MARCH FIRE ENGINEERING MAG CARTOON

Why is it that some RIT crew members think that a fast and effective operation means emptying every compartment on their rig and carrying it inside to preform a rescue? You’ve seen these people, the ones in their bright yellow RIT vest standing like statues in a mountain of equipment waiting to leap into a rescue situation. I have even taught in a few departments that insist on taking a chainsaw into a smoke-filled, zero visibility environment as standard first-in practice (WTF?)! 

I like to think of RIT as a well organized, trained, and proactive safety team – intervening before an issue arises (e.g., placing ladders, pulling support hand-lines, enforcing fire ground safety, ect…). It’s a simple concept; try to stop something bad from happening before something bad happens.

However, in the rare occurrence that something goes wrong, this team needs to be ready, competent, and able to move fast and light with the bare minimum of equipment. Believe me, I could ramble on with a dissertation regarding my thoughts on training and the application of RIT. But for now I’ll just say; remember, the “R” in RIT stands for rapid, not restricted.

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