Fire Engineering Training Community

Where firefighters come to talk training

I appreciate everyone who takes the time to answer this discussion as well as all the others. I think that FE hit a Home Run with this idea and I am so glad to see the growth. I have some easy questions and look forward to everyones input.

1- What department are you in and what units go on the first alarm to a fire?

2- Does each unit have pre-determined assignments, or is the the responsibility of the IC, or first arriving unit?

3- Is there a specific unit who is responsible for RIT, RIC, FAST or whatever you are calling it?

4- Are you a member of the F.O.O.L.S.? If not, why?

Thanks again,

Views: 1638

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion


If you would like, I can provide you with a name and email of someone that is currently going through similiar issues. Thre are in North Carolina. We went their last fall and provided some much needed RIT training. Either leave me your email here, or send it to me at and I will put you guys in touch. Maybe it will help??
Great job looking into the FOOLS. Great organization and Brotherhood.
I am a member of Kewaskum Fire and Rescue, Kewaskum, WI. We opperate out of 1 station with 2-engines, 1- 50' Tele-squrt, 2- Basic ambulances, 2- tankers (tenders), and 4 support vehicles. We opperate within our village limits where there is municipal water supply. We are also contracted with 2 neighboring townships to provide fire protection, with no municipal water.

On a structure fire within village limits our first alarm is Engine 1 (1862), Ladder 1 (1860), Engine 2 (1864) , Command 1 (1881) , Equipment 1 (1880), and Ambulance 1 (1851).

Outside Village limits, our first due is Engine 1, Ladder 1, Engine 2, Tankers 1&2, Command 1, Equipment 1, and Ambulance 1.

It is the responsibility of the IC to assign duties to arriving companies. We also utilize mutual aid whenever necessary. Our daytime staffing levels are low, as a combination department with only a career chief, and all other 45 members POC we are lucky to have a Engine and Truck company out the door. The other units arrive as they are staffed. We rely on mutual aid companies for water, and manpower as needed.

Washington county has set up that a department can't be it's own RIT team. We rely fully on neighbor departments for this. Many times, RIT is not called, or isn't on scene for 20 minutes.
Hey Jeff,

It seems like what your saying, is so similiar to what everyone is saying. "This is all we have, and we are trying to make it work". Sometimes, that's all we can do. Since the RIT team is 20 mintues away, I would really be careful about comitting interior operations during this time. It may be something that your choosing to do, but please be careful and prudent on these decisions.

Thanks for taking the time to respond.
Stay Safe,

Here is my email I would be more than happy to hear someone elses opinion on this matter.

Thanks and Stay Safe

1 - I work for the City of Portland Maine - when we strike a Desk Box we get 3 Engines 2 Trucks 1 Heavy Rescue 1 Deputy Chief and 1 Ambulance, we also start a third ladder routine as the RIT truck, depending on the initial report and if the All Hands is struck (our equivalent of a working fire) the RIT ladder steps it up to Code 3.

2 - Most of the companies know what there supposed to do but if anything needs to be changed the 1st due company makes the assignments, its normally broken down as listed below.

1st Due Engine - Fire Attack
2nd Due Engine - Water Supply
3rd Due Engine - Secondary Water Supply
1st Due Truck - Search - Forcible Entry
2nd Due Truck - Ventilation
3rd Due Truck - RIT
Rescue - Fills in where needed
Deputy - Command
Ambulance - works with the first due engine if there are no immediate victims

3 - The third due ladder is the RIT team until relieved by mutual aid and or recall members at a third alarm.

4 - I am a member of the FOOLS and currently the President of the Central Mass Chapter.

Adam Bean

I am envious of the coordination and the assignments! Seems as though you have the bases covered, at least on paper:>)
So, are you near Kittery Point, Maine? If so, say hi to my friend, hero and shrimp boat Captain...PJ Johnson!
Hope the FOOLS chapter is going well. We just "recruited" about 20 others a few months ago and things are good.

Going to the convention this year? A few of us went up to Seaside last year for a great time and Brotherhood.

Stay Safe


Kittery is a little south of me but I drive by the stomping grounds of the illustrious Captain PJ of the Love Boat and Kittery Point fire brigade on my way to work, I'll tell him you said hi. I will not be going to convention this year I'm getting married at the begining of august and that puts a hold on my summer. But maybe next years convention will be on the east coast to make things a little easier for us, who knows maybe the New England chapter might step up and be the host chapter. Where in TN are you? I've got family near Erwin on the NC line.


Yes, PJ is famous, even here in the south. I am from NY and moved here about 10 years ago. If you see him tel him "UL" said hi. HE will know what your talking about!

I would love to get the FOOLS to NE for some fresh lobsta. I was married 17 years ago, and we went from upstate NY to Bar Harbor. Great place and beatifulll country. I am 30 minutes south of Nashville, in Franklin, TN.

An early congrats on your upcoming wedding! Where's the honeymoon?
St. Lucia this year, she convinced me to go to the carribean, but I negotiated a return trip to Ireland for next summer for my half of the honeymoon.

Sounds like a great idea. Thanks again for taking the time in this discussion. I really appreciate it. Say hi to PJ for me!
Be careful Bro.
I work for North Little Rock Fire Department in Arkansas. We protect aprox 60,000 res. with 135 Fulltime
We send 1 Truck, 2 Engines, 1 Rescue, and a Battalion Chief on residensial and an extra engine on commercial
The IC determines the assignments currently
No we don't have predetermined RIT assignments
We just started a FOOLS chapter in our area

Lt. Wesley Stephens
V.P. Central Arkansas FOOLS Chapter
1) I work for South Kitsap Fire Rescue. On a first alarm Residential fire we dispatch 3 engines,2 Tenders, 1 medic unit, and the Duty Chief (battalion chief). Each unit with the exception of tenders and the medic unit have 2 on them. the tenders are not staffed and typically the Medic unit goes to grab them. If it's hydranted then obviously the tenders are not brought and the Medic unit responds to the fire.

2) We do not have pre-determined assignments. Although typically first due goes straight into the fire and second due establishes some sort of water supply.

3) RIT is not assigned to any paticular unit. Most of the time it is given to the Medic unit though. We crucially need more staffing and if we have any sort of significant fire where we will be interior a second alarm is tapped hopefully right away.


Reply to Discussion


Policy Page


The login above DOES NOT provide access to Fire Engineering magazine archives. Please go here for our archives.


Our contributors' posts are not vetted by the Fire Engineering technical board, and reflect the views and opinions of the individual authors. Anyone is welcome to participate.

For vetted content, please go to

We are excited to have you participate in our discussions and interactive forums. Before you begin posting, please take a moment to read our community policy page.  

Be Alert for Spam
We actively monitor the community for spam, however some does slip through. Please use common sense and caution when clicking links. If you suspect you've been hit by spam, e-mail

FE Podcasts

Check out the most recent episode and schedule of

© 2023   Created by fireeng.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service