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.