1. #26
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    Exclamation

    By the way we were told in class that Pheonix FD did a study and found that it takes 12 RIT members to rescue 1 downed FF... I found that interesting, but can see where that holds true. We even saw some video that really brought that point home, at the end the FF's were drained and devestated and a brother was lost.

    Although at first I wasn't interested in RIT. I do now, I appreciate the training as it helped give me an idea of how to help myself and other brothers/sisters should the need arrive. I still don't agree with two in two out as Pheonix proved it's not enough. But the training I recieved will at least help keep me calm, think clearly, and act quickly.

    Who knew Phisiology and Stressful Conditioned response training would be valuable.

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    "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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    Which prings me to my first statement. We were told if we are a RIT crew we are to perform ventilation, remove burglar bars, break windows, etc... That sounds like a truck company to me, less rescuing civilians. What is everyone elses SOG's on RIT and there duties when on standby?
    As long as you remain within eye or radio contact, there is nothing wrong with going along the outside of a building and removing window bars, forcing doors, and throwing ground ladders. All of these things may help a FF self rescue instead of having to be dragged out. Just dont overcommit yourself in case a mayday does come over the radio. Those window bars you removed and the ladders you threw may make the removal of a downed FF much quicker.
    Proud East Coast Traditionalist.

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    Arrow

    I couldn't agree more with you. I am just wondering if if the lines are getting blurred on responsabilities. For example the RIT crew is removing burglar bars from the windows, when they get called to action. Now IC has to redistribute assignments that the RIT crew could not finish.

    Whats worse is what if IC isn't informed that the RIT crew did not finish in all the comotion... That could lead to a bad situation. I guess that is just going to have to be a balancing act.

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    They shouldn't HAVE to work. Thats why I posted what I did on the first page. If you don't have the people to remove bars or throw ladders, but ya have a RIT... your doing it because its fashionable

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    Im not saying they HAVE to work. Im saying if they have the opportunity while doing their size up, then by all means, do it.

    What if the FAST or RIT team gets to the scene before the additional truck you called for window bars? As long as they are not overcommitting themselves and can drop what they are doing because of a mayday, then there should be no problem with them helping out. Its not a matter of being "fashionable" as they can still perform the task they were called to the scene for, and may have made their lives easier by throwing that ladder or removing a window bar that can help them get a FF out later on. You dont suggest a member or 2 of your RIT team do a walk around of the building when you get on scene? Well as you are doing that, take a 24' ladder with you! It doesnt slow you down any, and if a mayday is heard, by the time the rest of the team is at the front door, ready to go in, you will be there with them.
    Proud East Coast Traditionalist.

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    nyc... I agree with all your points. From my experience I have seen many departments run an understaffed first alarm and add a FAST company. The FAST invariably ends up working. My point on fashionable is for the departments that have not addressed the need for simultaneous basic actions and developed a response to provide them. If you can't get a water supply, get 2 lines off, force entry, get at least horizontal vent and search with your first alarm but have a FAST, I think the fashionable term fits because ya have no idea of the basics that REALLY keep guys safe.

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    84...I have to disagree a bit calling a deptartments RIT attepmt fashionable. Many departments are trying to fight fires with low manpower. A department near mine rides with 1 officer and 2 FF's. When we would send mutual aid companies to their fireground we would also send our own RIT. They use a RIT now,but the manpower is still the same. Don't forget 99% of the time the driver is "handcuffed" to the pump pannel especially in the early stages of fireground operations. Even if you don't have enough manpower to do all the basic tasks right away you still need to think of the safety of your own FF's. In my department if a second alarm is transmitted quickly, the FAST truck may get there before most of the second alarm assignment.(RIT is automatically dispatched upon report of W/F). Even though there's alot to be done they still set up as a RIT unless there's an urgent need. Then the second alarm truck is the RIT.
    As far as "working". The RIT crew needs to do a size up of the fire building. If a mayday is sent they have to know how to get to the FF in trouble quickly. By doing outside work, throwing ladders and removing obstacles that can trap a FF, they're seeing and creating secondary means of getting in to assist and out. All while still monitoring the radio. This also frees up other companies to do inside work. In my department, after reporting to the IC with tools the RIT will remove any obstructions that can trap a FF and throw a ground ladder to the fire floor and the floor above unless told not to or the fire is out of reach. They can also change SCBA bottles.
    Last edited by len1582; 03-26-2006 at 03:56 PM.

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    One of the things you need to look at about the LODDs is how many were medical (heart attacks, CVAs), MVCs, brush or wildland fires, vs FFs actually getting lost or being trapped. I've even seen some LODDs where it was a 70 y/o volunteer who had a heart attack while setting up for a picnic or some other function (I'm not bashing vollies - use to be one) but when looking at stats, we need to look at FFs that were actually lost or trapped in an actual fire. Stats can be deceiving.

