Thread: RIT/FAST Teams

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    Default RIT/FAST Teams

    Since I am computer illiterate, instead of trying (and failing) again to put a link, Ill just start a new thread. In another thread, the topic of RIT team duties was brought up. In particular, what the RIT team should do if they cam upon a downed civilian while searching for a downed FF that has given a mayday.
    This is the link (I hope):http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?t=74838


    This was my response:This should not even be an issue. How many times have we all heard about FFs waiting too long to make a mayday transmission, or sometimes not even make one at all, for fear of the ribbing they will take at the firehouse, or because they are too stubborn. If another FF is calling a mayday, they are most likely in some SERIOUS sh*t. Finding and removing downed civilians is the job of the truck. Finding a brother who just have the hardest radio transmission of his life is for the RIT (FAST, RIG, RIC, whatever) team, NO MATTER WHAT. Priority if life on the fireground should never differ. 1. Yourself 2. Your brothers 3. Civilians.

    Could you live with yourself if you came across a downed civilian in a fire after a mayday was given, and instead of doing you assigned RIT duties, took the civilian out, only to find out that the FF died in that basement, and the civilian who you just dragged out was the mutt who started the fire?
    Proud East Coast Traditionalist.

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    I'm spoiled. When we go as a FAST, we have a minimum of 8 members not including command. 4 are a search team, 4 are a rescue team. The 4 search enter, find the FF(s) and supply air as needed. If they need additional tools/manpower for the removal, the rescue team is sent in. Being that the search team also stretches a rope as they go, they are able to simply call and let the rescue team know they found a civilian on the way. 2 members of the rescue team could then follow the rope to this person while the search team continues on their way.

    Leaves the majority of the FAST to continue it's main purpose (getting FF's out) and also gets the civilian out.

    Obviously, if you have a half @$$ed FAST setup like a lot of places do with only 2 or 3 guys, you would have to radio the civilian's location and pass them by. And no offense to those that are stuck working with only 2 or 3 as their FAST/RIT, but you will find that you are shorthanded. I'm sure it's out of your control and you are doing the best you can with what you got. I wish you all luck.
    "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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    I was surprised by some of the comments on the other thread. RIT is just for FF's. They should never deviate from this assignment - ever.
    I am a complacent liability to the fire service

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    Guess I disagree.

    RIT is a rescue team and it's primary purpose is to rescue downed firefighters, but to say that it should pass by a completly unprotected civilian to rescue a firefighter with survival training dressed in full protective gear, with probably some air remaining, communications, a PASS device and tools makes no sense. Obviously the civilian is more at risk and has a lessened chance of survival compared to the firefighter. As much trouble as that firefighter is in, I can see few situations where he is in more risk than the civilian given the advantages listed above.

    On my department, which is primarily volunteer, much of the personel go directly to the scene (primarily due to distance) and we don't have engines, trucks and rescues with pre-assigned tasks as often they are driver-only. We have apparatus, sometimes with manpower, that is assigned to whatever task is required at the time when they arrive. Personal arriving by POV assigned to assist with those tasks.

    Unfortunatly, the concept of RIT has not truly caught on here, especially in the rural areas for a number of reasons including old thinking, manpower limitations, limited mutual aid to provide RIT and required additional training. Even in the cities the RIT team is generally an extra 2 man medic unit. I wish it was but it takes time to change the culture of an entire region and an entire generation of leaders.

    After all the posts about how much we should risk for civilians, I guess the concept that the same posters say we should pass by a trapped civilian,who in the eyes of some posters seem to make us take extraordinary operational risks, sorta baffles me.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 03-11-2006 at 04:30 PM.

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    Hmmm, one thing I haven't seen mentioned...

    Your suppression and truck companies shouldn't stop working, just because the RIT team is inside. Someone has to put the "wet stuff on the red stuff", someone needs to vent the building, and someone needs to be doing a primary / secondary search.

    Don't confuse the functions of a DEDICATED RIT / FAST team with a "general" truck company. The RIT team is the "truck company" for firefighters in need. Period.

    PS: Doesn't your life come first, followed by that of the crew, then everyone else?
    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleMan
    Why? Because we are firemen. We are decent human beings. We would be compelled by the overwhelming impulse to save an innocent child from a tragic, painful death because in the end, we are MEN.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator
    After all the posts about how much we should risk for civilians, I guess the concept that the same posters say we should pass by a trapped civilian,who in the eyes of some posters seem to make us take extraordinary operational risks, sorta baffles me.
    If RIT is the one finding a civilian, what are the crews that are performing "truck" duties doing? Even if you don't have a formal "truck" crew, someone needs to be doing a search, right? Have an extra crew move in to rescue the down civilian, while you're RIT crew continues to go after the downed firefighter.

    When we're dealing with RIT scenarios, we aren't talking about things where having PPE, SCBA, and all the training in the world are going to be right there to help you. What's the first part of "RIT"? Rapid Intervention... If we're having to go into Rapid Intervention Mode, the conditions obviously aren't "normal" like you would expect in any other situation. Right?
    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleMan
    Why? Because we are firemen. We are decent human beings. We would be compelled by the overwhelming impulse to save an innocent child from a tragic, painful death because in the end, we are MEN.

    I A C O J
    FTM-PTB


    Honorary Disclaimer: While I am a manufacturer representative, I am not here to sell my product. Any advice or knowledge shared is for informational purposes only. I do not use Firehouse.Com for promotional purposes.

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    RIT is a rescue team and it's primary purpose is to rescue downed firefighters, but to say that it should pass by a completly unprotected civilian to rescue a firefighter with survival training dressed in full protective gear, with probably some air remaining, communications, a PASS device and tools makes no sense.
    It isnt their "primary responsibility". It is their ONLY responsibility. Youre regular search teams, who should already be in the building, should be the one taking care of the civilian. The RIT team is for FFs, with no exception.

