This photo shows a way to make an SCBA face piece for your RIT bag/kit glove friendly. You can use a garden hose or any kind of rubber tubing or hose that would be easy to grab with a gloved hand. We used a small bungee cord and ran it through the bonnet and attached both ends to the hose. This allows for easy feeling and grabbing the back of the mask with gloved hands.
We also attached large key rings to the pull tabs for the face piece bonnet to pull it tight. These rings can be any size you want, but make sure they are easily accessed and grabbed with glove hands.
These two methods have worked very well for us and during training evolutions has stood up to the pulling and tugging.
Let us know if you have other methods that work well for your department.
Here is a great video of some basement removal techniques. This is another video from Dale Pekel, who looks like he may have gotten a promotion? Dale? Anyway, these props are able to be used for multiple drills and Dale is very generous with how to build them.
These two techniques are great and you can see that one must be comfortable and well trained in the use of the SCBA. Confidence comes from continued use and training. You must master the basics and know your tools like the back of your hand. This allows you to perform the more advanced tasks without worrying about the simple things because they become second nature.
Train hard and stay safe. Thanks Dale for another great video.
I recently had the pleasure to spend some time with Chief Dave McGrail from the Denver Fire Department. Besides discussing high rise and stand pipe operations, we talked about the Denver Drill and the circumstances from which it was derived.
Most have heard the story of Mark Langvardt and the fire that took his life. The following videos show just how difficult it was for Denver firefighters to rescue firefighter Langvardt. You can see the desperation and helplessness on their faces as they work to exhaustion to save their downed Brother. They were doing everything that they could to rescue him and were met with almost impossible conditions and a situation that they were not familiar with.
This is why we need to learn the lessons that our Brothers and Sisters all over the country can teach us about training for situations like this. We must train for and be prepared for bad things to happen. We cannot take a day off from training and we have to take RIT seriously, no matter how “routine” the fire seems to be.
Please remember Mark Langvardt and the Denver Fire Department while watching these videos and all the others who have sacrificed. We owe it to them to train hard and often and to learn from those experiences.
Stay safe and be a Bulldog about training. It makes all the difference in the world.
This is a video we did for a company drill. I know that everyone has their favorite method and some will not like using webbing for this. This is just an additional option you have. It really does give a little assistance with lifting. We have found we have a bit more leverage using the webbing.
However, you have to practice and practice with webbing in order to be proficient, otherwise it takes too long.
The second day of HOT classes at FDIC 2010 was RIT Combat Drills with Assistant Chief of Pittsburgh, Jim Crawford and his crew. This day was an eight hour day and it was challenging to say the least.
There were two houses set up for scenarios and evolutions to simulate downed firefighters and the techniques to rescue them. There were four stations at each house: lowering, deployment, lifting and the Pittsburgh Drill.
The deployment was designed to deploy a rescue team with air, rope and some hand tools to find the downed firefighter and to stabilize the situation and to determine what resources will be needed. In addition, this drill required us to remove the downed firefighter as fast as possible after getting him air and with just the tools we brought in.
The lowering drill required the team to raise a ladder to a second story window and send in a rescue team. While the rescue team was searching the room, the ladder was moved to the roof level to set up a lowering system to lower the firefighter from. The interior crew had to secure the downed firefighter with straps/webbing and get him out the window while the crew on the ground lowered him down.
The Pittsburgh Drill was by far the most challenging drill of the day. This video shows the basic concept, but we were more confined in a smaller area and the downed firefighter dummy had an air tank on that had to be manipulated during the removal. The rescue team had to low profile at least twice and in some instances, four times during this drill while having our masked blacked out.
The lifting drill had a downed firefighter trapped under debris. The RIT crew had to make entry, figure out the best way to extricate the firefighter and what equipment would be needed. In most cases, this was performed with airbags and with cribbing. The most difficult aspects of this drill were coordinating the airbag lifts and communicating without visibility.
The final drill was a scenario where all the drills we went through would be applicable for a final rescue of three Maydays. It was a team building exercise and multiple teams were needed to rescue one victim. Air management is paramount and the teams must understand when to call in the next team without running out of air.
I would highly recommend this class to anyone wanting a real challenge. The instructors were supportive and provided a great deal of experience and knowledge to back up the drills.