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    Default I agree. Everyone one scene is part of RIT

    Quote Originally Posted by fdtraining
    A solid RIT program starts with solid fireground basics -- size-up, stretching, searching, venting, etc. -- it also is based on PREVENTING an emergency from happening -- RIT is another tool in the fireground toolbox, it's not a bandaid for our problems but it can be useful as a backup to a backup to a backup -- There's so much basic fire training in RIT training that you can't help but increase your fireground survivability by performing it. How many emergencies have been prevented, or problems solved at the crew or individual level, as a result of the increased training that is currently being done as a result of this so-called "fashionable" fireground funtion?
    I think you are right on the point. The perception of what RIT is will continue to change to the point where fireground tactics incorporate a system that goes beyond size-up and includes an emergency plan that will allow a number of RIT teams to be assembled in a quick and systematic way using the existing personnel on scene.
    An article by James K. Crawford, Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire
    http://www.firefloor.com/RITruleOFthree.htm

    The listed article describes a system that would allow on scene personnel to form RIT teams as needed. The system will only work if the idea of RIT changes to include every active member on scene.

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    In the past several years i have been part of RIT teams on several fires and have watch many different departments RIT teams.The one thing that concerns me is this. How many members does it take to make a safe and effective rescue?
    I mostly see a four man to six man RIT team standing by on most calls.
    Is this enough?

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    Our department conducted a drill similar to the one that the Phoenix department used to determine that 12 people are needed to actually rescue a downed firefighter. Over a number of days we had every crew in the department participate in a simulated firefighter rescue and we generally used 12 people to rescue a downed firefighter. The first four person crew found the firefighter and prepared to remove the firefighter after attaching a quick fill bottle to ensure the firefighter being rescued had a safe air supply. Different crews used different techniques to try and remove the downed ff. Leg straps, manta mat, pulling SCBA straps etc..

    None of the initial RIT teams successfully removed the ff on their own. The second RIT crew was able to relieve the first crew and complete the rescue. The third team was standing by as a RIT crew for the RIT teams.

    The general consensus from the review of these drills showed us that it took some time just to organize a coordinated RIT entry after the initial mayday. The rescue was complicated with the need for a charged line in all of the scenarios and face pieces were blacked out to near zero visibility. The limited visibility made the communication between would-be rescuers quite difficult because it had to be verbal only. Coordinated movement obviously makes moving a 250lb ff easier but that is no easy task when the rescuers can not see eachother.

    This drill was a good wake up call for most members. Having to physically go through the process was extremely helpful because it gives you a real sense of the need for communication and the cumbersome nature of rescuing somebody in the dark. This drill was not a live burn either so the heat was not a factor.

    Fire ground noise was also an issue in the initial stages of deploying the RIT team.
    Last edited by firefloor; 04-28-2006 at 10:28 PM.

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    This is a great post and a great discussion. But I can't escape the comment that a RIT is "it's fashionable", not useful". The fire service evolves every day. New ideas, new innovations, etc. Some works and some don't. Some evolves and some things do not. RIT is still a fairly new concept for some, as we can see on these forums - "department's starting up", etc. But it works. Like was earlier stated, when done correct it is a proactive, knowledgable group of guys doing what they can to prevent bad things from happening and being prepared to mitigate them if they do.

    I strongly disagree with "it's fashionable", not useful". It takes much training and discipline to have a good RIT. Some are not up to the challenge, and there is certainly things to be said about that. But there are MANY excellent teams out there and are ready to do what is necessary to save a brother. These are smart, well trained and disciplined guys.

    I never heard of Larry Davis or the Rural Firefighting Institute. "It's fashionable", not useful". I guess I know why. Are you sure it wasn't "Larry David" from HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm?

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    The major cause of LODD's is heart attack. Even attacks several hours or a day after an incident have been included. These were not counted in the past. How can a RIT team prevent a heart attack??? A team cannot prevent accidents responding or returning. A tean cannot stop a person in midfall from a roof or ladder. Some things are out of our hands. Some things we can prevent.

    I'd have to agree that saying RIT is only fashionable/not working because LODD numbers haven't changed is misleading. These instances that len1582 brought up show how easily the "numbers" can be skewed.

    I think we all can all relate to guys or crews who view RIT as a crap assignment. And sure you aren't on the nozzle or inside doing a search but alot can be accomplished on the outside. Plus guys on the interior are counting on you, regardless of your motivation or lack there of.

    In my department, RIT can sometimes be assigned to just two people (our pathetic excuse of a "squad" company). According to Phoenix, we're about 10 short if someone goes down. You and I both know that 3-4 more company's are not going to be dispatched to help RIT in case of an emergency. Fortunatly my chief has always said if you don't feel you can cover the people inside, radio for more people and if available he will assign them to RIT.

