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R.I.T. Rapid Intervention Team. Mission Statement. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”(John 15:13). R.I.T. “Influence Of Tragedy” There Is No Greater Influence Of Change In The Fire Service Than A Line Of Duty Death Of A Firefighter.

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Mission statement

Mission Statement

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”(John 15:13)

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  • “Influence Of Tragedy”

  • There Is No Greater Influence Of Change In The Fire Service Than A Line Of Duty Death Of A Firefighter.

  • Yet, There Is No Greater Tragedy Than That Of A Fallen Firefighter Whose Death Prompted The Passage Of A Safety Policy Which May Have Prevented His Death…..

  • Author Unknown

You have got to be kidding me rit

“You have got to be kidding me, RIT!”

  • 10 Most Common Responses:

  • 10) “You have got to be kidding me, R.I.T.!

  • 9) “ What, you want us to stand here?”

  • 8) “ If you let us get out of R.I.T., we’ll put this fire out!”

  • 7) “Who’s idea was this”

  • 6) “You go,we go (nowhere).”

You have got to be kidding me rit1

“You have got to be kidding me, RIT!”

  • 5) “Ya, sure, we’ll stand here and do R.I.T, or Rectal Insertion of Thumb.”

  • 4) “We waited all year for a fire, and now we get to watch it from the front yard.”

  • 3) “ Leave the R.I.T. for the outstanding firefighters`!

  • 2) “We can be the R.I.T for rehab!”

  • 1) “Wow, we get to herd sheep in the front lawn again!”



  • Definition, Purpose, Concepts

  • Why do we have R.I.T.?

  • Case Studies

  • Mental conditioning

  • Deployment/Equipment for R.I.T. operations

  • Preparing for hands on

  • Hands on practical evolutions



  • Rapid Intervention Teams are crews of at least two members who may be called upon to supply rescue techniques to other firefighters operating a the scene of an emergency. These crews will have at least the same level of training and protective equipment as those operating at the scene.

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Rapid Intervention Teams

  • A function of Command

  • Assembled in teams of 2 or more

  • Bring rescue equipment to Command

  • Perform own size-up of scene

  • May do other functions as long as available immediately

  • Most important assignment given to a company

    • Protect and rescue firefighters

Rapid intervention teams

Rapid Intervention Teams

  • Utilized at any time firefighters are at risk

    • structural firefighting

    • Is to locate and rescue lost, trapped, and/or injured firefighters on the fire ground.

    • hazardous materials response

    • technical rescue

    • water rescue or recovery

      • during attack and hazard operations

Rapid intervention teams1

Rapid Intervention Teams

  • Purpose

    • Provide for the establishment of a Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) within the Incident Management System

      • Essential function of COMMAND

        • Allows for dedicated company assigned to this function

        • Meets current federal and local regulatory requirements

        • One of the last industries to apply rescue of our own to work place

          • Work Place = Emergency Scene

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Concepts of R.I.T.

“The Concept is one of Attitude”

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  • Concepts of R.I.T.

  • Attitude is everything!!!

    • It doesn’t take a 500,000 dollar squad to begin thinking and ACTING…

    • Do you come dressed for the party?

    • Firefighters are killed surrounded by 1/2” sheetrock.

    • “Don’t give up! Mentality is essential!”

    • Who do you want coming to get you?

    • Rapid Intervention Crew

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Personal Skills Required for RIT Assignment

  • Size-up Skills

  • Building Construction

  • Fire Spread and Behavior

  • Communications

  • Aggressive “Can-do” spirit

  • Use of multiple types of tools and equipment

  • Ability to act fast under poor conditions



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Team Skills Required for RIT Assignment

  • Must be familiar with all aspects of assignment

    • Fireground is not the place to learn

    • Preparation in training will begin process

  • Ability to function as a team

    • Identification of key tasks and positions

Why have this school

Why have this school?

  • Firefighter Injuries 1995 - 94,500

  • 50,640 Injuries on the Fire Ground

  • Problems:

    • Less fires but same number of deaths

    • Were described as “routine fires”

    • Several “things” went wrong.

    • Common factors involved.

Why have this school1

Why have this school?

