Thursday, October 11, 2007

Think about it.

Your unit has the assignment of RIT at a fire in a 4-story building. The construction type is Type 2 (Non-combustible). It is an older building that was built prior to sprinkler requirements. There is significant active fire on the second floor in the Baker quadrant with some extension to the 3rd floor via a pipe chase.

All hands are working and a second alarm has been transmitted followed by a RIT level II alarm. Only the first alarm units are on the scene.

Discuss what actions should you take as the RIT Company…? Recognizing that there are hazards associated with this building, including the presence of casement windows. There are certain actions the RIT Company should take from a safety standpoint and this should be the basis for your discussion. Make any assumptions you want about the building and fire conditions but assume that the fire is not under control at this point. (courtesy of Deputy Fire Chief Coffman)


Anonymous said...

The Rit Company should be helping to throw ladders to the 2nd and 3rd floors and completely taking out the casement windows, frames and all.

Steve Hartman, The Retired One

Anonymous said...

This is a 4-story non-combustible building. In this type of construction, the structural elements do not add to the fire load, but are likely exposed metal, which will add to a potential and early collapse.

A well involved fire on the second floor, quadrant B, with extension through a pipe chase void to the third floor subjects the building to further extension horizontally and vertically through hidden voids. Any amount of fire impinging on metal structural components will subject the building to structural collapse. The weight of the building above can speed this process.

The hazards with casement windows should be addressed. It would be time and resource consuming to think we could clear every casement window frame in a timely manner. An alternative would be to strategically prioritize and remove casement window frames on the second, third, and fourth floors.

Because of the inherant dangers of structural collapse within a non-combustible building, consider upgrading the RIT assignment to a Level III assignment (adds structural collapse TRT resources), and these units will have specialized equipment to help with casement window removal and forecasting potential dangers, rescue options, etc.

Ground ladders must go up to the second and third floors. This should be backed up with aerial devices on all 4 sides if possible, good coverage of the scrub area. Towers would be especially versitile on this incident.

As RIT, you must create a game plan. Survey and size up the structure/scene. Account for the location of units operating on the floors, fire location, progress/lack of progress, forecast how you will use the incoming RIT resources, and prioritize tasks. Gather up the RIT bags/equipment/breathing appratus, lights, tools and equipment. Determine ingress and egress vantage points. Take necessary steps to create safe areas, staging areas, and effective work areas. Identify exterior staging areas and interior staging areas. Force doors and windows as needed.

Maintain contact with the IC, establish a dedicated radio channel for RIT operations.

Collaborate with RIT members to ensure full consideration of all aspects of the operation and/or potential rescue scenario.