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. • 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!” • 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, 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!”
Classroom • 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
Definition • 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.
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 • 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 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
Concepts of R.I.T. “The Concept is one of Attitude”
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
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
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? • 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 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 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 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 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. WHY DON’T WE HEAR?
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 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 ToFirefighter Injury & Fatality (Cont.) 85 - 90% of Firefighters have never practiced Firefighter Rescue
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 Information • 57% of deaths were members of volunteer or combination departments.
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.”
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 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”) • 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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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 • 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: • 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.]
FEMA • 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.”
Review • 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 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, 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, 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, PA Pittsburgh firefighters tend to another fallen comrade that was buried in exterior bricks and debris.
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.