Fatality Statistics 1997NFDC

  • 43.6% Fire Ground / 40 of 94

    • 13 Heart Attack

    • 8 Asphyxiation

    • 7 Crushing

    • 5 Internal Trauma

    • 3 Burns

    • 1 Heat Stroke

    • 1 Drown

    • 1 Asthma Attack

    • 1 Shot

      43.3% caught or trapped

Why have this school2

Why have this school?

  • Declining number of structure fires.

  • Less fire ground experience.

  • PPE too protective?

  • Lost or separated from team

  • Hotter Fires

  • Malfunctioning SCBA

  • Inactivated PASS device

  • Lack of knowledge of self-rescue techniques

Common factors contributing to firefighter injury fatality

Common Factors Contributing ToFirefighter Injury & Fatality

  • Failure to read the building - # 1 overall factor

    • Lack of, or incomplete size up

    • Lack of knowing building construction and fire behavior

  • No Pass device

    • NFPA reports 1984-94, 173 FF fatalities

    • 160 with no pass device

    • 6 with pass not turned on

    • only 7 with pass device turned on

Common factors contributing to firefighter injury fatality cont

Common Factors Contributing ToFirefighter Injury & Fatality (Cont.)

  • Heavy Fire on lower levels

    • Walk out basements

    • Floor weakened or holes burnt through

  • Communications - Information between IC & Companies

    • Hackensack, NJ 5 fatalities, called for help over 30 minutes, 17 minutes after collapse last call for help.

    • Indianapolis, called for help 7 times in 5 minutes.


Common factors contributing to firefighter injury fatality cont1

Common Factors Contributing ToFirefighter Injury & Fatality (Cont.)

  • Accountability

    • # 1 factor in accountability is the officer knowing where his/her people are.

    • 25% of all firefighter fatalities are due to a lack of accountability

Common factors contributing to firefighter injury fatality cont2

Common Factors Contributing ToFirefighter Injury & Fatality (Cont.)

  • Hotter fires - Since 1970 fires have tripled the BTU output.

    • Iowa (Royers) L X W X H / 100 = GPM

    • NFA L X W / 3 = GPM

  • Energy Efficient Windows

  • Average apartment has over 2500 lbs... Of plastic

  • Temperature inversion at flashover - 1100 at ceiling 1700 at floor.

  • Deteriorating buildings

  • Light weight and truss construction

    • Light weight truss can fail as soon as 4 minutes

Common factors contributing to firefighter injury fatality cont3

Common Factors Contributing ToFirefighter Injury & Fatality (Cont.)

85 - 90% of Firefighters have

never practiced

Firefighter Rescue

General information

General Information

  • On the average 100 firefighters will die in the line of duty.

  • 27% Trauma related

  • 20% from asphyxia and burns

  • Firefighters under age 35 are more likely to be killed by traumatic injuries than from medical cases like heart attacks.

General information1

General Information

  • 57% of deaths were members of volunteer or combination departments.

General information2

General Information

  • NFPA 1500 and 1561 have established the basic terms of what Rapid Intervention involves.

  • NFPA 1500 states, “that rapid intervention teams are essentially risk management tools.”

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NFPA Requirements for RIT

General information3

General Information

  • According to Section 6-2.1.1,”The concept of risk management shall be utilized on the basis of the following principles”:

  • (a) Activities that present a significant risk to safety of members shall be limited to situations where there is the potential to save endangered lives.

General information4

General Information

  • (b) Activities that are routinely employed to protect property shall be recognized as inherent risks to the safety of members, and actions shall be taken to reduce or avoid these risks.

  • (c) No risk to the safety of members shall be acceptable when there is no possibility to save lives or property.

Osha 1910 134 2 in 2 out rule

OSHA 1910.134 (“2 in 2 out rule”)

  • A Rapid Intervention Team should fulfill the requirements as specified in the 29 CFR Part 1910.134 regulation

    • A minimum of four individuals is required before entry into the hazard area (interior operations) may begin

      • Two of the four must be present and ready outside the hazard area

      • Must be identically equipped

    • Crews in hazard area must remain in either voice, visual or tethered contact with each other at all times

      • Radio may not be substituted for direct visual contact

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Case Histories

  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Memphis, Tennessee

  • Denver, Colorado

  • Columbus, Ohio

  • Burr Ridge, IL

    • Other of note not included in this presentation

      • Hackensack, NJ

      • Seattle, WA

      • Philadelphia, PA

      • New York, NY

Must Know Info.