    Numbers on the fireground don't necessarily mean RIT will be done effectively. Once again len1582 hit the nail on the head. Being proactive is what can mean a save or a LODD. Cutting bars off windows, throwing ladders, pulling boards off windows, forcing doors for a secondary means of egress just to name a few. Taking the time to do all (or even one) of these AFTER a MAYDAY may be too late.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by islander237
    Couple of weeks ago in a rural firefighting seminar, Larry Davis stated RIT is NOT required for rural firefighting operations - the backup team with a hoseline was all that was needed. According to Davis, RIT is promoted these days simply because "it's fashionable", not useful.
    He's wrong and I've got four guys on my shift who could tell him so from direct experience.

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    Default When its done right...

    When implemented correctly, RIT can and has saved lives. How many times have we justified purchasing a new piece of equipment by saying "If it helps us save even one life, it is worth it" ? I'll bet many of you have, and RIT is no different. It is true that anyone CAN be assigned to RIT, but the question then becomes SHOULD they be assigned to RIT. A RIT team should not be 4 guys chosen to act as RIT based on when they showed up at the scene. True RIT teams are the "Delta Force" of the Fire Service; they should be specially trained in RIT rescue techniques using specialized equipment, and have the proper mindset & attitude to take on such an immense responsibility. These guys that bitch about being "stuck as RIT" need to open their eyes and see just how vital that position is. If you go down in a fire, the RIT is your last line of defense against death.
    As far as LODD's go, no one has mentioned the shift in building construction. When it comes to truss and balloon construction, the building is also your enemy. We are seeing more LODD's from building collapses because today's lightweight construction cannot stand up to fire the way its post-and-beam predecessors can.
    RIT needs to be an organized, pre-planned effort; not something that is thrown together as an afterthought. RIT is not much different than firefighting in that it should be proactive instead of reactive. If you see a RIT team removing burglar bars, throwing ladders to provide a secondary means of egress, clearing obstacles from exits, and continuously sizing-up the situation, then they are doing their job. They are increasing the odds of your survival should you be the one that has "the bad day." RIT teams are not going to be able to save everyone. Firefighter survival and self-rescue tactics should be taught to all firefighters, but more importantly we need to start recognizing a bad situation before it falls on our heads. Prevention is the name of the game, people. Don't go bashing RIT teams just because you had a bad experience with one. I don't care what the stats say, RIT teams are saving lives; who knows, maybe just the presence of a trained RIT team is enough to get your guys to start looking around for those hidden dangers that can put them in a MAYDAY situation. And if you are one of those guys that makes fun of a brother or sister for calling a MAYDAY, then you need to get the hell out of the fire service or change your attitude because that is unacceptable. Some may think that is a bit harsh, but I don't think so.

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    ...........................
    Last edited by kuntrykid; 09-11-2008 at 12:33 PM. Reason: Don't want to be a member of these forums, so I deleted my posts.
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    A Backup crew is just that...a backup. Their purpose is to relieve the initial crew in whatever their task is during a fire.

    A RIT/FAST crew is a firefighter rescue crew. They do not relieve firefighters, they rescue them.

    I find no comparison at all.
    "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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    ......................
    Last edited by kuntrykid; 09-11-2008 at 12:32 PM. Reason: Don't want to be a member of these forums, so I deleted my posts.
    My comments do NOT necessarily reflect the opinions of my department, my fellow volunteers, or anyone else with whom I am associated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kuntrykid View Post
    We just don't really call it that. Do you understand where I am coming from?
    In a way, I do.

    Alot of rural departments are starting to use mutual aid departments for their RIT/FAST teams. They come in JUST for the purpose of being THE RIT Team. They are RIT/FAST certified.

    IF all of your members are RIT/FAST certified, then I don't see a problem with rotating if you have more than two "back-up" teams. It is not good to have the team that just got relieved to be your RIT team. They have to go to rehab first. Do you understand where I am coming from????
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

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    ..................
    Last edited by kuntrykid; 09-11-2008 at 12:32 PM. Reason: Don't want to be a member of these forums, so I deleted my posts.
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  22. #47
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    A RIT/FAST crew should only be there for that purpose. That crew shouldn't have any other task (possibly going in as a relief crew, or maybe to rescue a ff, etc.) to think about. They should be staged strategically around the building so that in the event of a ff going down, their deployment time is minimal, because in those situations seconds count.

    Our company has a FAST team dispatched for anything that comes in as a worker or possible worker. They're only duty is ff rescue. No other tasks. They won't be on a line or search. Only FAST ops.

