Montgomery County
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Wednesday, May 2, 2012 Continuing with yesterdays story I'd like to have a quick discussion on how well prepared your RIT is to go to work. Hopefully by now most of us know the importance of having RIT on scene EARLY. To take a proactive approach a RIT company should be on the initial dispatch of all reported structural fires. If you're going to be a RIT company you need to walk the walk in every way. People are calling you with the expectation that you will do everything in your teams power to affect rescues of downed firefighters. Like the "starters" on a professional sports team, your crew must have earned the right to ride on the rig that's responding as the RIT company and like a "starter" you must be able to perform under pressure. Just because you have a pulse does not make you a qualified RIT responder. Training on RIT techniques until they are mastered as well as knowing your equipment and it's capabilities are key. To top that, you better know how to use them in a adverse conditions and how to quickly modify things on the fly and skip to plan B, C, and D as seamlessly as possible. I know not every RIT deployment will be the firefighter partially through the floor or trapped under a collapse and that is where the basics of pushes, pulls, drags, and carries will come into play, but you need to be just as fluent in the operations for the big events. You are expected to show up on scene with a total "Can Do" attitude. Check out the pictures and read the captions for some helpful tips. 

Thank you to Lt. Joe Shapiro for sharing some of his street smart systems with us.

 Go Bag (The Go Bag is taken in along
      with the secondary air supply / RIT Pack
      for initial assessment and operations.
      You can see it holds only minimal small
      hand tools and a battery powered
      recipricating saw. If you carry the saw
      you should be able to changes blades in
      reduced visibity)

 RIT Pack (have your bag set up so you
      can easily identify various section of
      the bag such as the high and low
      pressure sides of the bag)

 67 RIT (Pre rigged bags for rapid

 3 to 1 (this picture shows a pre-rigged
      3:1 systems that can be quickly deployed
      to aid in removing a downed firefighter.
       Notice the webbing attached to the
      carribiner to allow for quickly hooking
      up a firefighter through their SCBA

 high point anchor (using a ladder as a
      high point above a window to quickly
      place the pre-rigged 3:1 in service)

 Lowering using ladder (Here is the 3:1
      in place with the high point anchor
      system. This is extremely helpful in
      removing firefighters from windows as
      you can use the rungs of the ladder to
      act as a rack brake. Be sure your
      system is stowed in a bag that is small
      enough to pass through the ladder

 anchor wrap (Here you see a ladder belt
      used as part of the anchor to deploy
      this 3:1. The belt adds some extra
      weight rating by distributing the weight
      over multiple rungs of the ladder and
      could be used for a firefighter through
      the floor or below grade rescue by
      wrapping a few ceiling joists)

 webbing through straps (extra webbing
      attached to the systems allows for easy

 SCBA conversion (Converting the SCBA
      waist belt is a must have skill for any

 Easy straps (With any bag or carrier
      you may have as part of your RIT tool
      cache, be sure the straps are easy to
      unbuckle with a gloved hand. Take the
      extra time and search out easy to use
      equipment ahead of time to avoid delays
      when time is crucial)

 Search lines (Always be sure you have a
      decent anchor point for any search lines
      you deploy. Using near by apparatus is
      always a great option)

 Sledges (Cutting down a sledge handle
      for RIT applications is a useful tool
      when operating in tight spaces)