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Case Histories Pittsburgh 3 Firefighters Killed

Three Pittsburgh firefighters died on Feb 14, 1995 died at a dwelling fire after they were unable to escape the interior of a building. All three firefighters were together in one room and had exhausted their air supplies.

- 3 other firefighter were rescued from same room, accountability did not identify all who were lost.

- All 3 had PASS devices that were not activated

- No RIT available to rescue lost and trapped firefighters

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Case HistoriesMemphis High-Rise Kills 2 Firefighters

2 Memphis Firefighters will killed on April 11, 1994 in a high-rise fire. Both firefighters died when trapped on the fire floor of this building. 1 firefighter became trapped by cable TV wire which had fallen from the ceiling area and wrapped around his SCBA bottle.

- Both firefighters became separated from each other and ran out of air. PASS devices were worn but never activated.

- Rescue crews lacked understanding of position of trapped firefighters and crawled right past one member

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Case HistoriesDenver Office Fire Kills 1 Firefighter

A Denver firefighter was killed on September 28, 1982 when he became trapped inside the structure by the failure of lightweight construction members. Numerous attempts at rescue from a confined space through a window frame were unsuccessful.

- Firefighter was separated from his crew when collapse occurred.

- Rescue crews were unable to assist firefighter through window.

- Limited visibility and victim position were factors in the rescue attempt.

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Case HistoriesColumbus Commercial Fire Kills 1 Firefighter

A firefighter was killed when he fell through a hole in the floor of a mixed commercial occupancy on July 25, 1987. This firefighter was located early into his entrapment and despite many heroic efforts to rescue him, firefighters were unable to remove him from the hole he had fallen through.

- Numerous attempts to pull and lift firefighter

were unsuccessful

- Self-rescue techniques did not work due to

altered mental status

- Crews had to abandon structure with firefighter

still trapped inside

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Case HistoriesPleasantview Firefighter Killed in Single Family Dwelling

On December 6, 1989, Lt. Joseph Samec died while battling a residential house fire in Burr Ridge, IL. Lt. Samec and his crew tried to rapidly exit the structure due to heavy involvement of the basement when the floor collapsed.

- Rescue attempts included face to face and holding of arms/hands were unsuccessful.

- Lt. Samec breached two walls in his attempt to escape but failed to make the stairs and was found face down on the staircase.

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Case Studies - Summary

  • May Joe Samec, John Nance, Mark Langvardt, and the 100 other firefighters who have make the SUPREME SACRAFICE every year rest in peace forever.

    • Their memory serves as a catalyst for how and why we train

    • We must learn for these tragedies and every “near-miss” that occurs

    • We must revisit these occurrences as often as possible

R i t is not rapid

R.I.T. is not rapid

  • Phoenix Fire Department study:

  • Results:

  • -rescue crew ready state 2.50 minutes

  • -Mayday to R.I.C.entry 3.03 minutes

  • -R.I.C. contact with downed firefighter 5.82 minutes.

  • Total time for each crew inside 12.33 minutes.

Phoenix fire department study

Phoenix Fire Department study:

  • The drills showed that a 3000psi bottle was good for 13.09 to 24.31 minutes of air.

  • The average time was 18.7 minutes.

  • Average time from mayday to removal was 21 minutes.

  • R.I.C. teams were running out of air during the removal phase.

Front of southwest supermarket march 14 2001 photos courtesy of the phoenix az fire department

Front of Southwest Supermarket, March 14, 2001. [Photos courtesy of the Phoenix (AZ) Fire Department.]

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  • States in the special report: “Rapid Intervention Teams And How to Avoid Needing Them”.

  • “Not every firefighter will be assigned to a R.I.T., but all members of the fire department should be instructed on the purpose, policies, and rules governing a R.I.T. and the conditions which it would be deployed.”



  • Three consistent ratios:

  • -It takes 12 firefighters to rescue “one”.

  • -One in five R.I.T. members will get into some type of trouble themselves.

  • - A 3000 p.s.i. SCBA bottle has 18.7 minutes of air (plus or minus 30%).

March 2004 ebenezer baptist church pittsburgh pa

March 2004 - Ebenezer Baptist Church - Pittsburgh, PA

The fire continues to consume the church roof and Pittsburgh fire crews attempt to extinguish the fire.

As fire consumes the church roof, Safety Chief Charles Brace, (first white helmet from the left), observes operations trying to keep Pittsburgh firefighters safe during this dangerous fire.

