Just curious from fellow FFN, on what does your designated rapid intervention crew do when they arrive on the scene of a working structure fire?


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Are they allowed to be pro-active on the fireground? Or do they stage their tools and equipment and await an active assignment of a firefighter down?




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In our area, the RIT is allowed to be proactive but unfortunately, many of the Co's assigned to RIT just stage and wait around to be activated.
A good RIT should be proactive. The Officer or team leader should go to the IC and get a situational report(including how many firefighters are operating and where, where the fire/hazard is, are there any other new hazards, who is the 2nd RIT and where is the EMS staged, how long have the Co's been operating, etc...). While this is going on, the rest of the RIT should be moving around the building setting up ladders, counting doors/windows, putting lights in doorways, etc...
The RIT should then meet back up, exchange info and discuss possible plans of making entry/egress. At this point the Officer/Team leader should report back to the Command Post and monitor and developing situations while the rest of the RIT stages in an area that grants them ease of access to the structure.
We have 2 levels of RIT.

The second Engine arriving at the scene will establish an Initial Rapid Intevention Team (IRIT) this team is staffed with 2 firefighters and basically is a check box filled that allows the first engine to make entry. They will pull a back up line and a RIT line, as well as do a 360 survey of the structure.

Once the third engine arrives they establish a full RIT with 3 firefighters (the second engine stretches the back up line into the fire) They are charged with keeping eyes on the building, removing or controlling any hazards on the outside of the occupancy(laddering, opening doors, opening windows, removind security devices etc.), and reporting dangerous conditions to command. They will also begin respond to any firefighter emergency on the fireground

Once the hazards are removed the RIT will stage so that they can have eyes on all corners of the occupancy.

I like to think RIT stands for RECON and INTERIOR safety TEAM.
our FAST (or RIT as you call it) stands by no work for them unless a mayday is transmitted or they get called to work in which time another mutual aid call goes out for another FAST team.
A good company officer assigned to RIT duties should have his people stage out of the way and near command if possible and do his own 360, then get situation reports from command. The guys on the team should also be proactive about checking their tools and briefing about things like access/escape and potential hazards they might encounter.
I sure like Robert's plan.
Our RIT never stands around. They are throwing ladders and helping out around the fire ground whenever possible. Sure, they have the equipment ready in case something happens, but why sit around after that? I don't call checking your equipment of being proactive because that should have been done at the beginning of each shift. I guess its different with a volunteer department, but here every saw, fan, etc gets started at the beginning of the tour. RIT usually gets assigned to the working fire dispatch.(6th due engine and 3rd due truck)
At this volunteer department everything gets checked at the beginning of every day, but you can't check things often enough.
So Kevin, your FAST is staged and await a mayday.

When your FAST is ordered to deploy on a Mayday for a firefighter fallen into the basement, do they have idea about the layout of the building? Do they know whether the basement has a bulkhead, a full size walk out, or no secondary means of egress?
Hey Norm heres another thought I throw out when teaching the Managing the Mayday program to Company and Chief Officers. What about empowering your RIC or RIT with an SOG that states they can act as Safety Officers on the fireground? I have the entire RIC do a good 360 together after staging their equipment, and every 15-20 minutes thereafter. That way you have multiple eyes on the size-up, the operation, plus the entire RIC company gets to be involved. I have seen a pro-active RIC save more lives by preventing the mayday from addressing problems before bad things happened.

Some argue they are not ready to deploy... well the pre-knowledge of the building, the access, egress, the preventative measures they can provide offsets the few seconds delay... Some places have Engine and Truck as RIC, and I suggest one company at a time does the 360, while the other is staged.

First hand Story - I once had a RIC, contact command with a locked bulkhead. They requested if they could force the doors to assure easy access/egress if and when a mayday occurred in the basement. (something I taught) When they popped that door they found a person huddled in the stairway cut off by the fire on the first floor. That RIC made a grab! Now if they were standing by in the street (not allowed to leave the staging area) that guy could have easily missed.
our rit is very pro active normaly when we arive we take over the fire attack( we are the only dept. for a ways that has a cafs) and the pre. fire attack crew is rit and vent. our tanker driver ( always right behind our engin is our 360 man) and it always works great
out here we are a small rural volunteer dept,but if it becomes a 3rd alarm auto aid is activated and the big city boys who does most of our trainning for ff1 and 2 has thier own rit teams and their own guidelines for rit, which we follow, as well as most of the other vol depts around us,there are some of us that like to man the station for rush hour drive time, along with nites and weekends so we make sure our equipment is up and ready
What are your thoughts on my comments to Kevin and Norm about pro-active verse complacent RIC operations?
Hopefuly they will intervene...rapidly.

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