    If I called a mayday, and I either self rescued or was found by someone else, but found out that the RIT team stopped halfway down the hall to help a civilian, I would quit that dept. Right then and there. And move far far away.
    Proud East Coast Traditionalist.

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    If while working the fireground and assigned as the RIT company, I aint stopping for sh1t until I reach the member needing help. We are the only company on the fireground with the sole responsibility of protecting and helping our own. We should take that responsibility with extreme care. Stopping to extricate a civilian is a noble idea, but one that should be accomplished by another truck company.
    Just another one of the 99%ers looking up.

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    Well we don't have the luxury of a 2nd truck. In fact, we very rarely have a single truck on the scene of structure fires as the only one in the parish is operated by the nieghboring city and many times they will not dispatch it or it is unavailable.

    The reality is we simply do not have extra personnel waiting around on the firground as our access to mutual aid is extremly limited. Due to the size of our district, mutual aid is very distant (a 25 minute plus drive for all but one department with limited resources), and the other resources available are very limited (generally a maximum of 1 engine). In addition, the neighboring city will only send 1 company (we usually request a truck as it is the only one in the county) and will not send a company for RIT duties. The company must be assigned a working task upon arrival.
    Another factor is that most of our mutual aid is from very rural companies with very little or no RIT training. Often we operate without RIT as the manpower is simply not available or we must wait for MA to arrive so that we can rotate our first due crews out to perform as RIT, as we are the only department in the area (other than the city) with the skills and tools to perform the task. Primary search is usually conducted with whatever resources we have on arrival not needed for fire control and water supply. Secondary search occurs whenever mutual aid begins to arrive (at least 25 minutes into the incident) and we have some free bodies.

    Basically in the situation discribed the RIT team would have to make the civilian grab and we would attempt to divert what other resources (manpower at staging, if any, at rehab or otherwise assigned inside) we had available to take over for RIT. Now if there was an interior crew closeby to the civilian, that maybe an option. In larger areas where there is more manpower I can see how you may have the luxery of sending in a "2nd truck", but here we simply do not have the resources.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator
    Well we don't have the luxury of a 2nd truck. In fact, we very rarely have a single truck on the scene of structure fires as the only one in the parish is operated by the nieghboring city and many times they will not dispatch it or it is unavailable.

    The reality is we simply do not have extra personnel waiting around on the firground as our access to mutual aid is extremly limited. Due to the size of our district, mutual aid is very distant (a 25 minute plus drive for all but one department with limited resources), and the other resources available are very limited (generally a maximum of 1 engine). In addition, the neighboring city will only send 1 company (we usually request a truck as it is the only one in the county) and will not send a company for RIT duties. The company must be assigned a working task upon arrival.
    Another factor is that most of our mutual aid is from very rural companies with very little or no RIT training. Often we operate without RIT as the manpower is simply not available or we must wait for MA to arrive so that we can rotate our first due crews out to perform as RIT, as we are the only department in the area (other than the city) with the skills and tools to perform the task. Primary search is usually conducted with whatever resources we have on arrival not needed for fire control and water supply. Secondary search occurs whenever mutual aid begins to arrive (at least 25 minutes into the incident) and we have some free bodies.

    Basically in the situation discribed the RIT team would have to make the civilian grab and we would attempt to divert what other resources (manpower at staging, if any, at rehab or otherwise assigned inside) we had available to take over for RIT. Now if there was an interior crew closeby to the civilian, that maybe an option. In larger areas where there is more manpower I can see how you may have the luxery of sending in a "2nd truck", but here we simply do not have the resources.
    And what if you encounter yet another civilian...and another?

    You don't have the greatest manpower so guess what...we come first...sorry but thats the way it is. This altruistic BS is just that BS...We will do anything to rescue a civilian up until the point when one of us is in a jam..if one of us is in trouble...we come first.

    If a Brother needs the FAST/RIT/RIC... the fire is probably not going to be a simple room & contents. There could be major structural collapse...lost in high heat thick smoke...brothers mask is depleted or damaged. Any civilian found who isn't within 5 feet of a exit will have to be disregarded untill manpower permits to worry about him. And I would only push them to outside the structure...I'm not dragging them out to the street...let someone else take them from there.

    Perhaps if you don't have the manpower to conduct a search and the necessary FAST/RIT company...you should stick to exterior operations for everyones benefit...it sounds like you don't have the support personell neccesary to have a safe operation.

    FTM-PTB

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    Very well said FFFRED....

    These civilians have now become "SPEED BUMPS" in my opinion. A brother/sister down is our number one concern.
    Yes if a civilian is found near a door shove them to the outside, and hope someone else will retrieve them. We have to remember, this was their emergency we came to.....it has now turned into OURS!
    Last edited by ves9102; 03-13-2006 at 04:43 PM.

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    We do have a very safe operation, it's just that we do not have the manpower to have 2 crews (one for them and one for us) standing by.
    We ALWAYS operate in pairs. We ALWAYS search with a line and almost always have a backup lined manned and charged before we make initial attack. We also have a very strict SCBA policy for interior operations.

    Search comes after we have 2 lines in operation. If the first line knocksd down the fire the backup team is often then diverted to serach unless there is an interior exposure issue. While we often do not retain a formal RIT (very few departments, paid or vol;lie do as the concept has not fully caught hold here), we often have personnel in staging or rehab who can be rapidly assembled. When staffing does permit we attempt to have a formal RIT.

    The fact that we do not have a lot of spare personnel outside does not mean we are not safe. We will let things burn if the manpower isn't there .. and to me that is operating safely.

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    Last edited by sfd2605; 03-17-2008 at 09:06 PM.

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