March 2004 ebenezer baptist church pittsburgh pa1

March 2004 - Ebenezer Baptist Church - Pittsburgh, PA

Heavy fire erupts from the roof of the historic Ebenezer Baptist church as Incident Commander Deputy Chief David Manfredo (center white helmet) directs crews in operations. Manfredo was seriously injured when the bell tower steeple collapsed striking him with bricks and debris.

March 2004 ebenezer baptist church pittsburgh pa2

March 2004 - Ebenezer Baptist Church - Pittsburgh, PA

Immediately after the steeple collapse, Pittsburgh firefighters rush to the aid of their fallen comrades. In the lower left, Deputy Chief David Manfredo, who was the fireground Incident Commander, is seen lying unconscious after being struck by falling bricks and debris. He was one of the more seriously injured firefighters and had to undergo facial surgery.

March 2004 ebenezer baptist church pittsburgh pa3

March 2004 - Ebenezer Baptist Church - Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh firefighters tend to another fallen comrade that was buried in exterior bricks and debris.

March 2004 ebenezer baptist church pittsburgh pa4

March 2004 - Ebenezer Baptist Church - Pittsburgh, PA

This is the view of the Ebenezer church after the bell tower had collapsed killing 2 firefighters and injuring 28.

March 2004 ebenezer baptist church pittsburgh pa5

March 2004 - Ebenezer Baptist Church - Pittsburgh, PA

  • This cartoon was originally featured in the Tuesday, March 16, 2004 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

  • Created by Randy Bish, this cartoon is an excellent tribute to the sacrifice that Battalion Chief Charles Brace and Master Firefighter Richard Stefanakis made fighting the Saturday, March 13, 2004 fire at the Ebenezeer Baptist Church in Pittsburgh, PA. Both firefighters lost their lives when the bell tower completely collapsed onto them.

  • A special thanks goes to Randy Bish for creating this cartoon which honors the lives of Battalion Chief Charles Brace and Master Firefighter Richard Stefanakis. We appreciate his permission to allow us to post it on RapidIntervention.com.

  • Cartoon courtesy of Randy Bish, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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A member of the USAR team called to the scene salutes as the body of one of the fallen firefighters is removed from the debris.

Mental conditioning

Mental Conditioning

  • Firefighter Survival TacticsLearning How to Stay Out Of Trouble:

  • Lets take at look at these five tactics.

  • I. Staying Oriented

  • II. Staying Low

  • III. Monitoring Conditions

  • a) Visually keep track of the smoke density and fire.

  • b) Tactilely monitoring heat conditions

  • IV. Monitoring the Radio

  • V. Staying Calm

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Self Rescue Concepts

  • Before Rapid Intervention even begins, firefighters must posses the ability to begin to remove themselves from mechanisms that have trapped them

    • Wires

    • Debris

    • Occupancy

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Skills Necessary for Self Rescue

  • Knowledge of Building Construction

  • Fire Spread and Fire Behavior

  • How to Call for Help

    • Mayday, Emergency Traffic

    • Where are you in building

  • How to find the FASTEST way out

    • Turnout gear protects for only seconds in flashover

    • Low air means time to get out

      • No more primary, secondary or firefighting operations

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  • Concepts of Firefighter Rescue (Cont.)

  • Anticipate problems - Everyone must be looking!!!

  • Read the building

  • 360 degree survey

  • Throw ladders

    • Engineers

    • Stand by companies

  • Clean out windows

  • Think Forcible EXIT Tools.

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  • Concepts of Firefighter Rescue (Cont.)

  • Ensure Operation of PASS when dismounting apparatus

  • Watch your air

    • Point of no return

    • SCBA Emergencies

      • Consider level of activity

  • Listen to the radio. (Lapel Mic’s)

  • Communicate to IC

    • Declare “MayDay” w/ CO. I.D. and best known location

    • Activate PASS

    • Turn on Flash Lights

    • Inform IC of noises heard, ie. Saws, Fans, Crews, etc.

    • Tap or Beat on Surroundings

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  • Concepts of Firefighter Rescue (Cont.)

