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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.

  • NFPA Standards related to RIC
    • 1001 - Firefighter
    • 1021 - Officer
    • 1404 - Respiratory
    • 1407 – RIC standard
    • 1500 -  OSHA
    • 1561 - IMS
    • 1710/1720 – OPS (10-career/20 vols)
    • 1981 - SCBA
    • 1983 - Rope
  • Training for Rapid Intervention Crews
    • NFPA 1001 minimum certification needed
    • Physically fit to perform functions
    • Meet the performance standard of NFPA 1407
      • Ensure firefighters are proficient with the basics
      • Search, Ladders, Ropes and Knots etc
      • Advanced skills
      • Size up, reading smoke, reading building, reading people, ICS
  • Food for thought
    • Charge the RIC bag bottle when it's staged
    • RIC Crew leader uses headphones to better monitor radio traffic
    • Throw ladders to upper elevations BEFORE a Mayday
    • RIC Crew leader performs own 360
    • L.A.S.T. - ensure to give radio report at each one of these benchmarks including when the RIC enters and where
      • Locate
      • Access and Assess
      • Stabilize
      • Transport
  • Regular Training
    • You do not have to devote an entire training session to RIC operations. Simply incorporate some skills into your regular training to reinforce the techniques.

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.

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