Hi All, I just came back from an officers meeting and we were told we are switching from RIT to On Deck for fire ground operatons. We have done RIT for the last seven years. What are your feelings on the On Deck approach. We were given just the basics on it with more training to follow.


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I would assume that it's having 2 ready to go at the door, but isn't that the same as RIT?
On average it takes RIT almost 21 minutes fromt the time of the mayday, to make a rescue. So, if you have already dipped into your reserve air, or you alarm was going off at the time you declared the mayday, then in 20 minutes your gonna already be dead. Thus the 10 minute rule. If you have 50% of your air left when you get into trouble, that is going to buy you a lot more time.
Now, because of the shortened work period, it's going to take a lot more people to fight a fire, thus the On-Deck. The company that is currently On-Deck, is basically the next company to be assigned. Now that assignment could be RIT "if needed" or they may be assigned something else. When they are assigned, then another company moves to the On-Deck area. Now in the On-Deck area, should be a RIT kit that was brought there by the first On-Deck company.
So basically you go to On-Deck, then to working status for 10 minutes. Then you go to "Recycle" where you get a fresh bottle, something to drink, and then get ready to go back to On-Deck. You do this up to 3 times, then instead of Recycle, you go to "rehab". Here is where your checked for vitals, and assessed. From there it's home. So I hope I answered your questions. Basically it requires a lot of people. This is geared mainly for large scenes, but can work to an extent on smaller residential fires also. Also, there can be multiple On-Deck areas depending on the size of the incident. There is much more to this than what I have spewed forth, but I hope that it gives you an idea of what the program is.

From Firehouse Forums
Interesting, ever heard of the "KISS" concept.
sorry, but i have some questions about "on deck" and "rit"

- why the rit-tactic takes 21 min? in this time the mostly are dead, or?!
- when you gone in a house of fire, you don´t have a rit-crew in standby at the object entrance?
- how many firefighters are at the hot-spot in the first-attack-time?

stay safe

best regards from germany

Hi Cody, You are exactly right. "On Deck" seems to be a good concept. The crew that comes out to "recycle" has been in there already and knows the layout if the next crew were to get in trouble. Also the 10-minute limit will ensure you have enough air to get out and not wait until the low 5-minute left alarm sounds and possibly run out of air making your way back. It will however be hard to force some firefighters out of the building after 10-minutes.
it is similar to the practice we used back in the late 80's, but the change is the 10-minute limit. One draw back is the requirement for extra personnel, but anything major mutual aid will come into play.
Hey Jim, I did some research into RIt Teams and the average is 20-minutes to get aFF out that has called a Mayday. It does seem to be a better use of man power with the On Deck model. Do some work and rehab yourself. Studies over the years have shown that the fire is not the only danger, it is heart attacks at the scene and after the fire. Time will tell if the on deck model is the answer to the number one killer of firefighters.
While I think the idea is interesting, there are a couple of problems I see.

1. After the first couple of evolutions, you are dealing with a fatigued rescue crew. Sure they have been through rehab, but they are still going to be less capable than when they arrived on scene. Rehab is great, but it doesn't put you back at full effectiveness.

2. You have almost no control over the makeup of the crew that is serving the RIT function while "On Deck"
You want your most experienced firefighters manning the RIT team. With the "On Deck" system you have no control over this.
To me that sounds more like the 2 in-2 out rule. The RIT team is there in case a firefighter gets into trouble. They should do nothing more than stand-by ready to go if called upon. In the 2 in-2 out, I think, that means if 2 go into the structure there should be 2 more ready to go to relieve them when they need it.
The estimated time of firefighter removal is not what was asked. The times indicated though were afforded from a study in which occurred in a commercial structure. Getting back to Paul's question...

I have been teaching RIT for (10) years and Commanding RIT Ops for (5). The traditional method of RIT or RIC stand-by has valid points. The On-Deck Method of Firefighter Stand-By does as well. Phoenix area designed on-deck and I am not associated or ever took the class for the on-deck method. I only know what I have read, like I state to many of my students, sometime enough to get me in trouble I guess.

My opinion only: The method of continually rotating on-deck like in sports, is great for keeping everyone involved. In the beginning, the biggest bitch on the fireground was "I'm not in the business to stand around and watch others fight fire." Firefighters like to go to fires, they like to get dirty, work hard and feel good about their contribution. And in the beginning of RIT, standing around afforded none of that satisfaction. A complacent RIT mentality though can be very dangerous.

The on-deck method from what I understand provided everyone time to play and kept your head in the game (mentally). It shouldn't take much more manpower in theory than traditional RIT but in reality it is difficult to have quality assurance unless you are a large department.

I teach how the assigned "traditional" RIT can be better utilized and educated about the overall fireground operation before a mayday occurs. Knowing the building and the progression of operations to the point of suffering a Mayday.

Without typing all night, I will afford you with the opportunity to take that traditional RIT method, identify them on the fireground, empower with a solid policy to be additional on-scene Safety Officers, let them do a methodical walk around of the structure, identify the building hazards, or potential hazards, correct them on the spot (if possible) and see the structure from 4 sides (x) repeated 360's during a lengthy fire operation.

When a mayday occurs, with constant changeover of who is the standby team, do they actually know what is in the rear? (whether ground ladders are placed or it has a bulkhead access, is the bulkhead unlocked?) when a firefighter reports he has fallen through the floor and into the basement, I would hope the standby team would use the shortest and most efficient route to rescue said brother. Also rotating crews into the RIT standby position, the Rescue Branch Chief Officer has constant variables to consider before a mayday occurs, like very little knowledge of who they are at that given time, no potential pre-deployment discussion, what the team is actually capable of (because we all know everyone on the department is an A-Team guy, right) and essentially, every person on the fireground (MUTUAL AID) included needs to be fully RIT trained and certified, otherwise you could possibly have a rescue team that has little to no firefighter rescue and removal training.

Let no man's ghost come back to say our training let him down.... almost every specific rescue / removal drill has a name because a brother died. And if I were to name off a bunch of those drills, I am sure many here would say, Can you please explain what is that drill?

Non-RIT trained personnel have no business being on-deck awaiting a mayday deployment, maybe on deck for another fireground operation, but where I work they call that staging.

"Non- RIT trained personnel have no business being on-deck awaiting a mayday deployment." I could not agree with that statement more! I am a Captain with 20-years experience and have had class, trianing..Blah, Blah, Blah but no RIT training other then what we do at drills. Do I feel comfortable being on RIT, Not really! Like everyone on the fire ground, I sure as hell do my best to get my fellow firefighter out of trouble and hope to hell I do not get myself in a jam.

Like most things in EMS and the fire business it is always changing to something new and improved.
This sounds more like hockey than firefighting. So what, the IC calls for a "line change" and everyone bails, then another crew comes in? You would need a stank load of people to effectively put this in to play. This sounds more like a way to bump up your call stats than operate safely. So a 1 one alarm assignment becomes a four alarm assignment? The command and control aspects along with accountability seem more difficult.
In combination with RIT, the "on deck" approach sounds good. As far as a substitute for RIT, I'm not so sure.

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