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Firefighter Survival Course. A Course Designed to Save Firefighters Lives. Course Introduction. Instructors Lt. Rodney Smith Lt. Don Gibson FF Chad Chadwick Program Goals Orientation to concepts of self rescue and rapid intervention Review of actual scenarios Practical experience

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a course designed to save firefighters lives

Firefighter Survival Course

A Course Designed to Save Firefighters Lives

course introduction
Course Introduction
  • Instructors
    • Lt. Rodney Smith
    • Lt. Don Gibson
    • FF Chad Chadwick
  • Program Goals
    • Orientation to concepts of self rescue and rapid intervention
    • Review of actual scenarios
    • Practical experience
    • Train the Trainer focus

Firefighter Survival Course

saving our own
“Saving Our Own”

This course was developed by the Illinois Fire Service Institute. The course was taught by members of the Chicago and Schaumburg Fire Department members. This was initially a 16 hour “train the trainer” course taught to members of Fire Departments through-out the United States. The course can be modified to meet the needs of your local Fire Department. Additional components of this course should be incorporated into future training sessions.

Firefighter Survival Course

course objectives
Classroom

Understand the concepts of self-rescue

Understand the process of rapid intervention teams

Understand the responsibilities of the RIT officer and team members

Identify some of the basic tools required for SR and RIT

Practical Exercises

Self-Rescue Techniques

Size-up for RIT

Rapid Intervention Scenarios

Course Objectives

Firefighter Survival Course

course objectives5
Course Objectives

At the end of this training session the firefighter will be able to:

  • Identify factors that lead to firefighter injury and fatalities.
  • Identify factors that increase Firefighter Safety including:
    • Pass Devices
    • Improved communications
    • Fire Ground Accountability
  • Demonstrate basic firefighter rescue techniques.
  • Understand the importance of Rapid Intervention Crews

Firefighter Survival Course

course references
Course References
  • Illinois Fire Service Institute - Saving Our Own Program
  • Firefighter Survival - John Sulka, FDNY
  • Firefighter Safety and Survival -
  • USFA / NIOSH /NFDC/NFPA Reports
  • Personal Experiences and Case Studies
  • Training

Firefighter Survival Course

firefighter injury facts
Firefighter Injury Facts
  • Firefighter Injuries 1995 - 94,500
  • 50,640 Injuries on the Fire Ground
  • 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

Firefighter Survival Course

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
  • 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.

WHY DON’T WE HEAR?

Firefighter Survival Course

common factors in firefighter fatalities and injuries
Common Factors in Firefighter Fatalities and Injuries
  • Lost or separated from team
  • Hotter Fires
  • Malfunctioning SCBA
  • Lack of knowledge of self-rescue techniques
  • Inactivated PASS device

Firefighter Survival Course

common factors contributing to firefighter injury fatality cont
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
    • Other problems
    • Routine Fires
    • Less Fires
    • Common factors

Firefighter Survival Course

common factors contributing to firefighter injury fatality cont11
Common Factors Contributing ToFirefighter Injury & Fatality (Cont.)
  • Hotter fires - Since 1970 fires have tripled the BTU output.
  • Smoke output can be as much as 20 times worse on synthetics
    • 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

Firefighter Survival Course

firefighter rescue
Firefighter Rescue

85 - 90% of Firefighters have

never practiced

Firefighter Rescue

Firefighter Survival Course

firefighter rescue13
Firefighter Rescue

Basic Concepts of Firefighter

Rescue

“The Concept is one of Attitude”

Firefighter Survival Course

firefighter rescue14
Firefighter Rescue

Concept of Firefighter Rescue

  • 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

Firefighter Survival Course

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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.

Firefighter Survival Course

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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)
  • Have a procedure in place today!
  • 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

Firefighter Survival Course

your procedure
Your Procedure
  • Must be basic
  • May in the form of a IAP
  • Must be familiar to all fireground companies
  • Dispatchers should be able to recognize emergency and activate plan.
  • Must provide for additional resources
  • Should be incorporated into training evolutions
  • Must be practical and provide common terminology
  • Discuss Air horns, Emergency traffic, Mayday….

