Rescue Skill Training Explained

The Newtown Square Fire Company has been undergoing multiple purpose training sessions that were spawned by social and living style changes.  This life-saving training has had its growth in these constantly changing life styles


As the commercial, residential, and vehicular, activities busy Newtown Square fire and rescue personnel find the increased materials in each emergency calls are synthetic products.  They have replaced a onetime dependence upon natural materials. These newer, manufactured materials have created new safety challenges, as well as new forms of operations.

The initial sound. The smoke in early steps of today’s fires activates building’s fire alerting devices.  The telltale wail of the alerting sound from a structural Smoke Detector is a welcome sound that initiates the saving of lives.

There is also a second sound—one that may be heard later in a fire. This unwanted warning sound has a differing function, one that alerts of a second type of an emergency.  This alerting sound may have its origins in a special, alerting device that be activated by an injured, immobile, or unconscious firefighter/rescuer working in a search for a non-located occupant or trapped person or extinguishing the fire.

The source of this second, emergency sound comes from the special PASS Device. This four-letter abbreviation describes a valuable alerting device—Personal Alerting Safety System.  This alert source aids locating a trapped, injured, or otherwise disoriented or immobilized firefighter or rescuer.

This device in its more recent application has become a traditional part of the Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) that provides a safe, source of compressed air which permits firefighters to work in a normally unsafe and often a dangerous environment.


It is a common practice for firefighters to find themselves working in specific tasks that can quickly grow into unexpected levels of risk.  The secret that promises a hoped for a wanted, positive outcome is having an on-call rescue team— the Rapid Intervention Team (RIT).  These special firefighters are skilled, properly equipped and trained to locate and remove the trapped/injured firefighters.  There are pre-determined events when a is placed in service   RIT should be placed in service when requested by the emergency’s Incident Commander when it is considered this team is neede

Also, any time firefighters are ”on air” (using a compressed air system, a.k.a. SCBA) inside a structure or a hazard area there should be an RIT in service.  The RIT is to remain in service until released by the Incident Commander.

RIT members must be guide by the AWARE concept:

Air separate air supply for victim

Water supply to protect the rescue and withdrawal

A Radio frequency established for the victim

Extrication tools needed to withdraw the victim

RIT members will be expected to operate under well established, determined rules. They must be under direction of the Incident Commander or an alternately determined leader.  Without rules there would be chaos.


Every activity and responsibility of RIT team members is to locate and stabilize in any appropriate ways that will aid in a prompt and safe removal of a trapped or injured emergency service member.

These members will not do any firefighting, except any needed to aid and transport the emergency service member.  RIT teams traditionally have a minimum of two members of the team, with more if required.  No one leaves this responsibility until relieved.

When available, the RIT will obtain a safety-firefighting water hose from a pumping source not used in primary firefighting. This assures a constant, emergency source of water.   A collection of specific RIT tools should be carried to a safe location that is near the incident

To help assure uninterrupted emergency communications during an RIT activity, a separate radio frequency should be established for this RIT operation; an assurance of emergency communications is a primary tool.

Newtown Square firefighters have been trained to provide a collection of trained RIT specialists.  Currently, additional firefighters are being schooled to increase the local pool of RIT-qualified service providers.  The current methods used in safe firefighting are not all the once-traditional tools—they now are adding advanced concepts and skills.


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