I have a few thoughts on this topic. First no one should wait on a chief officer to tell them whether or not RIT is important. If the people tasked with RIT, deem it important then treat it as such and the BCs will fall in line.
Chris, you have a valid point about four not being enough but, two is enough to start a search and gather help to extricate the victim. Remember time is of the essence. As for trapped victims we need to get in there and establish an airway and set up for a prolonged extrication. A pumper company may have to be employed as a protection line for the RIT. (2 1/2)
Jeff, you said if we start employing 2 or 3 companies as RIT the walls will come down. Think about this, if we deploy a team and they enter a structure, what then? Who's going to back them up? Does the firefight stop? If we deploy a team our dispatch immediately orders a 2nd alarm with RIT qualified companies. The fire goes out, the problems for the RIT go away, at least the time aspect.
Dennis brings up an interesting point. One thing no one has mention yet is the use of thermal imaging cameras. WHY? These are part of the new fire dept. This technology enables the user, if trained properly, to increase the find time of either a civilian or a down firefighter. I'm not sure where the 20 min. avg. came from but a lot of that time depends on the box. Is it a warehouse, a grocery store, a two and a half story or a 900 square foot house?
Not only does it start with us, it stays with us.