
    Ya know, I've read a lot of NIOSH reports on FF fatalities, and I have to say I have no idea where you got this information from. Would you care to elaborate more on this?
    "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 JaySNJFF
    I have a question. One of the senior officers I work with was talking about RIT teams. He was saying that being trained to go into a place where another firefighter is down and where you do not bring your own hose for your own safety is contrary to all of his training. I was trying to explain that traditionally ladder company and rescue truck (special hazards in New England) initial functions are generally without direct safety of a dedicated water line. I am OK with going above the fire for search or even searching for the fire without a hose line in my hand, but at the same time, I am assuming that a hose line is operational (or close to operational) on the seat of the fire. What do you think?
    If you look at some of the recent fires in FDNY history where a FAST team was employed you will find it takes a dedicated Engine Co to hold a line on the fire in some cases while the FAST company removed the downed member. The most recent death involving Rich Scalfani L-103 was one of them. The Engine held off the fire with a handline while the FAST removed him from the building.

    Odds are there will be companies already opperating in the building when a Mayday is called..they shouldn't be withdrawn rather they should continue their operations such as and Engine fighting off the fire while the other members can focus on the task of getting the brother out.

    To effectively bring the equipment necessary to removed a downed fireman and use it and make it back to the street one really can't bring their own line and expect to be effective.

    FTM-PTB

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    Ya know, I've read a lot of NIOSH reports on FF fatalities, and I have to say I have no idea where you got this information from. Would you care to elaborate more on this?
    Sure. I have also read alot of NIOSH reports, mostly from incidents on the east coast. The 80% factor is not an official number, I said 80 because alot of the reports that I have read were from LODD's where firefighters (vollys) did not have a fast team in place and when a firefighter went down, everyone just went running in to get them. In comparision to the total number of NIOSH reports per year, I dont think there are that many regarding failure to enact a fast team, but I am only interested in the ones that do involve a fast team or lack there of. My 80% number came from the NIOSH reports regarding Fast Teams. Again, this is very unofficial and comes from a slightly biased mind. Thats why its on the forums.

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    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Ok, I'll go along with a bunch not having FAST in place. But I think there are really very few where the death is of an "attempting" rescue member.
    "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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    Forum Member WBenner's Avatar
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    Exclamation RIT is not so rapid

    I dont believe as a RIT you would need to take a hoseline in. We always up date once inside of our location i.e Eng 1 all clear on 1st Floor moving to second. This lets RIT know that we are now on the second floor and they now move to be ready on the second. I know that if a Mayday is called they are to give us - Location, Conditon, Action needed. If its becasue of fire condition then attack crew will move to the last loaction of the MAYDA. If its a none fire conditon the (vest, search and rescue) who dont have hoselines that are already tasked inside will move towards the last know location of Mayday. The Attack crew will keep fighting fire to prevent worse conditions. And RIT would enter the closest area and find Downed firefighter and a new crew would be extraction crew. ONLY IF MAN POWER EXISITS. This works for us. We cant always work like this though because of man power. We get most of our RIT info from cities like FDNY, Phenoix, BOSTON they seem to have great RIT protocols.

  17. #17
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    Default Hoselines on RIT

    We haven't been taught to take a hoseline in. We take in a 1-hour bottle, tools, backboard, spider straps, all in a bag. Our read is, as a RIt team, our purpose is to rescue the downed brother, not fight fire. If a hose line is needed, we'll grab the team waitibg at the door for protection, whilst we grab the fallen brother.

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    Default Rit

    Here at our department and with mutual/inital aid companies, manpower is a very restricting factor. Typically our RIT teams do not stage nor deploy a hand-line even in training scenarios. General philosophy is that if you need a handline with the RIT crew, you re-direct the attack or back-up crew to assist RIT. Exteniuating circumstances may dictate that you deploy another line, i.e. pinched or broken lines interior, however RIT dragging a line will only slow them down getting to the downed brother/sister.

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    Default RIT + Ladders

    When selecting RIT cache equipment I hope this experience may be helpful.
    While we were working a dwelling fire which extended from the basement to the first floor an evacuation order was given. The last FF out fell thru the floor taking the hand line and nozzle with him. The attack team recognized immediately when exiting that they were one short. The RIT went to work. The sererio went like this; the floor was sloping about 6 feet to the hole. The hole was in a bed room hallway with one way out. The FF had minor leg injuries and continued to fight the fire. The FF also found something to stand on so his head was just under floor level. The attack team fought the first floor fire. The basement had an outside door but about 15 feet of the basement collapsed, a second rescue team attempted an access unsuccessfully. The collapse was on the same side as the bed room hallway. We used a rope (not Kevlar) and to help the FF climb out of the basement. The plan was he would use the hand line and three members of the RIT would assist using the rope until we could reach him on the sloping floor. The sloping floor burn thru the rope.. A second rope was used with same results. We had no roof or attic ladder with the RIT equipment but as a backup plan we had sent for an roof ladder when the event began. The roof ladder was used and we were able to get the FF out of the basement. We have outfitted each member of our department with a RIT 50 Kevlar rope and have an attic + roof ladder on out RIT checklist.
    I believe itís better to error on having too much equipment in the RIT cache because when crap happens it happens fast and furiously.
    Be Safe

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    Default RIT with or without hose line?

    Every department is different, but most RIT teams that are set up have similarities. A RIT team is put in place just for that reason. They are not to be put into the man/women pull. They are their own team for one reason and one reason only as a Rit team.

    So the question was Hose line or no hose line?
    At all times even in a distress call/mayday, a hose line/lines should be in place as stated throughout the other posts. Thatís the engine crewís job never to abandon that job. It is a RIT teamís job to go and get the crew member/members who are down in the fire as long as the conditions of the fire have not rapidly changed where the RIT team can not progress through the fire.

    There are so many different scenarios. You could go on forever. I also understand that most Volunteer Companies are stretched thin with man power during different hours of the day. That is why even if the man power is not there in your dept... Still train, and take the classes for RIT.

    Our RIT Consists - 4-5 fireman, 5 radios, rescue rope, kevlar rope, search rope(for entry) RIT pack 45min w/universal connection (scott or msa), irons, littlegiant ladder, can. An we usually have 2-3 other fireman from different depts. out side with radios waiting for anything else we need. A good RIT team is all about planning and coordinating with the rest of the crews on site.

    Stay safe, and keep up the good work.

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