LEESBURG — It’s a rescue team for rescuers.
Lake County Fire Rescue kicked off its annual Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) training at Fire Station 70 in Leesburg this week.
Every county firefighter must undergo the training, which includes deploying crews into a building for a “Mayday” call to rescue one of their own. Teams maneuver through a course to locate, assess and extricate a firefighter.
“It’s a must have,” said Lt. Robert Fickett. “Everybody in the department goes through it, including new hires and firefighters that have been here for 20 years.”
Crews are currently going through six hours of refresher training, which includes running through an actual rescue scenario, discussing critical failures and making sure everyone is working up to standards. During the exercise, firefighters work a simulated two-story house fire where the roof collapsed onto a downed firefighter on the first floor. Their goal is to make entry, locate the firefighter, provide air with a RIT pack, and get the firefighter victim out of the home.
Lake County Fire Rescue calls out a Rapid Intervention Team for every working structure fire.
“In case we have an emergency - if we have a roof collapse, somebody gets lost, somebody runs out of air - the RIT team gets activated by command or the battalion chief that’s on scene, and they get sent in to rescue the downed firefighters,” said Lt. Fickett.
For more information about Lake County Fire Rescue, visit www.lakecountyfl.gov/firerescue, www.twitter.com/lakefirePIO or www.facebook.com/LakeCountyFireRescue.