Firefighter Survival Course

self rescue concepts
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

Hose Slide

Firefighter Survival Course

firefighter rescue scenarios
Firefighter Rescue Scenarios

Self

Team assisted

Quick exit using hose slide

SCBA onto unconscious FF

Firefighter Survival Course

skills necessary for self rescue
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

Firefighter Survival Course

personal equipment
Personal Equipment

Suggested Equipment for Self-Survival

Should be available to EACH firefighter

Firefighter Survival Course

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Self Rescue Scenarios

Must be able to tie handcuff knot around self or downed firefighter (RIT)

Firefighter Survival Course

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Self Rescue Scenarios

Ladder Bail-out

Was ladder placed for rescue, by RIT, or for ventilation?

Firefighter Survival Course

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Self Rescue Scenarios

Getting into a safe refuge area

FDNY found this most overlooked

Firefighter Survival Course

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Self Rescue Scenarios

Performed with minimum equipment

Firefighter Survival Course

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$5.00 - $10.00

Self Rescue Scenarios

Cable TV, Phone, Ceiling Support, Flex Duct

Firefighter Survival Course

firefighter survival skills training
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

Firefighter Survival Course

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Rapid

Intervention

Teams

Firefighter Survival Course

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Rapid Intervention Teams

Firefighter Survival Course

cover of trapped firefighter
Cover of Trapped Firefighter

Rapid Intervention Teams

Firefighter Survival Course

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Rapid Intervention Teams

Firefighter Survival Course

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Rapid Intervention Teams

Firefighter Survival Course

rapid intervention teams basic concepts
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 TeamsBasic Concepts

Firefighter Survival Course

personal skills required for rit assignment
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

ATTITUDE

ATTITUDE

Firefighter Survival Course

team skills required for rit assignment
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

Firefighter Survival Course

nfpa requirements for rit
NFPA Requirements for RIT

Firefighter Survival Course

osha 2 in 2 out compliance
OSHA 2 in / 2 out Compliance
  • 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

Firefighter Survival Course

the beginning of self rescue and rit
FDNY and Philadelphia

Found common denominators in many situations

No quick way to mobilize firefighters to rescue our own

Many names for RIT

Firefighter Assist Team, Rapid Intervention Crew, Firefighter Rescue Team, etc.

Idea is still the same

The Beginning of Self-Rescue and RIT

Firefighter Survival Course

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

Case Histories

Must Know Info.

Firefighter Survival Course

case histories pittsburgh 3 firefighters killed
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

Firefighter Survival Course

case histories memphis high rise kills 2 firefighters
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

Firefighter Survival Course

case histories denver office fire kills 1 firefighter
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.

Firefighter Survival Course

case histories columbus commercial fire kills 1 firefighter
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

Firefighter Survival Course

case histories pleasantview firefighter killed in single family dwelling
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.

Firefighter Survival Course

case studies summary
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

Firefighter Survival Course

rapid intervention teams
Rapid Intervention Teams
  • Referenced from NFPA 1500, 1992 Edition
  • Now in use nationwide as the ultimate in firefighter life safety procedures
  • Provides for the rescue of lost, trapped or injured firefighters
  • Allows Command to have outside tasks completed while RIT crew is in the standby mode

Firefighter Survival Course

rapid intervention teams47
Rapid Intervention Teams
  • Definition
    • RIT’s 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.

Firefighter Survival Course

general purpose of rapid intervention teams
General Purpose of 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

Firefighter Survival Course

when to have a rapid intervention team
When to have a Rapid Intervention Team
  • Utilized at any time firefighters are at risk
    • structural firefighting*
    • hazardous materials response
    • technical rescue
    • water rescue or recovery
      • *during attack and hazard operations

Firefighter Survival Course

objectives of a rapid intervention team
Objectives of a Rapid Intervention Team
  • Objectives of RIT
    • Establish a means of effectively assisting members suddenly threatened by a dangerous situation at an emergency incident
    • Provide a means for the IC to initiate an immediate rescue effort.

