Just finished a very comprehensive class on RIT tactics (train the trainer). The focus of this class was to train those of us who will be training FD personnel in our department in a sort of "back to the basics" attempt to establish a baseline of skills for RIT's. We are a large department and one that is proactive in training to the degree that we are willing to stow ego and begin again on a topic that really noone will ever really have complete mastery of, or control over as every situation encoutered by RIT commands its own individual response.
That being said, point was raised during intermission that the RIT officer was in effect responsible for the members of his crew (a fact that I am in no contention with) and as such the rabbits in front of him need to slow to a point that he can manage them (a fact that I am respectfully in contention with).
In the scenarios that I was able to watch, (while catching my breath) it seemed to me a huge disparity between those in the front (deployed for search), and those in the rear (deployed as the RIT officer and Nav-air spot).
Upon hitting the door the searchers consistently took aim with hand on the hose line and tool at the ready and "booked it" into the fire on all fours, while those with the TIC (officer) and those with the rope(nav-air) strolled into the search rather languidly on their knees. It should be noted that the Officers and Nav-air members were not lazy, (all hard chargers at this school), but rather, seemed more concerned with safety and calculation than I would expect a search for a downed member would demand.
I can assume that the responsibilities of the officer are great, though I am in fact not an officer. I am not willing to say, though, that his/her responsibility for scene control and personnel accountability should in any way mitigate the urgency with which we must act as RIT. Going in for one's own is perhaps the most difficult thing I can imagine on a fireground, and stressful from the top to the bottom.
In my future teaching of this cirriculum, would it be wrong to stress to the two ends of the search the need for rapid, and controlled movement through the fireground search? To what end do I make my argument? Should an officer be told to pick up the pace? Am I being hypercritical or unsympathetic to the postition of RIT officer and its inherent responsibilities?
If it be the case that my critique is unfounded please know that it is out of ignorance to the position and not because I am a cowboy or a proponent of freelancing on the fireground. I know well and am adherent to personnel accountability policies on the job.
My argument, and one for which I am seeking edification, is that while searchers need to communicate and possibly reign in their eagerness and aggression in search, officers need to speed up and bridle their urges toward constraint. RIT deployments demand, as I see it, a fine balance between urgency of movement and calculated progression.
Submitted respectfully and with admiration for the fallen Brothers in Buffalo.