This is a common sight at building fires all across America.
On occasion questions arise from the public like, "What are they doing standing around?" We'd like to take a moment to explain why you see this sight so frequently.
What? These firefighters make up the Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) or Firefighter Assist and Search Team (FAST). They trained, equipped, and mentally preparing to do one main thing, rescue a downed firefighter who is either injured or overcome medically. In the dynamic environment of fireground operations fire crews cannot simply stop what they're doing to remove an unconscious or injured firefighter. The RIT will handle any firefighter emergencies that occur on the scene.
Why? The establishment of this team at the onset of all building fires is a mandate by the oversight agencies of the fire service and failure to account for this task can expose communities and departments to tremendous liability in the event of a fatality. The effectiveness of the properly staffed (4FFs) RIT has been proven time and again when things turn south quickly.
Early in fire the RIT will place ladders for emergency escapes and support efforts in opening up the building to make it safer but they can not be used in a capacity that would prevent them from deploying to a downed firefighter ASAP. After the fire is darkened down the RIT can help relieve tired crews during the overhaul phase and that helps prevent injuries and secondary emergencies.
We hope this helps explain the nomex statues propped up on tools in the yard, they're just watching.... waiting.....and hoping they're not needed. Because if they are, they're likely a trapped firefighters last hope. ... See MoreSee Less