Most Firefighters understand what a mayday is and are familiar with Rapid Intervention Crews. What you may not know is that the NFPA has a standard for the qualifications and training "to save our own." Over the weekend, I attended a NFPA 1407 implementation course. This 8-hour session concentrated on the standard and ways to integrate it into our training so we meet the standard for RIC. Rather then get into my own thoughts and knowledge of the subject; I would rather publish a simple list of take aways from this training workshop.
As Training Officer, I must ensure department training will provide the skills, knowledge, abilities and attitudes so our people follow Rapid Intervention procedures. A simple, yet effective way to execute the program is to develop a Training Matrix. By having a simple spreadsheet or database document to enter all RIC required evolutions. Throughout the year, your members will encounter some of those during other types of training. After a course, document the skills that were covered that meet the RIC standard. Forecast the remainder qualifications, and then hold sessions to meet the requirements. This will not take the place of an initial Mayday or RIC course, it is only there to supplement and reinforce.
The constant challenge to maintain and learn new skills does not have to cause extra work. Proper planning and looking ahead can help streamline the process. Incorporating RIC evolutions into your normal drills will not only enhance the training but will add a fresh new dimension.