Monday, March 16, 2009

Mayday Operations & RIT; The Real Stuff

In case some of you missed the excellent video that depicts the operations of the Houston FD at a Four Alarm Fire in an high-rise office building on March 28, 2007 HERE is some information. The fire resulted in three civilian fatalities with three firefigher injuries. There was a significant mayday and RIT operation that evolved during the incident that was produced into a DVD with scene video and radio communications.

The DVD was produced by the bravestonline.com This is a must see video. The FD After Action report of the fire at 9343 North Loop East, which makes understanding the scope and magnitude of the event clearer provides a wealth of useful information. While battling the high-rise fire, Capt. Joel Eric Abbt, assigned to Station 8, was on the fifth floor of the building searching for victims when he ran into trouble. His first mayday call was all but drowned out by the chatter of other firefighters engaged in rescues. The DVD of the 27-minute search and the captain's frantic calls for help is now available though a website, The Bravest Online as tagged above. The image above is the office building before the fire. More HERE and HERE.

There's alot of discussion and dialog spent on RIT and FAST operations, training, methodologies, tactics, staffing etc. It all comes down to some very simple elements; having the availability of dedicated resources consisting of experienced, trained and equipment personnel, who can operate under the most difficult of circumstances, without jeopardizing themselves to undertake a mission involving a firefighter in distress. It's not a game, its not about some miss guided thoughts of glory, or the self absorbing need to be in the middle of it all; its about undertaking a mission critical assignment that has a tremendous variable for the outcome. It comes down to you being able to perform with the necessary skills, knowledge and fortitude, as part of a team to complete the RIT assignment. Where do you fall into the equation?
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