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    If you read the Phoenix study that was done after the LODD that they had you will see that when it comes to RIT "We are kidding ourselves" as someone already said Rit should be the cream of the crop and the only way that is going to occur is to train, train, train, and train somemore.
    I am with a small combination department and we have mutual aid companies responding on confirmed fires to take that role and I am not talking just a couple of guys we have a 4-5 person engine company respond and that piece of apparatus is the "tool box" for that crew only, and if the operations go defensive we can utilizes that personnel in other areas.

    The RIT crew should (as someone already said) be doing thier own sizeup and attempt to findout everything there is to know about that building as well as monitor radio coms with interior crews to know where they are and interior conditions and to throw ladders to as many upper floor windows as possible.

    I understand the problem that the small rural departments are having with manpower and response distances - but in reality - if you are arriving on scene to only operate in the defensive mode - You dont need a RIT.

    We need to set the bar higher when it comes to establishing procedures and training for RIT - because that team is for US, because we can train our firefighters to try to stay out of trouble but this is a dangerous job and things are going to happen.

    Everyone play safe and have a safe holiday season

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    Default Is RIT effective

    I am an instuctor for the Connecticut State Fire Academy. Our program started about 6 years ago due to 3 men who had forthought about LODDs.
    I was browsing through some of the responses, and I believe that nationally, there is a big mis understanding about RIT.
    STATISICALLY, RITs do not pull FFs out. Very rarely does this occur. If the RIT is sent in, unfortunatly if they do not find the FF(s) immediatly, it ends in a recovery. If you view incident reports, (and our cadre' do all the time,) the Mayday FFs are ususally pulled out by the members who are the closest to them. Most of the time, due to emotions, lack of discepline, or whatever, the RIT/FAST cannot even get close to do their work. This had been proven time and time again, although there have been cases when the RIT pulled the FF out, but they were close by.
    This is why the attitude of RIT/FAST has to change operationally, and this is what we emphisize. I know the article was in another periodical, so I hope the editors let me say this, but please read in Fire Engineering, "Rapid Intervention Isn't Really Rapid." This is a study done by the Pheonix FD after they lost one FF in a super market. This was a landmark study, and virtually ignored by Fire Chiefs everywhere.
    The emphasis for Pheonix, as well as our program, is PRO-ACTIVE rather than reactive. In other words, give the members inside their best shot. Most departments run with 3 on a rig. What are they going to do? The Pheonix study will tell you, (and in scenerios we conduct during our courses confirm this), that it will take about 14 FFs to get one FF out, it will take 45 minutes to do it, and out of the 14 RIT FFs, 5 will declare their own mayday. FACT.
    Our Emphasis is to make sure that ladders are thrown, doors forced, that windows that were not completely taken are cleared, bars, air conditioners, and other impediments are removed, and if multi storied, an aerial device is deployed, (you paid for it, you might as well use it!) RIT SIZEUP, and prevention are the answer.
    Since the inception of our program, we have had 9 FFS in Connecticut saved as a result. Maybe that is not a statistic we should be proud of, because they should not have been jammed up in the first place, but it is a fact.
    Lastly, and I did not see this in any of the postings...again a fact..THE PROPER DEPLOYMENT OF A PROPERLY SIZED, ATTACK HOSELINE SAVES MORE LIVES THAN ANY OTHER FIREGROUND FUNCTION. THE BACK UP HOSELINE SAVES FIREFIGHTERS. I would like to meet the idiot that says an 1 3/4" hoseline is a 2 FF line, never mind a single FF line. If you do not agree, check the NIOSH report for Oscar Armstrong, Cincinatti FD.
    Don't load down your members like pack mules and make them stand with the Chief. They are only satisfying a mandate. Put them to use, get them working. That is what they make radios for.
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    The statement being discussed was about RURAL firefighting. It seems like a lot of people responding keep using examples from their non-rural standpoints.

    In many places, rural firefighting means defensive attacks. Most truly rural depts. either don't receive notification until a building is already fully involved, or have response distances that mean the building is fully involved on arrival. With limited manpower and a defensive operation, probably with a tanker shuttle and rural water supply operation using the most amount of people, how important is it to have a RIT team when those bodies could be used in water supply operations and most everyone else is baby-sitting deck guns or ground master streams? I believe this is what Davis was talking about. He's probably not talking about rural firefighters that actually have interior firefighting operations in place, he's probably referring to "surround and drown" operations.

    so, IMHO, for rural defensive/shuttle/cellar-saving operations...true RIT teams are of negligible usefulness. For other situations however, I think it's a good thing provided that the personnel are properly trained and utilized.

    For those of you who haven't been around for a while, Larry Davis has been around for decades as a fire protection engineer, firefighter, chief officer, and instructor, specializing in rural firefighting operations. He writes a column for Fire Rescue magazine as well.
    Last edited by mtngael; 01-03-2008 at 08:43 AM.

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