Firefighter Survival Course

assigning rapid intervention teams
Assigning Rapid Intervention Teams
  • Dispatch of Equipment-Assignment to RIT
    • 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
    • Some scenes may require the establishment of more than one team
      • Size of structure or complexity of structure

Firefighter Survival Course

rapid intervention teams52
Rapid Intervention Teams
  • In the initial 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

Firefighter Survival Course

rapid intervention teams53
Rapid Intervention Teams
  • Reporting to the Fireground
    • 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
    • Must bring minimum specified equipment and be prepared for immediate entry into incident area if required
    • Additional equipment may be required after RIT completes own size-up of scene
      • Incident Command must supply WHATEVER is determined to be needed

Firefighter Survival Course

rapid intervention teams command notes
Rapid Intervention TeamsCommand Notes
  • If used for other tactical assignments, the RIT must be replaced another crew
    • May be used to secure utilities
    • Force exit/entry around structure
      • Don’t place into position where deployment would be delayed
  • If the need for rescue is diminished, the RIT may be assigned to other tasks

Firefighter Survival Course

primary tasks for rit s
Primary Tasks for RIT’s
  • 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 they are performing
  • Size up structure, walk building to determine these factors
  • Appropriate tools carried by members

Firefighter Survival Course

rapid intervention team equipment
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

Rapid Intervention Team Equipment

Minimum Suggested Equipment

Firefighter Survival Course

equipment note
Equipment Note
  • Key word is RAPID. Don’t overload the personnel. Equipment must be available and RIT’s have priority to use it.
    • Use pre-arranged bags or kits with most equipment pre-packed and ready to go.
      • Saves time when arriving on fireground

Firefighter Survival Course

rit size up skills
RIT Size-up Skills

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

  • 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

Firefighter Survival Course

equipment wood frame heavy timber ordinary
Equipment - Wood Frame, Heavy Timber, Ordinary
  • Pickhead axes and pikes
  • Circular wood-blade saw
  • Ventilation chain saw
  • Halligan and sledgehammer
  • Search rope
  • SCBA and extra supply
  • Charged hoseline
  • Ground ladders

Firefighter Survival Course

equipment noncombustible fire resistive
Equipment - Noncombustible/Fire Resistive
  • Halligan bars
  • Sledgehammers
  • Circular metal-blade saw
  • Torches
  • Search rope
  • SCBA and extra supply
  • Charged hoseline
  • Ground ladders

Firefighter Survival Course

other size up considerations
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

Firefighter Survival Course

the ric officer expectations
THE RIC OFFICER: EXPECTATIONS
  • The chief officers must have high expectations of their RIC Officers

Firefighter Survival Course

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RIC

Firefighter Survival Course

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RIC

Firefighter Survival Course

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RIC

Firefighter Survival Course

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RIC

Firefighter Survival Course

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RIC

Firefighter Survival Course

the ric officer enroute
THE RIC OFFICER: ENROUTE
  • Officer has a different role!
  • Responding for firefighter rescue, not suppression.

Firefighter Survival Course

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RIC

Firefighter Survival Course

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RIC

Firefighter Survival Course

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RIC

Firefighter Survival Course

rit size up of a structure
RIT Size-up of a Structure

Firefighter Survival Course

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RIC

Firefighter Survival Course

tips from the pros
Tips from the “Pros”

Firefighter Survival Course

special thanks and acknowledgements
Special Thanks and Acknowledgements
  • All Fallen Firefighters, Their Sprit Lives In Us Forever
  • Saving Our Own - Illinois Fire Service Institute
  • Getting Out Alive - Fire Department New York City
  • Firefighter Survival - Phoenix AZ, FDNY
  • Elgin IL - Regional Fire Academy Firefighter Survival Program
  • Illinois Society of Fire Service Instructors
  • Pleasantview Fire Protection District

Firefighter Survival Course

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RIC

Frequently Asked Question:

  • Can different companies rotate in and out of the RIC role?

No - only as last resort

  • Can personnel assigned to RIC be used for fireground “work”?

No - RIC must keep fresh

Firefighter Survival Course