On June 9-13, 2003, the Downers Grove Fire Academy in association with Firehouse Magazine and Firehouse .com held a 40 hour hands on rapid intervention course named R.I.C.O. (Rapid Intervention Company Operations).
Approximately 90 firefighters from across the United States were in attendance for the hands on with another 100 attending the Rapid Intervention Seminar held on June 14. The course was meant to illustrate the need for the concepts of rapid Intervention and establish the fire service's responsibility to incorporate it as a major part of its emergency response on the fireground. The course involved basic survival skills and tool usage progressing rapidly to challenge the students with some of the most intense Rapid Intervention Combat Drills and Scenarios that they can face as part of a RIT.
The students ended the week very tired but hopefully with enough valuable information that they can pass along in doing their part to help make the fireground safer.
Many of the top fire service instructors from across the nation were in attendance to pass techniques and information along to the students. The instructors included B/C Butch Cobb (Jersey City FD), Capt. Mitch Crooker(Chicago FD), B/C Rich Edgeworth (Chicago FD), Lt. Dave Gallagher (Huber Heights FD), D/C Walter Giard (Worcester FD), F/F Dave Hayward (FD Training Network, Indianapolis FD), B/C Bob Hoff (Chicago FD), Lt. Rick Kolomay (Schaumburg FD), Capt. Mike Kuzmicki (Willow Springs FD), Lt. Pat Lynch (Chicago FD), Engr. John Lovato (Downers Grove FD), Lt. Mike Mason (Downers Grove FD), F/F Jim Mc Cormack (FD Training Network, Indianapolis FD),F/F Larry McCormack (Oak Lawn FD), D/C Mark McLees (Syracuse FD), Lt. Jeff Pindelski (Downers Grove FD), Bob Pressler (FDNY Ret.), F/F Gary Rauch (Downers Grove FD), D/C Tom Shervino (Oak Lawn FD), D/C Mike Smith (Dist. of Columbia FD) and Lt. Will Trezek (Chicago FD). The course was designed by Lt. Mike Mason and Lt. Jeff Pindelski of the Downers Grove FD.