Need help starting a "Smoke Diver" program - RIT and Advanced SCBA

I'm trying to get a "Smoke Diver" based program started out here in Kwajalein. All training will take place in house. Any pointers for training resources? sites? outline curriculum? Even a PT breakdown for a final evaluation level? We know that we are months away from being up and running; but it is for the good of our community and our FD. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

John Crandall
USAKA Fire Dept

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I found the Georgia Smoke Divers Class outline on the internet once, SUPER HARD core, very impressive. Not sure where I found it, you might want to try and look at it.
Are you looking for a class you can teach or have someone come in and teach your department?

Hi...We just had a program here for "FAST"...Same thing as RIT might want to contact New York State OFPC (Office of Fire Prevention and Control) and ask for some of their material/books...we took ours through them...pretty intense course....BUT they wanted us to have Firefighter Survival first as a prerequesite....sort of to weed out those not suited for it I guess...Stay safe and always remember to keep the faith....Paul
As of right now, we are looking to teach /train In-house. Budget restraints- like most of us are experiencing across the country. It is my hope that eventually those firefighters that do participate will continue on to one of the states academies that have a certifiable Smoke Diver program nd that they will be beter prepared for the challenges.
Hi John! I'm glad i found your question. I love RIT and FAST training! I took a 50 hour RIT Under Fire class in Urbana Illinois this last fall. It was sweet! I have taken alot of RIT training in the past and i am helping head it up in our station. I think the biggest issue with RIT is awareness and disipline. Not just for the rit team but all the guys. We ran guys through our mayday course and not one called a mayday! If your guys dont get it in their heads to call for help when they're in trouble, then you don't realy need a rit. We went about it a different way and got some pretty good results on the third go around. We explained all of the scenerios to the guys and they were all situations where firefighters were killed.On the second go around, we gave each scenerio a time limit but didn't tell the guys that there was a time limit! If they didn't call a mayday in that time frame. . . . we told them that if it had been a real situation. . . . . they would have died! We basicaly killed them on paper to show them that the second you get in trouble, you need to call a mayday. If you think your lost. . . your lost! If you think your stuck. . . your stuck! Call the freakin mayday! Time is everything on a mayday. As far as props go, make the RIT dig to get to the guy. Make it impossible to get to him. See how they react. All the studies i've seen prove that the initial RIT doesn't always make it to the downed FF! They go in, get as far as they can, and BEFORE their bell goes off they need to be headin for the exit. To get a downed FF out, it might take two even three RITs. Diggin through shit to find a brother is intense! But your RIT can't pass the point of no return. We already got one guy down, we don't need an entire RIT down with him.Try it and see how pissed your guys are that the they can't get to him. Box spring matresses tipped on end work really good. Make them cut through two or three of them with line's men pliers and see how discouraged they get! It takes modivation! There is no room for error. They say RAPID INTERVENTION TEAM, but sometimes there is nothing rapid about it! : )
I took an advanced SCBA "Smoke Diver" course at the Monmouth Co Fire School years ago. Contact the staff there and see if they can help you out at

A buddy of mine spent some time in Kwajalein in the 90s and he loved it.

Be safe,

Smoke Diver and RIT training are very different things.

Smoke Diver is oriented at individual performance, while RIT is team oriented.

The proposed NFPA 1407 Standard on Training for Rapid Intervention Teams has all of the objectives you need for basic RIT training.

As other posters have indicated, despite the training, if the Mayday isn't called quickly, then RIT isn't going to be effective. Despite the recent nationwide focus on RIT training and procedures, there just aren't a lot of RIT success stories. However, if you have a downed firefighter, a well-trained and well-staffed RIT gives you a much higher chance of a successful firefighter rescue than a few individuals who have completed a smoke diver course.
Look up Jim McCormick's Fire Department Training Network. Has a great RIT program establshed.
Check out its a great sight
The Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute,, I believe these folks have been training smoke divers since the late 50's, I know they will help you any way they can, plus they have MFRI- on line training where you can find a assortment of in-station drills. Its a great site and resource to use for all firefighters and EMT's.
try contacting Tiger Schmittendorf he may be able to help here is a synopsis of our smoke diver course

Mask Confidence

This course is offered at the local level by individuals instructed through the Train-the-Trainer program offered at the Academy of Fire Science. State certificates are not issued for this program. Mask Confidence provides a solid indoctrination in emergency procedures and establishes confidence in using self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) in a crisis situation

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