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In 1999 Andy Fredericks asked “is the fire service straying away from its core mission”? Do we place more emphasis on peripheral issues/training as opposed to bread and butter skills?  RIT training is important and needs to be a part of our training, but shouldn’t we put more effort into not getting into those situations in the first place. I know there are unforeseen circumstances that happen on the fire ground. Knowing how to fill out triage tags is a skill we should know, but do we need to devote an entire week on triage training? Are we focusing too much on specialty skills (TRT, Haz-Matt, and River) that fill up the day and make it difficult for non-specialty team members to go out and practice fire skills? Don’t get me wrong, we have great specialty teams and do great work when call for. Isn’t more important to be proficient at pulling lines, throwing ladders, venting roof and structures, forcing into buildings and searching for victims? So I ask, has our core mission changed? Or is it still the same? The techniques, tools and gear have changed over the years, but when a building is on fire and people are trapped what will fix the situation, a triage tag, a PFD, a First defender RMX meter a 3:1 “Z” rig, or a skilled engine and truck company with a charged hose line, force entry tools hooks and ladders? 

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