RIT: Fashionable or Useful?
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. I wasn't sure I heard that right, but I taped the seminar and sure enough....that was his position (can I attach audio to a post?)
So coming from someone with this much experience it was a punch in the stomach to our efforts to develop a County RIT - seeing as all the county Chiefs were in the audience. I'm still a fan of RIT for rural firefighting if set up correctly. But the lingering question is "RIT....fashionable, or Useful?"
Every member on the fireground is a member of the RIT
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?
Fireground Survivability and RIT
Hey K -- thanks for taking the time to reply -- give the near miss reporting systems, and the latest push toward sharing the positive outcomes of some of the close calls, a chance to develop some data and we should talk again.
RIT and firefighter safety
Kfactor, no one can argue that LODDs are not going down or that the culture must change to begin to reduce the numbers. While some of the posts have stated the purpose of RIT is to reduce LODDs (the true purpose is to prevent them), comparing the two purposes tends to further the misunderstanding that a RIT will reduce the number of LODDs that occur. If you get in trouble on the fireground, for whatever reason (some cultural and some simply catastrophic), then a team that can come and assist is a positive. It may even PREVENT a FF LODD.
Your comparisons, and implication that RIT training is not of current value (at least that's the way I've read it in your posts) is doing more of an injustice by steering people away from doing the basic training that they should be doing -- SCBA skills, disorientation drills, FF assist drills, searching (yes, for a firefighter also) skills, and also hose stretching skills, ventilation skills, etc.
The current 'packaging' of this basic training is coming under the heading of RIT, so be it. It is resulting in better trained and more proficient firefighters, so it is positive. Is it reducing the LODD numbers, no. Is it preventing FFs from becoming LODDs, possibly. If 1 person carries wire cutters and uses them, or is able to reorient after drywall or plaster fell on their head, or uses some other skill taught under any RIT training topic, then it is WORKING!
You may not rely on them, and you shouldn't, but if you steer your people or area away from doing the training then you just may be adding to the number you (and most) are trying to reduce.