  • Ensure Operation of PASS when dismounting apparatus

  • Watch your air

    • Point of no return

    • SCBA Emergencies

      • Consider level of activity

  • Listen to the radio. (Lapel Mic’s)

  • Communicate to IC

    • Declare “MayDay” w/ CO. I.D. and best known location

    • Activate PASS

    • Turn on Flash Lights

    • Inform IC of noises heard, ie. Saws, Fans, Crews, etc.

    • Tap or Beat on Surroundings

Mental conditioning1

Mental Conditioning

  • MAY DAY:

  • The U.S. Navy is an aggressive organization and it continually drills on “Abandon Ship”.

  • Fire Departments should regularly drill on getting out of buildings.

  • May Day: universal distress signal and should trigger immediate radio silence.

Mental conditioning2

Mental Conditioning

  • Managing YOUR MAY DAY

  • Orient Yourself

  • Communicate with Your Crew

  • Alert Command

  • Solve the Problem

  • Activate Your PASS

  • Solve the Problem

  • If You Can't Solve The Problem

Mental conditioning3

Mental Conditioning

  • MAY DAY Training Sessions:

  • Find a Hose line and Follow to Safety

  • Alert Command & activate PASS Device

  • Additional Training...

  • Every firefighter, and department, should participate in Get Out Alive and Rapid Intervention Team training. Sending firefighters into structures without providing them training to respond to their own emergencies should not be allowed. Sending, or assigning, rapid intervention teams that have not trained to perform rapid intervention skills is like not having a rapid intervention team at all.

Mental conditioning4

Mental Conditioning

  • Lessons learned:

  • For the MAYDAY call to be completed it must be received by someone in communications, then communications must repeat back to the firefighter the information reported. This is the only way the person calling the MAYDAY will know their message was received correctly.

  • The hands free feature of the radio is useful, but if the mike is turned facing the firefighter's coat the message will become muffled.

  • The firefighter must speak loudly, clearly, and distinctly to be heard and understood.

  • If LUNAR is not the normal day to day communications sequence for talking on the radio it may not come naturally to firefighters under MAYDAY conditions.

Mental conditioning5

Mental Conditioning

  • In some cases the radio EIB did not reset correctly. The next time the EIB was pushed the three beeps sounded indicating the open mike was on but there was no transmission.

  • It was learned that AACOFD communications could reactivate the captured channel and open the mike for an additional 20-seconds and repeat opening it as needed.

  • The AACOFD is working on purchasing user-friendly firefighting gloves. This will help in using the radio.

  • Situational awareness can be compromised very quickly in a zero visibility environment.

  • The fact that you decided to call a MAYDAY can tax your higher cognitive thinking, like where you are and what you are doing, which are important facts for the RIC.

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PROCEDUREFirefighters who are Missing, Lost, or Trapped….

In or around the structure or incident should attempt to

perform the following functions:

1.On the companies portable radio, declare a “May Day” along with your company ID and location or the best known location to the I.C.

2. Activate PASS devices to assist rescue crews in their search.

3.Point flashlight beams in the direction of rescue crews or straight in the air to alert rescuers of your location.

4.Keep the I.C. informed to noises heard to aid in their search, i.e., overhead ventilation efforts with saws, etc.

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5.Kick legs or move arms to attract rescuers.

6.Tap or beat on the surroundings.

7.Shout for help.

8.Take every measure necessary to increase survivability.

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PROCEDUREIncident Command’sResponsibility

I.C. shall perform the following functions:

1.Ask Dispatch Services to send out an alert tone on the Emergency Scene channel to get the attention of all companies in the “Hot Zone.”

2.Announce emergency traffic.

3.Declare a “May Day” on the fire ground to all companies on the radio and advise them of the following:

A.What company members are missing, lost, or trapped

B.How many firefighters are in the missing company

C.The firefighter’s last known location on the fire ground

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4.Assign the RIC to initiate a rescue at the last known location of the missing firefighters.

5.Call for the next greater alarm level.

6.Activate the emergency withdrawal procedure, if necessary.

7.Assign companies to assist or support the rescue effort.

8.Conduct a PAR of all companies to confirm the number of missing, lost, or trapped firefighters.

May day


  • In 2000, the Chesterfield, VA Fire Department conducted a lieutenant's test. Part of the testing included a field activity.

  • Seventeen candidates for lieutenant were taken to a large abandoned building, 80’ x 120’ with an open floor plan.

  • One at a time, in full turnouts, SCBA with less the 700psi, portable radio, and Nomex hood on backwards covering their face mask, each candidate was taken into the building and told the following.

