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  • RIC level of involvement?

    I'm sure there are going to be a lot of different answers for this. My question boils down to whether or not a RIC team should be allowed to throw ladders, do an exterior survey of a bldg (walk around), and other similar tasks....or simply stand by at a designated location w/ some predetermined equipment w/ all their bunker gear on?

    Here is some background for our dept. We are a paid suburban dept. All our members are RIC trained...meaning we have all gone through the Saving Our Own course and have refreshers every two years. We have had RIC teams for about three years now....never had to use them. Our RIC teams pretty much stand in the front yard w/ their gear on and some tools.

    Personally, when I'm assigned RIC duties I start to lose focus of the incident just standing in the front yard. I'd love to lie to you and say that I'm totally focused on whats going on, but I only have the perspective of the front yard and radio traffic.

    I believe that the RIC team should be allowed to throw ladders for the purpose of access/egress in the event that they are put into action or in anticipation of a firefighter potentially needing it in self rescue. For example, multistory structure...RIC team can throw ladders to all floors at strategic locations. Or RIC team can do a walk around survey of a building to identify access points, dangers, building layout, etc...

    Don't misunderstand...I don't think we need to throw ladders to help the truck crew ventilate or for another engine crew to get a line through a window. But the RIC should be allowed to preplan and get some access points opened up.

    [This message has been edited by gah74 (edited 06-25-2001).]

  • #2
    In my opinion a RIT team should be proactive rather than reactive.

    In my department the RIT team is proactive, Not only does the RIT do a 360 survey upon their arrival, but they do 360 surveys as the incdent progresses to check for changeing conditions, if they need to they throwing ladders, opening doors, etc. as needed.

    I'm not saying we freelance, everthing is checked with the IC before its done.

    Information on the scene is one of the RIT's most important tools. Its too late to start gathering information when the "Mayday" call come in.

    I hope this helps,

    Stay safe.

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    • #3
      I am working on trying to get my department to become more proactive. We use the the RIT on any working fire and have a good crew with all the tools that should be needed to do the job. But after i began helping teach
      the Survival and Rescue course for our state, i then realized just how much more we needed and could be doing rather than just standing around and waiting. I am trying to get the SOP ammended for our RIT that says on any working structure fire, we would throw a ladder in the window of the room of fire and place this at a rescue instead of climbing angle. You may never use it, but if you do need it, its already in place and ready to go.

      ------------------
      Captain James Collier
      McMahan Fire Rescue
      KCTCS Area 6 Instructor

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      • #4
        I think we are all on the same page about this. Like Fire/Rescue43 says, it is a matter of being proactive rather than reactive.

        Just getting a ladder to each floor would be a huge plus if things went bad inside. Not only for a firefighter to have the ability to self rescue, but we can use it to access that floor if they can't help themselves. Ladder angles can be changed quickly, however, retrieving a ladder and then throwing it starts to eat up time.

        Our RIC teams are structured in such a way that they are reactive. We definitely need to revisit are training and SOP's about how we use our RIC teams at structure fires. I believe that the RIC teams can be doing things outside the fire bldg. that may either prevent the need for them to be activated at all, or greatly enhance their ability to rescue a downed firefighter if the need arose.

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        • #5
          Yes. Throw the ladders, do the size up, if need be cut the bars off a window. Do you want to be rested and ready if that dreaded call ever comes in. Yes. But if you make your job that much easier before you go in it makes it that much easier to get out. The time you are using inside making an exit or the time you are using waiting for a ladder to get thrown is time that you are on air or are with someone who WAS at the least in trouble and still may be. Get the sizeup done maybe your wasting your time looking for something that is not there. So yes.

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          • #6
            I'm also with the proactive crowd. I've gotten into this argument with some of the FAST/RIT's that we call in to cover us. They stand in front of the house with a stokes full of equipment. I was taught, and now teach that the purpose of RIT/FAST is to protect and rescue firefighters. So why not rescue them before an incident occurs. Like throwing ladders etc.

            As far as being allowed to do an exterior size-up (survey as you posted gah) if your not somethings wrong. Even as a suppression activity firefighter you should be looking at the bldg. How can we work effectively if we do not know some of the layout from the bldg. by looking at it. Also like some of have posted, hazard identification. Take away the hazard and maybe problem solved.

            ===========================================
            The above is my opinion only and doesn't reflect that of any dept/agency I work for, deal with, or am a member of.

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            • #7
              Hey ALS...Thanks for the reply. I always look forward to your comments.

              As far as the RIC team and sizing-up goes, it's really a training problem in our department. Our RIC program seems more like a token, "look what we do", thing than an actual, effective rescue company. We do the Saving Our Own drills and all, but we haven't trained much on how to integrate RIC operations into our fireground op's. When RIC was started in our dept. it was taught that we gather our tools and report to command. I think that the RIC concept has evolved and entails much more than that.

              How proactive the RIC team is on any given fire varies greatly w/ the officer of that crew. I think we have a lot of officers and firefighters for that matter that haven't bought in to the RIC concept...as a result they don't do anymore than the minimum.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by 570eck:
                Yes. Throw the ladders, do the size up, if need be cut the bars off a window. Do you want to be rested and ready if that dreaded call ever comes in.
                I have to agree with this statement. People disagree with me, but I say take these proactive measures of removing bars if present, setting a few ladders for secondary, tertiary means of egress, etc. However, don't blow all your energy/strength. Do the tasks quick and easy and then get back to a location where you can jump into action ASAP if needed.

                One other comment regarding RIC roles on a job... PLEASE, I'm begging you, continually size-up the scene. We take the time to assign 1 person to be the team coordinator and size-up is one of his key roles. He will continually size up and report back to the team so we always know what is going on. It's far too late to try and figure out what is going on if you wait until a brother goes down (god forbid!) You need to be prepared and with that preparation comes gathering all the information you can. It's so much easier and safer to have all the information in the world and never use it then it is to not have enough when called into action!

                Stay Safe!

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                • #9
                  gah74 I feel that the RIT must set ladders and do 360 walk around our you are not doing your team or the attack team any good. You must be pro active not re-active in this ine of work. My partner and I have developed the RIT program for Mnnesota and stress that very fact , you must do walk arounds every 5 min. or so because your fire conditions change. Also send a different member each time you do your walk around everyone sees things different. Let me know what you think
                  Tim J. Zehnder

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                  • #10
                    I'm in agreement w/ everyone here. I don't like the way our RIC teams are used. I'm a tailboard firefigher for my dept. so I'm limited in my influence to change things...

                    Asst. Chief...I noticed you and some of the other's just send one person at a time for the 360. If the rest of the crew isn't setting up something...have you found any harm in having everyone go as a company. I would like it so we could bounce ideas off each other. Just wondering what some of the disadvantages are I haven't considered. I can think of some, but what are y'alls thoughts?

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                    • #11
                      Pardon my ignorance here but it was my impression that the RIC teams came into existence when 2-In 2-Out became a must under OSHA regulations. It was also my impression that the duties of the 2-Out team were specified by OSHA. I don't disagree with being pro-active I am just curious if being pro-active and performing size-up, throwing ladders, etc. will comply with the 2-In 2-out rule?

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                      • #12
                        Chief,

                        The first mention of RIC was in NFPA 1500 quite awhile ago, its also in NFPA 1563. OSHA only mandates 2 personnel out of the hazard area equipped the same as the interior crews and able to affect a rescue. http://www.osha.gov search regulations for 29CFR1910.134 there is a whole section dedicated to interior firefighting.

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                        • #13
                          FYI: The term "Rapid Intervention Team" or "RIT" was first coined by the military. A September 5, 1975 directive from the DOD (Department Of Defense) to all military installations that had "X" amounts of certain "chemical and/or bioagents" had very strict specific policies, procedures, and techniques for leaks, spills, fires, and etc that military and civillian personell had to follow and train for including but not limited to the immediate activation of RIT.

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                          • #14
                            Chief 79

                            RIT/RIC has been around since the begining days of firefighting. The big East coast Depts. have been useing the idea for a long time. The 2 in 2 out rule has nothing to do with the RIT team , you still need the back up team for any attack team. The group 360 is ok but after the first time around then i would just send one at a time. Keep talking about the way things should work with everyone and we will get it figured out . Stay safe!!
                            Tim J. Zehnder

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                            • #15
                              Although I absolutely agree with the proactive approach, such as throwing ladders, and doing a 360 of the bldg, my questions are, what do you do when the bldg is a square block in size, and a 360 could take 10 or 15 minutes? Do you force exterior doors as you pass them and radio that info when you have all the doors on a particular side forced ? If your throwing ladders, do you TAKE the windows, or not? If the fire is in a multi story bldg, do you go to the floor below and do a survey of the floor layout and stay near the closest stairway to the fire above, or do you stay on a lower floor near the IC? Do you set up your aerial for the potential retreat of forces ? On large bldgs, do you have multiple RIT teams? Should your teams be comprised of a truck co, which has tools and equipment that the members are so comfortable with that they can operate them in the dark without hasitation, or an engine co. where the guys are not as familiar with the tools, or worse yet ? (You can choose the company this would cover in your area.) Multiple team if crews are on multiple floors? you get the idea. I know how we do it, but I would like to here from some of you, chances are that you may do it better.

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