ABSTRACT

Rapid Intervention Teams at Structure Fires   [open pdf - 167KB]

"During [the last] decade, there were five structure fires where Philadelphia firefighters became lost or trapped, and at these five incidents there were seven firefighter deaths and forty-five firefighter injuries. The purpose of this evaluative and action research paper is to: (a) predict the [likelihood] of firefighters, in the future, becoming disoriented, lost or trapped while fighting a structure fire; (b)evaluate the Philadelphia Fire Department's (PFD's) existing procedures for responding to a lost or trapped firefighter; and (c) evaluate and recommend technology and/or procedures to improve the PFD's response to lost or trapped firefighters. For this research we analyzed ten years of fire [incidence[ data to predict future fire incidence. We reviewed the PFD's operational procedures on structural firefighting, reviewed reports on five structure fires where Philadelphia firefighters were lost or trapped and surveyed the existing literature on response to lost or trapped firefighters. The analysis concludes: (a) in the future we should anticipate that Philadelphia firefighter's may be lost or trapped at a structure fire; (b) the PFD does not have a written operational procedure for a responding to a lost or trapped firefighter; and(c) fire departments that train and routinely dispatch a Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) to structure fires, and require the use of an integral [personnel ]activated safety system, improve their [capability] to respond to lost or trapped firefighters. This report provides an operational procedure for a RIT and recommends that the Philadelphia Fire Department adopt this operational procedure and dispatch a RIT to all structure fires."

Author:
Publisher:
Date:
1999-03
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
United States Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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