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.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”(John 15:13)
“The Concept is one of Attitude”
Fatality Statistics 1997NFDC
43.3% caught or trapped
WHY DON’T WE HEAR?
85 - 90% of Firefighters have
Must Know Info.
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
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
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.
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
- Self-rescue techniques did not work due to
altered mental status
- Crews had to abandon structure with firefighter
still trapped inside
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pittsburgh firefighters tend to another fallen comrade that was buried in exterior bricks and debris.
This is the view of the Ebenezer church after the bell tower had collapsed killing 2 firefighters and injuring 28.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Suggested Equipment for Self-Survival
Should be available to EACH firefighter
Key word is RAPID. Don’t overload the personnel. Equipment must be available and R.I.T.’s have priority to use it.
Self Rescue Scenarios
Cable TV, Phone, Ceiling Support, Flex Duct
Fire Eng. Jan 1998, R. Lasky, B. Hoff
Without a Tool
Safety and Survival Drills
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"