Firefighter Assist and Search Team


Firefighter Assist and Search Team

A Firefighter Assist and Search Team (FAST), also known as a Rapid Intervention Team/Crew (RIT/RIC), is a team of two or more firefighters dedicated solely to search and rescue of other firefighters in distress. FAST shall have no other operational assignment during an incident. Multiple alarm fires may require multiple FAST/RIC teams.

Through the late 1960s and early 1970s the London Fire Brigade introduced RIT procedures using EATL (Emergency Air Transfer Lines) and EASE (Emergency Air Supply Equipment). This consisted of designated firefighter search and rescue teams (termed "emergency crews") stationed at self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) control entry points, equipped with emergency SCBA specifically designed to be worn by unconscious, injured or trapped firefighters.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have requirements for some type of FAST/RIT at structure fires. These standards require that a minimum of two fire fighters be standing by in full personal protective equipment while other crew members are working in a hazardous atmosphere. The standards are the result of a series of incidents where fire fighters became lost, trapped, or disoriented while fighting a structure fire without a FAST present.

The FAST concept is not universal, with many fire protection agencies training all personnel in rescue duties. Rescue teams are then designated based on apparatus order in the dispatch to a call in which standard operating procedures (SOPs) require that rescue teams be held at entry points. This is the basic concept of the "two-in, two-out" rule.

Note: While all of these versions of the name for a firefighter rescue crew either have been used or continue to be used in several areas, the National Incident Management System (NIMS) has determined that Rapid Intervention Crew, "RIC" will be the standard term. Currently, U.S. federally required training programs, from DHS and FEMA, are in the process of standardizing many terms and procedures under NIMS.

FAST equipment

FAST members are normally equipped with some or all of the following:
*Full turnout gear
*Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA)
*Personal alert safety system (PASS device)
*Portable radio that uses the fireground frequency and is available to the incident commander
*Hand tools
*Hand light
*Search rope or webbing
*Rapid air transport (RAT) bag which slips over an SCBA bottle and holds an extra mask to tap into the bottle to provide a downed firefighter with air. This so-called RIT Bag was invented by Darrin Shaw, a firefighter with Central Pierce Fire and Rescue. The term 'RIT Bag' is now widely used, but the trademark stays with RIT BAG [http://www.RITBAG.COM] from Puyallup, WA.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Firefighter — Firefighters are rescuers extensively trained primarily to put out hazardous fires that threaten civilian populations and property to rescue people from car accidents, collapsed and burning buildings and other such situations. The increasing… …   Wikipedia

  • Firefighter's helmet — Fire helmets from around the world on display at the Hall of Flame For centuries, firefighters have worn helmets to protect them from heat, cinders and falling objects. Contents 1 …   Wikipedia

  • Company officer (firefighter) — In the fire service, a Company Officer (CO) is the individual in charge of a crew of firefighters and their responding apparatus. Company Officers have different titles depending on the table of organization for their particular agency, but… …   Wikipedia

  • FAST Team — may refer to: *Firefighter Assist and Search Team *Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team, an elite branch of the U.S. Marine Corps …   Wikipedia

  • Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service — (DSFRS) Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service (DSFRS) area Coverage Area Devon and Somerset, excluding Bath and North East Somerset and …   Wikipedia

  • Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service — area Coverage Area Cheshire …   Wikipedia

  • Rescue and recovery effort after the September 11 attacks — The area surrounding the World Trade Center became the site of the greatest number of casualties and missing, due to a single incident, in the history of the United States. This region became known in the ensuing days as ground zero .Building… …   Wikipedia

  • UK firefighter dispute 2002–2003 — The 2002 2003 UK firefighter dispute began when the UK firefighters union, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), voted to take strike action in an attempt to secure a better salary. The FBU demanded a 39 percent increase in pay, which would have brought …   Wikipedia

  • Fire and Rescue NSW — Motto:  Orta Recens Quam Pura Nites , (Newly Risen, How Brightly We Shine) Established 1884 …   Wikipedia

  • Glossary of firefighting — Note: This list does not include firefighting equipment, i.e., tools and apparatus used by firefighters. Please refer to Glossary of firefighting equipment for such terms. : Note: This list is incomplete. You can help Wikipedia by… …   Wikipedia