|November 17, 2004
“Random Thoughts on R.I.T.
By Lt. Mark Gregory
Mishaps can occur on the fire/emergency
scene at any time. As the Officer of the Rapid Intervention Team, we must
always be prepared for what can be presented upon us. Here are just a couple
of tips to help you successfully manage your team.
Size-up during response:
While responding, review the Alarm ticket/CAD
info. Get a good size-up going in your head. Are there any hazards we should
be aware of? Is it a commercial or residential area? Share this info with
the other members of the crew. Pay attention to who is first or second
due. I have responded to several fires as the R.I.T. Officer and had to
commence operations forthwith. Knowing a company’s position can help determine
where we should start looking for the missing member.
Announce Your Arrival:
When you arrive on the scene we must report
into the Incident Commander. While approaching the Command Post I like
to announce my Company’s arrival and designation as the R.I.T. unit over
the fire-ground channel. This allows all members to know that the Rapid
Intervention Team is on scene and who they are.
Debrief the I.C.
Report into the I.C. face to face and
get a situation report from him. If there are any hazards or company response
irregularities, pass this info on to your crew.
The Officer should remain at the Command
Post unless otherwise directed. At large-scale incidents or hi-rise fires,
the I.C. may decide to deploy the R.I.T. unit to the Operations Post. The
crew should be within verbal distance of the R.I.T. Officer and ready to
be deployed. In the FDNY, we have assigned one member of the R.I.T. Company
to remain remote (20’-30’) from his Officer and Company. This member’s
purpose is to solely concentrate on monitoring fire-ground radio transmissions
Mayday or Urgent messages.
Do not become distracted as the R.I.T.
Officer. Remember the primary reason you are there “To Assist Firefighters
in Trouble”. If the I.C. wants to put you to work for fire duty, remind
him of your designation as the R.I.T. unit. Make sure that you are replaced
in this function.
Know where your resources are. Tools such
as the Hurst tool which are not a part of our general tool deployment may
be several feet away on the first or second due rigs.
If your services as a R.I.T. unit are required,
remind the I.C. to call for an additional R.I.T. unit and to confirm that
EMS (preferably an ALS unit) are on scene or enroute. A “PAR” or Roll Call
should also be performed.
Next time, we will discuss your company’s
actions once in the fire building for a firefighter in distress.
||Mark D. Gregory is a Lieutenant at
Ladder Company 111 FDNY, "The Nuthouse Truck". He previously served in
Rescue 2 and Ladder 132. A Deputy Chief Instructor in Suffolk County Fire
Academy on Long Island, NY, Lt.Gregory is the Ex-Chief / Commissioner
East Quogue Volunteer Fire Department with 18 years in the fire service.
He also serves as an instructor for Command School.