Training Displays Firefighter Rescue Skills

The targets of the ongoing training of the Newtown Square Fire Company are traditionally focused on all members of the local 100-plus year community life- and property-saving organization.  This was demonstrated by a recent educational exercise. As both a challenge for upcoming training evaluations for current students attending a current Rescue Intervention Team (RIT) training program as well as the remainder of the Newtown Square Fire Company members

The background for details about this potential, life-saving RIT process and some specifics behind the RIT-member’s skills and activities are included in an earlier feature provided by the Newtown Square Fire Company

This recent RIT training was directed by Engine Captain Chris Young. This realistic education session was held within the local fire station located on North Newtown Street Road. Every part of the exercise duplicated similar events in a typical fire, with one exception.

That single exception was the sound of a telltale, warning sound from a Personal Alert Safety System (PASS Device).  This lifesaving, alert tool is assigned to the portable breathing apparatus used by local fire fighters.  This current safety device senses when the firefighter is not able or capable of moving.  A very identifiable sound from changes both the mood of the other firefighters as well as beginning a special rescue focus by a set of firefighters—crew members of the RIT.

Captain Young replicated the blinding of the RIT members would experience in a smoke-filled area.  By covering the by covering the face masks of the combined RIT members, this team was required to do a thorough search for the source of the alerting device.

This combination of the response to an immediate alerting sound “screaming” through blinding conditions that parrot what would be experienced in a realistic search for a “downed” firefighter.  Using their individual experiences in firefighting, several investigations were used as these RIT members found a louder path to the missing sound source

Controlling their adrenaline demands, these dedicated, specially-skilled firefighters continued to move in their quest for this “missing person’s warning sound source.  This goal found the stranded pseudo firefighter, a 180-pound stuffed training dummy.  He was located under a bunk in the upper floor sleeping area of the fire station.

The successful radio message alerting the training commander of this discovery and rescue was welcomed information shared by all the attendees at the evening training.   Chief Doug Everlof added, “This location, and ‘life saving effort’ is a reward for team training and RIT efforts”

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