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My department's officers have been discussing which apparatus should respond for RIT calls into mutual aid towns. Our department has 36 members, all volunteer, and run 3 engines, 1 truck, and a heavy rescue. One of the engines has a set of spreaders, cutters, and power unit. I would just like to see what rig you would choose for mutual aid, an engine or the rescue?

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I think you must first determine what equipment you are going to need as a RIT Team and how many personnel you are going to respond with the RIT assignment. Then you need to figure out which piece of apparatus will be able to carry both.
If you can sucessfully carry all the equipment on one of your engines, then I would choose that one. It doesn't matter which one you send, you must arrive with the right tools to effectively make a rescue when the need arises. Any RIT class that your members choose to take for training should give you a list of all the equipment needed for a RIT team to sucessfully operate at the scene.
Shareef and Mike thanks for your input.

Shareef, to answer a few of your questions. Currently the RIT company is from a single department, but based on the size of the structure, other companies may be called for additional RITs. Our RIT company is a seven man team, one Chief who acts as RIT command, one company officer and a senior firefighter act as RIT team leaders, and 4 firefighters. We brake the team up into 2 groups of 3, one team is proactive and is forcing door/windows and assisting truck companies with laddering to create more exits for interior crews, while the other 3 members are standing fast ready for deployment. In theory, if there were be a firefighter in distress, the team standing fast would enter with the RIT bag (air), TIC, irons, and search line, while the proactive team would reassemble at the RIT staging area and await instructions from the other team. Once the first team reaches the firefighter in distress they will relay what tools are needed to remove the firefighter to the team outside, if they can not remove the firefighter themselves, which would then follow the search line in and begin with victim removal. If we send 7 members out on a RIT assignment, we still have staffing for our four other apparatus. The county fire coordinators have made it clear that a truck is a last resort for RIT, and would prefer a rescue or engine. In our RIT guidelines, we have a list of equipment that a RIT company should have at minimum, and on it is RIT bags from all companies on scene. This was added due to different manufactures of SCBA's in the area. If a firefighter where to call a mayday, they are to state which company they are from so the RIT can grab the right RIT bag.

Mike. I think I answered a few of you questions above, but to clarify it, we have a minimum list of RIT equipment that my department and mutual aid departments have agreed on. If you would like to see the list let me know and I will email it to you. Currently we have all the equipment on that list on the rescue, minus a TIC, and most of the items are on the engine as well, minus saws, search rope, and a stokes basket. In addition to the minimum list, our department has included an air chisel and a 3:1 mechanical advantage to our RIT equipment, which are both on the rescue. Our engine holds 6 men and our rescue holds 5, either way we will be taking our utility truck with 2 more members.

Thanks again for you input, I hope I answered your questions. With these questions answered, would you take an engine or rescue for a RIT assignment.

Stay safe brothers,

My department uses our heavy rescue for RIT responces. It carries all of our rit equipment and then some. One other thing we started doing is one of our ambulances(BLS) goes with us as OUR ems backup. Both units also carry rehab equip in case we need to set up our own rehab. Our rescue has seating for ten so we can bring addional members if we have to establish a second RIT team
I think this all is good stuff, this is how I see it. If you are responding to perform the function of RIT take the apparatus that gives you the equipment to make entry and make assessments. On a RIT deployment you will need to get to the downed firefighter, assess the needs of that firefighter and then you will determine what it will take to remove that firefighter(s) from that environment. I do not know how well your mutual aid departments know your trucks or your equipment, but I would want to use equipment from my rig. So as your team has been deployed and you are calling back on the radio for additional RIT teams or equipment I would not go to your rig to get equipment, I didn't check it this morning and I do not train with it, any task that the IC asked my team to perform it would be with my equipment. I am assuming that you are responding to perform IRIT to your mutual aid departments, if that is the case you will deploy prior to knowing what tools you would need. I would also worry about removing my heavy from its response area if other apparatus had pretty much the same type of equipment already on scene.
You might consider sending the heavy rescue for RIT response. I assume the rig is equipped with the "standard" type of equipment for truck work and specialized rescue. Just remember the rig is no good if you don't staff it with an adequete number of well trained members. A four member company should be the minimum. Make sure the mutual aid city you are responding to is aware of your capabilities. Make sure your members are aware of the limitations of the size of their crew. When our FAST company is coming from another city we request a truck or heavy rescue due to the availability of saws, truck company tools, and the "skill set" that truck and rescue members bring to the incident. If the responding unit is a rescue they can always find ladders and hose already at the scene available for deployment. .
I would go with the engine or the truck. Commonly we send on our truck incidents and it is not needed for truck work since the majority of our fires are SFD. Most trucks have all the essentials for a RIT team since commonly their primary task is S&R. In reading your later posts I would be very careful about requiring memembers to remember to pull stuff of other apparatus. I too am on a smaller department that is combination but primarily volunteer. When I come in off duty at 4 Am I think I would have a hard time remembering to grad other tools from other trucks. Just my half a cent.
Thanks brothers for the input.
I personally would take the rescue but the other officers would take an engine. Their primary concern with taking the rescue out of town is losing the majority of our extrication equipment. There primary concerns aren't which apparatus has all the tools, or which one other towns would like to respond, but wait if there is a car accident in our town. One of our engines has hydraulic tools on it (combination tool and small cutter), with a simultaneous power unit. Two of our neighboring towns have rescues as well, so if their were an extrication that required additional tools, the would be on-scene within 8 minutes. I feel that I would rather call for mutual aid for an extrication when your rescue is out of town, than lose a brother fireman because your rescue is sitting back in the station while the engine is your RIT apparatus, and you have no air chisel to breach the masonry wall. I have told the other officers to take the right apparatus for the job. The rescue has the tools already on it. Why strip down the rescue when you get a call for RIT, just so you have a set of spreaders, cutters, and rams in town for a possibly car accident?

Sorry if I went off on a little tangent, but I have strong feeling on this topic.

Thanks again for the input and STAY SAFE BROTHERS.
My department runs a rescue pumper to RIT calls in other towns. The other RIT teams in the area operate utilizing their heavy rescues.
-Without knowing the intimate details of the particular departments involved and basing answers on the parameters in the question as well as my own department, an engine is not the apparatus for RIT.
-In Albuquerque we dispatch the Heavy Rescue for RIT. The thought being that these individuals have the additional, specific and particular training as well as the essential equipment required for performing RIT duties. The last thing RIT needs is another pump.
-In the AFD for a firefighter to be assigned to the Heavy Rescue that individual must have successfully completed more than 300 hours of technical rescue training, qualifying as a FEMA Rescue Technician or Specialist. The training is intensive and involves many disciplines.
-RIT, the Batt Chief in charge or Squad 2 can special call an additional aerial if they need one to complete their operation but there should be no need for RIT to be responding on a pumper, especially since there will already be three on scene as part of a standard residential first alarm assignment. Residential first alarm is 3 engines, 1 ladder, 2 BC, 1 Heavy Rescue, and 2 Ambulances) A commercial or high hazard assignment will have 6 engines and 3 ladders, 2 Heavy Rescues, 2 ambulances, 3 Batt Chiefs and some additional support apparatus.
-The Heavy Rescue is designated as RIT simply because they have the additional training and specialized equipment necessary to performing RIT operations more safely and efficiently than any other company.
Mike and Bruce thanks for your input.

Stay Safe Brothers


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