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Mask fogging while on RIT standby

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  • Mask fogging while on RIT standby

    Upon arrival our dept. has the RIT team fully geared up with the exception of going on air. Of course our masks fog up extremely quickly in this situation and before you know it we can barely see a thing. Obviously, this makes it very difficult to see exactly what is going on with the fire. Of course you can give it a few shots of air every now and again, but that depletes the amount you actually have available if you have to go to work.

    Other than just not masking up, any ideas on how to maintain situational awareness under these circumstances?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by auxman; 12-18-2011, 01:47 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by auxman View Post
    Other than just not masking up, any ideas on how to maintain situational awareness under these circumstances?
    I know you said "other than" but not masking up really is the solution. There's no compelling reason why the RIT should be standing around actually wearing their SCBA masks. They should be equipped for the tasks they anticipate doing but wearing their masks isn't warranted.

    There will be time for those RIT members who need to mask up for entry to do so while they are being briefed on the mayday situation and rescue plan.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
    sigpic
    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    • #3
      I think the advantage of being masked up and intermittently giving a shot of air to clear the mask (it doesnt use that much air, maybe the equivalent of a few breaths) overrides the time needed to mask up. The ability to quickly deploy for an unknown mayday issue ("Engine 21A is lost on floor 2, Alpha/Delta bedroom"); the ability to see a firefighter in trouble at a window and to quickly climb a ladder into a room to get the firefighter down; etc.

      I agree with the Deputy that for the issue where the RIT needs to be briefed by an IC or other supervisor is a time where you could be masking up, but I think for the other times where the RIT sees something and self-deploys (they let the IC know of course) already being masked up is worth it. For those times that need immediate intervention the 20-30 seconds it takes to mask up can add up. Certainly others will disagree, but that is the great part of these forums - getting different opinions.

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      • #4
        To be honest I don't have an issue with the RIT crew being masked up. The less time it takes them to get inside to save a firefighter the better. As for the mask fogging up, I've heard of using shaving cream smeared on the inside works. That is what some divers and paintballers use to keep their masks from fogging up. If the mask doesn't have them nose cups work wonders as well.
        NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
        IACOJ Attack

        Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.

        Comment


        • #5
          On the one hand I agree with Deputy that the time needed to get masked probably isn't going to make a difference, but on the other hand, the chief says do it....

          Spencer is right that a few shots of air isn't a big deal, but if you're standing around for most of a fire on a hot day when you fog up almost immediately, you have to do it so often that it may actually reduce your air supply enough to worry about a bit.

          I don't know how the sort of techniques that Ryan mentions stand up to this sort of situation as compared to the sort of fogging that can happen when you're working on air. It can get awfully bad, awfully quick under some environmental conditions.

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          • #6
            It shouldn't be the same RIT team sitting there for the entire operation. They should be switched out as well. Especially if it's hot or freezing.
            NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
            IACOJ Attack

            Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.

            Comment


            • #7
              The RIT should NOT be masked up.

              I see no grey in this, so forgive me.

              Wearing a mask you have artificially narrowed your situational awareness. The RIT should be fully engaged, using all their senses, to monitor the fire. Not looking through a tunnel with ALL their senses compromised.

              Wearing a mask and being fully outfitted is a great way to wear out the RIT before they even get called to be used. I'd rather they take an extra 20 seconds to mask/hood up then to be heat stressed to an even worse degree. Think of the 90 degree days when just being turned out wears you down... now add a mask/hood and stand around for 30 minutes. Stupid.

              Seriously, if you are deployed, do you think that extra 20 seconds is THAT critical? I don't.
              Last edited by ChiefKN; 12-18-2011, 07:38 PM.
              I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

              "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

              "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

              Comment


              • #8
                How long can it possibly take to put your facepiece on one you are put to work at an incident?

                I just don't understand the logic here at all.

                This policy sounds like it was written by someone who has never actually worn a facepiece.

                It fogs up because it is not designed to be work without the regulator hooked up to it. That is because there is really no reason to be wearing it in that manner.
                Last edited by jakesdad; 12-18-2011, 10:39 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ChiefKN View Post
                  The RIT should NOT be masked up.

                  I see no grey in this, so forgive me.

                  Wearing a mask you have artificially narrowed your situational awareness. The RIT should be fully engaged, using all their senses, to monitor the fire. Not looking through a tunnel with ALL their senses compromised.

                  Wearing a mask and being fully outfitted is a great way to wear out the RIT before they even get called to be used. I'd rather they take an extra 20 seconds to mask/hood up then to be heat stressed to an even worse degree. Think of the 90 degree days when just being turned out wears you down... now add a mask/hood and stand around for 30 minutes. Stupid.

