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If you are one of the few that still do not see the need for deployment of a RIT, read the following - hopefully for the sake of your firefighters, you will make a change!
Fundamentals of RIT
By Joseph McClelland
The role of the rapid intervention team (RIT) is an essential function that must be staffed at any building fire. Some view the assignment as “boring,” or a task that keeps their crew from getting into the “action.” However, RIT is an assignment that must be taken seriously at all times. You never know when a Mayday may be transmitted and you will be called to aid a brother or a sister in trouble. This article focuses on some fundamental steps a RIT must take at a fire scene prior to deployment. It discusses tasks from dispatch to just before entering the structure in a Mayday scenario, the tools you should bring for fast, effective deployment, and the functions of each RIT member.
Those who do not see the need for deployment of a RIT at building fires are reminded to look at the current standards and regulations the fire service follows: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 1500, Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program; NFPA Standard 1561, Standard on Emergency Services Incident Management System; and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Respiratory Protection Standard, 29 CFR 1910.134(g)(4), Procedures for Interior Structural Firefighting. All these standards require that personnel be available to rescue members operating inside an immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH) atmosphere. However, the development, response, make-up, and deployment of the RIT is left up to the discretion of the authority having jurisdiction.
In 2010, a total of 72 on-duty firefighter deaths occurred in the U.S. This is another sharp drop from the 105 on-duty deaths in 2008 and 82 in 2009, and the lowest annual total since NFPA began conducting this annual study in 1977.1 the average number of deaths annually over the past 10 years is 95.
Of the 72 firefighters who died while on duty in 2010, 44 were volunteer firefighters, 25 were career firefighters, two were employees of state land management agencies, and one was a member of a prison inmate crew.
This is an important annual study that all members of the fire service should be familiar with. To read the report in its entirety, click on the link below.
Thanks to all that participated and assisted our department in another successful event for 2011. The following Link will provide you a view of Parade Awards and Car Show Awards presented: