Get a RIT Team, RIC!!!
"......Is your FAST/RIT
or RIC Team for real....." ?
By Chief Billy Goldfeder
As you can see, here is an updated article
from St. Louis. As always, we don't take what the media prints as the "gospel"
...especially when it comes to the tragic loss of 2 Brother Firefighters.
However, the development of a FAST, RIT or RIC Team (you wouldn't expect
this fire service of ours to be able to agree on one name, now, would ya?)
isn't the toughest challenge we have out there. Numerous FD's have had
RIT procedures in place for years...policies that cover the development
of RIT procedures, duties, training, dispatch, responsibility etc etc.
As they say, this ain't ROCKET science. Are
some "RIT" teams bogus? Yeah-I guess there are some "name only" RIC teams...some
places have RIT teams respond but ya may wonder what their training is...in
areas such as collapse, rescue, tools etc. But you would think, in a City
like St. Louis, that wouldn't be the case. Whatever the case may be though,
at this stage of the "game"...pretty much all FD's and their bosses should
have this figured out. You would think.
|Simply put....this is simple. This reminds
me of how some FD's have to do their own "evaluations" to see if a proven
concept (ANY concept) that's been used by many many FD's in many areas
for many years, have to "test it locally"...to see if it will work "here."
FAST, RIT or RIC teams do work...have been tested and have made a difference.
I guess a good question to any of us would
be: Do you have a RIT team response procedure for a structural fire?
What are the qualifications and training of those "arriving" on the scene
to be YOUR RIT team? Does your FD DRILL regularly with the company or department
that provides you with your RIT team? What about your FD providing RIT
services to your neighboring FD's?
Who are you sending to their fire and
what are their qualifications and training?
||FF's love to bitch about being "stuck"
on a company that is given a RIT team assignment. It is rarely a job where
you will have to "go to work". I am even familiar with one County where
some fire companies have worked hard to "avoid" being a RIT team on an
assignment, cause they would rather "play" inside (their words) than just
"stand around."...life's tough, huh!? No doubt, everyone wants to be "inside"...but
in this day and age, some places are attempting to make the fireground
just a lil'safer.
One of those ingredients are a qualified
and "ready" FAST, RIC or RIT Team. The "stand by" duties of a RIC team
is usually on the other end of the "glamour" scale...but when things go
to hell at a fire, a team that "has a clue" and will be able to "save the
day" needs to be heading inside to get "our own"...Next time ya hear "FAST!!
Get the RIT Team, RIC!!!"...what will come running to help you?
What are their qualifications? Have they
trained with your crew, shift or FD? Can they even talk on the same RADIO
channel as your FD? What tools do they have? ....do they have a CLUE? Now
is probably a good time to find out. Also, check out www.rapidintervention.com
as well as www.fdtraining.com for
some good information. Those sites may provide some info on helping your
Related Story: St.
Louis Post Dispatch
Previously, he served as a Fire
Chief in Ohio, Virginia and Florida and served as Chief of Department for
14 years. Chief Goldfeder also served as an Engineering/Public Protection
representative covering southern New York, for I.S.O. as well as a Lieutenant
with the Manhasset-Lakeville FD, in Long Island, New York.
|About the author....
CHIEF Billy Goldfeder, a
firefighter since 1973 and a chief officer since 1982, serves as a Battalion
Chief for the Loveland-Symmes Fire Department
Loveland-Symmes Fire Department serves both the City of Loveland and Symmes
Township, in southwestern Ohio. L.S.F.D. is an I.S.O. Class 2, full service
career department providing advanced life support, heavy and tactical rescue
as well as a full range of traditional and non-traditional fire, rescue,
emergency medical and community services.
A 1993 graduate of the National
Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program, he is the former Chair of
the International Assoc. of Fire Chiefs VCOS Section. Chief Goldfeder was
also recently honored with an appointment of Honorary Battalion Chief of
the Fire Department of the City of New York. Additionally, he is the recipient
of over 30 operational as well as administrative awards and recognitions.
Chief Goldfeder was recently
reappointed to his 2nd term as a Commissioner on the Commission of Fire
Accreditation International. He serves as an Associate/Contributing Editor
for FIRE ENGINEERING, FIRE RESCUE, FIREHOUSE, THE NEW YORK VOL. FIREFIGHTER
and the PENNSYLVANIA FIREMAN Magazines as well as WithTheCommand.Com and
Firehouse.Com. He has spoken on as well as published numerous articles
on subjects such as combination fire departments, fire command and tactics,
fireground safety, apparatus design and deployment and fireground staffing.
Chief Goldfeder has served
on several NFPA and IAFC Committees and has been an Instructor at the Fire
Department Instructors Conference (F.D.I.C.) for the past 19 years as well
as a member of the F.D.I.C. Advisory Board for the last decade. He is on
the faculty of Northeast Fire Command School again for 2002.