  • "You are the OIC of the first engine operating at a fire in a Shopping Mall.

May day1


  • You and your crew are stretching a 1 3/4 hand line at the top of the escalator on the second floor and you encounter "cold" smoke and zero visibility. While maintaining voice contact with your crew, you have been searching for the fire. You no longer have voice contact with you crew and are now lost and disoriented. This is not a training scenario, your life depends on your actions!" (By Heather Casey. Test asks: Can you Survive? Firehouse.Com News, Sept. 28, 2000).

May day2


  • The correct actions to take were:

  • Declare an emergency on the radio

  • Activate the emergency button

  • Announce “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday, Emergency Traffic”

  • Activate the PASS device

  • Successfully merge with the RIT

May day3


  • Of the 17 candidates, only four took the correct action immediately. The fastest times to complete the tasks were four to five minutes. Some of the candidates never called Mayday (Personal communications Capt. Dave Daniels, Chesterfield FD Sept. 25, 2001).

May day4


  • Survey Results 339 Respondents


Rit dispatch

RIT: Dispatch

  • IC should establish the RIT’S whenever FD personnel are required to operate under hazardous conditions.

  • The composition and structure of RIT should be flexible based on the size and complexity of operations. The IC shall evaluate the situation and risks to operating teams and shall provide more teams commensurate with the needs of the situation

Rapid intervention teams2

Rapid Intervention Teams

  • In the early stages of an accident, the RIT shall be either:

    • On scene personnel designated and dedicated as RIT

    • On scene personnel performing other functions but ready to redeploy to perform RIT functions

  • As the incident expands in size or complexity, the RIT’s shall be on scene personnel dedicated to that function

Rapid intervention teams3

Rapid Intervention Teams

  • Reporting

    • Companies designated as RIT will bypass staging, and report directly to the IC

    • Companies designated as RIT must park their apparatus so as not to interfere with fireground operations

Rapid intervention teams4

Rapid Intervention Teams

  • If used for other tactical assignments, the RIT must be replaced by another team

  • If the need for rescue is diminished, the RIT may be assigned to other tasks

Rapid intervention teams5

Rapid Intervention Teams

  • Respond to any firefighter reported in distress

  • Assess the need for ground ladders

  • Monitor radio and maintain contact with IC for quick response if needed

  • Assess where ff personnel are located in the structure and any special tasks

  • Size up structure, if possible, walk bldg.

  • Appropriate tools carried by members

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  • Officer has a different role!

  • Responding for firefighter rescue, not suppression.

  • The chief officers must have high expectations of their RIC Officers

Equipment for r i t operations

Equipment For R.I.T. Operations

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Personal Equipment

Suggested Equipment for Self-Survival

Should be available to EACH firefighter

Equipment for r i t operations1

Equipment For R.I.T. Operations

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  • Flat head axe/halligan tool

  • Sledge hammer or maul

  • Search rope, 150’ minimum

  • Portable saws

  • Hand lights

  • Ground ladders

  • Oxygen/EMS

  • Portable radios

  • SCBA complete

  • SCBA spare bottles

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  • Key word is RAPID. Don’t overload the personnel. Equipment must be available and R.I.T.’s have priority to use it.

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$5.00 - $10.00

Self Rescue Scenarios

Cable TV, Phone, Ceiling Support, Flex Duct

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RIT Size-up Skills

  • Building Dimension

    • Occupancy

    • Construction Type

    • Placement of windows, doors, escapes, porches, etc.

  • Tactics

    • Offensive, Defensive, Defensive to Offensive

    • Command Operations in place

    • Ladders and Truck Operations

    • Time of Operations

Fire Eng. Jan 1998, R. Lasky, B. Hoff

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Other Size-up Considerations

  • Check with rehab officer on condition of firefighters

  • Check with Safety Officer and compare information

  • Relocate or add another RIT

  • Potential collapse and collapse area

  • EMS for the RIT available

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Tips from the “Pros”

Preparing for hands on

Preparing For Hands On


  • o 1. Building dimensions (length 2 width 2 height).

  • o 2. Building occupancy.

  • o 3. Building construction type: Wood frame. Heavy timber. Ordinary. Noncombustible. Fire restive.

  • o 4. Placement of windows, doors, fire escapes, porches, and so on.

