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  1. #41
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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.


  2. #42
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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.
    My comments do NOT necessarily reflect the opinions of my department, my fellow volunteers, or anyone else with whom I am associated.

  3. #43
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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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?

  4. #44
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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.

  5. #45
    Forum Member THEFIRENUT's Avatar
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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.

    ** "The comments made here are this person's views and possibly that of the organizations to which I am affiliated" **

  6. #46
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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.

  7. #47
    Forum Member st42stephenAFT's Avatar
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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.

  8. #48
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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

  9. #49
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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.
    Lt Russ Chapman
    Connecticut State Fire Accademy

  10. #50
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    Default

    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.

  11. #51
    Forum Member Station2Capt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    It's tough to say that RIT/RIC/FAST etc. is not helping reduce the number of LODD's when there are so few departments that actually do it correctly. Most that I have seen simply grab a few guys and say "Stand there, your our FAST". Until it's taken seriously and formally put in place, it's value will be marginal at best in the overall view. For those that take it seriously and staff it correctly and perform their duties correctly, they see the value.
    Bones I could not agree with you more. Many of the firefighters I know just roll their eyes when given the RIT assignment. It is in our nature to want to get in and do the hard work. RIT is a passion of mine and my guys KNOW that when we are given the RIT we are going to be 100% serious about it. We WILL NOT be standing around talking to other guys that are in rehab, or joking about the guy draging hose around to division "C", or discussing how we would put out this fire if we were interior. We are watching every move of the scene. At any time during our assignment I can (and often do) ask my guys how many lines are in operation or what company is doing search, vent, fire attack ect, and they better dang well be able to tell me. So many times I see RIT teams just standing around yacking and have no idea what is going on with the fire operations. I will only say that this just burns me up and leave it at that. If I get on my soap box about it I will rant on forever.


    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.
    For large commercial building yes I believe multiple RIT teams will be required, There is not doubt about that. For our bread and butter fires (the 3 Bedroom/2Bath 1500 sq feet SFR) at team of 4 trained FF should be enough. Our SOG's state that if the structure is over 4000 sq feet than more than one RIT will be established.


    This has and continuues to be an excellent post and discussion. I know the orginal topic was RIT in rural operations and we have strayed a bit from that topic. It is nice to see a post that does not have a bunch of bashing and crap that you see so many times in these forums.
    A "Good" fire is not measured by how big it is, but by the fact that everyone is going home safe, and that we possibly learned something new about firefighting. Member:IACOJ

  12. #52
    MembersZone Subscriber dday05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Station2Capt View Post


    This has and continuues to be an excellent post and discussion. I know the orginal topic was RIT in rural operations and we have strayed a bit from that topic. It is nice to see a post that does not have a bunch of bashing and crap that you see so many times in these forums.
    I agree with you on this comment as this does not happen on here very often. Sounds like you and your fd have a good grasp on RIT operations as well. We learned some new stuff in Baltimore this year in our hands on class. As the RIT & FF Survival stuff is ongoing training it is nice to see some things are getting a little bit easier to accomplish. Take care and be safe.

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