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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I agree Reg.

But are they expected to intervene from the street post mayday call or are they allowed to be active on the fireground before the mayday occurrs?
They can be proactive only to the extent that the integrity of the team as a RIT is not compromised.
Pete: Co-creator Chautauqua County Technical Rescue / FAS Team.
Padre I agree with your thought. But the interpretation of that statement is wide open. do you mean they must stay together and wait for a mayday, do they throw ladders if needed? Can they survey the scene, (360) ???

Please give us some examples that fit within the scope of the integrity of being ready. I personally left some ideas on how to make the fireground safer by utilizing your RIT or RIC to Norm on the previous page... those were real life experiences not from a book.
My preference is that they remain near the primary entry point and do nothing else. But then the reality of a small vollie force sets in and I realize they may be needed for other jobs.

SO my compromise would be that they are available for other LIMITED functions. Rehab and swapping bottles and such.
So you actually do not have a RIT team. You have an engine crew who stages outside in the event of an emergency. A RIT team should be a completely seperate specially trained group of senior firefighters. I think its great that you estabilsh a pseudo RIT team upon arrival, but you should be having an actual RIT team activated. I am a member of a RIT team and although I wasn't on the call, our RIT team was activated to a call where there was a collapse. There were two trapped. Obviously the emotions were high for our guys but the firefighters who had the two trapped men were emotionally out of control. Our team was able to save one of the two firefighters. I don't know that there would have been any survivors if they were using your departments methods. Just a thought.
Two thumbs up to Padre's comment.

I interpret his comment to mean that they are free to perform fire ground tasks that are related to safety and survival on the fireground. Some of those would be: a situation report from the I.C., a fire scene 360 by the entire crew, pre-emptively throwing escape ladders, removing safety/security bars from appropriate doors and windows and opening them if appropriate, and having their RIT equipment staged and ready to deploy. There are other minor tasks RIT members can jump in and help with (changing air bottles, jacking/pulling/moving hoselines, grabbing a tool for an interior crew member), as long as those tasks don't distract the team members from their primary assignment.

RIT crews should not be performing tasks (outside of responding to the may day) that cause them to go on air or that prematurely exaust them. A RIT crew is no good to anyone if they've been working so hard prior to the may day that they're already exausted when the may day hits.

I saw one comment mentioned here that I like, though I have some concerns about it. That being that the RIT members, after they've accomplished their readiness tasks, each deploy to a corner of the building so that the team members have eyes on as many sides of the building as possible. My primary concern with this would be getting the team deployed rapidly due to communication (particularly radio) problems. Along those same lines, I'm wondering what method is used to keep the team members apprised of current situatiion reports? Bring the team together every 10-20 minutes for an update? CO/Team leader go to each RIT member individually and update them? Or is there another method? Other than those concerns, I can really see some potential benefit to this.
For those who RIT or RIC for manpower in rehab or changing / filling air bottles, my question would be where is that located? I know rehab around my way can be a block away from the fire scene. And as for filling bottles, is the air unit near the scene or is that distant like staging and rehab area.

My concern with these tasks would be too much distraction for the RIC member(s) as they would have to concentrate on rehab procedures, and face to face chatting with other brothers.... thus would have no focus on the building, fire operation, status of the fire, accountability, the changing or detoriating conditions, simple radio traffic of operation, and mayday readiness.

But hey everybody does it differently...
Yeah, for us, due to being a smaller dept., rehab often takes place on the tailboard or in the cab of an apparatus at the fire scene.

So a RIT crew member changing out an air bottle is simply being done where the RIT crew has staged themselves and their gear for deployment, which is generally in the same area/side of the building where attack lines are entering the building.

It's not standard practice for us to have a RIT crew changing bottles or moving hoselines, it's just something individual crew members might take a moment to do in order to make life easier on their tired or busy brothers/sisters.
Going to start this off the correct way....

IN MY OPINION, the RIT is assigned for RAPID deployment in case of a firefighter down. Why would you want them to multitask aside simple safety issues they can correct in moments. Why would you want the RIT to exhaust themselves of energy (especially in weather like we are having) doing tasks that should be done by assigned crews? If RIT is on scene multitasking, how long would it take them to get back to their equipment and deploy?
I know not every building is a skyscraper or a city block but terrain, weather and also call volume on shift can play a decent role in costing them valuable seconds which we don't have to afford.

I say if they are RIT, they stay RIT until the incident is deemed clear. Nobody's safety on scene is more paramount than that of our own brothers and sisters. Why change that?

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