  • o 5. Potential danger of high-security doors, barred windows, building modifications. TACTICS

  • o 6. Offensive, defensive, defensive-to-offensive.

  • o 7. Command operations: Check tactics sheet or board. Check accountability system. Communication/incident commanders.

  • o 8. Ladders and truck operations.

  • o 9. Fireground time vs. progress.

Preparing for hands on1

Preparing For Hands On

  • EQUIPMENT o 10. Stage equipment based on construction type: Examples:

  • Wood Frame/Heavy Timber/Ordinary Noncombustible/Fire Resistive

  • o Pickhead axes and pike poles

  • o Halligan bars

  • o Circular wood-blade saw

  • o Sledgehammers

  • o Ventilation chain saw

  • o Circular metal-blade saw

  • o Halligan bar and sledgehammer

  • o Torch

  • o Search rope o Search ropes

  • o Emergency air supply or SCBA o

  • o Charged hoseline

  • o Ground ladder(s)


  • o 11. Check with rehab officer/condition of firefighters. o

  • 12. Check with safety officer/compare information. o

  • 13. Relocate or add another RIT. o

  • 14. Potential collapse and collapse area. O

  • 15. EMS for the RIT.

Hands on practicals

Hands on “practicals”

  • Once the firefighter is located the safety team must provide a detailed report to the IC of the condition of the firefighter in question. This report must include;

  • Exact location of firefighter in distress.

  • Whether firefighter is conscious or not.

  • Information concerning the fact that the search rope is deployed as a path to the distressed firefighter.

  • If any special tools are required at the location.

  • If additional assistance (personnel) are required at the location.

  • If an alternate route of escape is possible and if it will be used.

  • If the firefighter is alone or if additional firefighters are in need of assistance.

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Objectives of the course

  • Downed firefighter assessment and preparation.

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Downed firefighter removal; across floors, up/down stairs

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Downed firefighter removals: through holes, on ladders

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Objectives of the course

  • Downed Firefighter Removals:

  • Below grade via charged hoseline or ropes· Ladder removals: high point and low point · Wall breaching and enlarged openings· Collapse operations· Technical and specialized rescue tools; saws, torches, air bags, etc.

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below grade via charged hoseline

enlarged openings

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below grade via rope

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below grade via rope

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below grade via rope

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below grade via rope

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Ladder removals: high point and low point

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Wall breaching

Without a Tool

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Collapse operations

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Technical and specialized rescue tools; saws, torches, air bags, etc

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Objectives of the course

  • Actual Team Search Deployment· In-depth firefighter rescue operations· Advanced downed firefighter removal techniques· The ultimate use of all techniques and tools available

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Firefighter Survival Skills Training

  • Quarterly review of these lifesaving skills is a must:

    • Donning / Doffing of SCBA (Reduced Profile Maneuver)

      • Other product specific advanced SCBA techniques; quick fill

    • Tying of basic rescue knots

      • Bowline around self

      • Handcuff knot

    • Activation of RIT

      • Mayday or Emergency Traffic

    • Release from obstructions techniques

      • Swim Method for wire, use of sidecutters

    • Hose direction identification by couplings

Safety and Survival Drills

Thanks to the following

Thanks to the following:

Rapid intervention teams6

Rapid Intervention Teams

  • MABAS Division 10

  • Policy and Procedures

  • Division 10 created policy December 1996, approved and under implementation

  • Referenced from NFPA 1500, 1992 Edition

  • Now in use nationwide as the ultimate in firefighter life safety procedures

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“Saving Our Own”

Arlington Fire Department

This course was developed by the Illinois Fire Service Institute. The course was taught by members of the Chicago, Schaumburg Fire Department members. This was initially a 16 hour “train the trainer” course taught to members of AFD that had been selected by the training staff. The course was modified to meet the immediate needs of the AFD. Additional components of this course will be incorporated into future training sessions.

Saving Our Own

"Techniques for Firefighter Rescue"

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Firefighter Survival Course

  • Instructors

    • B/C Forest Reeder

    • Lt. Mike Grazian

    • FF/PM Ken Brucki

Course References

  • Illinois Fire Service Institute - Saving Our Own Program

  • Firefighter Survival - John Sulka, FDNY

  • Firefighter Safety and Survival -

  • USFA / NIOSH / NFPA Reports

  • Personal Experiences and Case Studies

  • Training

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