                  Seriously, if you are deployed, do you think that extra 20 seconds is THAT critical? I don't.
                  Ditto. Can't say it any better.
                  "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    http://www.maskview.com/

                    I use this. That said, I don't have my mask on till I am ready to make entry either.
                    ~Drew
                    Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
                    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just throwing it out there, but how about both.

                      It is called a team after all, so one of you could remain unmasked while the other masks up and stays off air.

                      None mask guy- focuses on the structure mainly
                      Masked guy- focuses more on the radio

                      I'm sure we have all heard of incidents where maydays were missed by IC to only be caught by companies, RIT or dispatch. It's one of *the* most important jobs of RIT because we can't help if we don't know there's a problem. Preaching to the choir I'm sure.

                      If you get deployed, the masked guy starts choosing the appropriate equipment for the Mayday while the other masks up.

                      Feel free to pull out the AA guns, but figured it wouldn't hurt to throw it out there as a suggestion. Happy shooting, and stay safe.
                      Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by yjbrody View Post
                        Just throwing it out there, but how about both.

                        It is called a team after all, so one of you could remain unmasked while the other masks up and stays off air.

                        None mask guy- focuses on the structure mainly
                        Masked guy- focuses more on the radio

                        I'm sure we have all heard of incidents where maydays were missed by IC to only be caught by companies, RIT or dispatch. It's one of *the* most important jobs of RIT because we can't help if we don't know there's a problem. Preaching to the choir I'm sure.

                        If you get deployed, the masked guy starts choosing the appropriate equipment for the Mayday while the other masks up.

                        Feel free to pull out the AA guns, but figured it wouldn't hurt to throw it out there as a suggestion. Happy shooting, and stay safe.
                        FIRE.....READY... AIM

                        Just kidding.

                        No, I disagree... still don't see it as a benefit.

                        Do people think that when a mayday is called the RIT just start running towards the building swinging axes and screaming "I AM SPARTA!"
                        I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

                        "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

                        "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 6Duron1
                          lol, in VA when I was observing they kept their truck doors open in the bay to minimize response time. Really if it takes you ten seconds to open a door, then you don't need to be a driver.
                          It's not that it takes us 10 seconds to open the door, it's about being ready and eliminating the steps necessary. Leaving the doors open (as we do both at work and my VFD) isn't comparable to wearing or not wearing a mask while assigned to RIT. Besides that, I've always thought that having the doors opened created on air of readiness while in quarters.

                          Back to the regularly scheduled discussion, I don't see the benefit of standing around with the mask on either. As ChiefKN said, the few seconds to mask up doesn't offset the situational awareness that you lose by standing around with the mask on. I also think that a lot of people are losing site of the fact that in the case of a trapped or downed FF, a two-man RIT is going to be nothing but a recon team to locate and determine what resources are going to be required to remove the downed FF.
                          Career Fire Captain
                          Volunteer Chief Officer


                          Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 6Duron1
                            so while placing a RIT team on standby, does this mean the IC will have to stage additional companies to extricate?
                            RIT's vary in different regions, areas, and departments. Some RIT's might be a 2-man crew off an engine, whereas others might be a 6-man crew off a rescue company. In case of a true FF down/unconscious/trapped, a 2-man crew is going to have a lot of work ahead of them, and will likely use up their own air supply trying to effect the rescue. This is why they'd be treated more like a Recon Crew within the RIT Group.

                            Would the IC call for additional resources? Yes! I've seen some departments that will order a full additional alarm when an RIT activation is confirmed.

                            I'm not sure about your use of "stage" and "standby" - I hope that you mean that they're "standing by" and "staging" on scene, not down the block or at the firehouse.

                            EDIT: Forgot to add - if you're not familiar with Phoenix Firefighter Brett Tarver (RIP), research his name and the problems that PFD encountered while trying to rescue him. Then read about the unusually in-depth study that PFD did afterwards, which determined that on average it took 7 minutes just to reach the downed firefighter. At 200psi per minute of air under working conditions, we need to have those additional resources at the ready.
                            Last edited by BoxAlarm187; 12-19-2011, 06:06 PM. Reason: Additional information...
                            Career Fire Captain
                            Volunteer Chief Officer


                            Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Guess I'll add more to this, if you are so concerned about diving into action that you want to keep your facepiece on while standing around. Perhaps the 15-30 seconds it takes to don the facepiece is a good opportunity to take a deep breath and compose yourself.

                              As someone else pointed out, the reason the facepiece fogs up is because it isn't intended to be worn around unless you are breathing off the SCBA.

                              Comment

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