ALAMEDA COUNTY FIRE CHIEFS ASSOCIATION

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1 ALAMEDA COUNTY FIRE CHIEFS ASSOCIATION RAPID INTERVENTION CREWS APPENDIX T Alameda County - Alameda - Albany - Berkeley - CalFire - East Bay Regional Parks - Emeryville - Fremont Hayward - Livermore-Pleasanton - Newark - Oakland - Parks RFTA - Piedmont - Union City Revision: April 2007 Page 1 of 10

2 RAPID INTERVENTION CREW OPERATIONAL GUIDE TABLE OF CONTENTS I. INTRODUCTION 3 II. PURPOSE 3 III. DEFINITIONS 4 IV. PROCEDURES 4 V. RIC ACTIVATION 6 VI. EXTRICATION 7 VII. COMMUNICATION 7 VIII. EQUIPMENT 9 Page 2 of 10

3 I. INTRODUCTION It shall be the policy of the Fire Chiefs of Alameda County to ensure procedures are in place for a Rapid Intervention Crew (RIC) to rescue trapped or injured personnel working in environments immediately dangerous to life and health and to ensure compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) respiratory protection regulations, 29 CFR 1910 and 1926, the provisions for Two In/Two Out. Information contained within this guide shall refer to the operations and deployment for a formalized Rapid Intervention Crew. A minimum of a three-person company shall be assigned as the function of RIC as soon as possible. The RIC shall be fully equipped with appropriate protective clothing, self-contained breathing apparatus and any specialized rescue equipment that may be needed. A RIC will be utilized at all structural fires and other incidents where personnel are subject to hazards, that would be immediately dangerous to life and/or health, in the event of interior fire attack operations, equipment failure, sudden change in conditions or mishap. Hazards include, but are not limited to: II. PURPOSE Structure fire Hazardous materials incidents (RIC and back-up entry team shall stand by in the warm zone) Confined space rescue (RIC shall stand by in limited access area) High Rise (RIC will stand by one floor below the fire floor, near the fire attack stairwell. A secondary standby RIC should be considered for the lobby). For High Rise structure fires a second RIC company should be ordered upon confirmation of a fire. Lag time takes too long to activate after the fact. Greater alarm fires with multiple entry points need multiple RIC companies, or each Division would need a RIC company. If a RIC incident should occur all RIC companies could be activated to the location. Any other incident having a significant risk. The purpose of this policy is to establish a procedure for the utilization of Rapid Intervention Crews (RIC) to ensure that rapid assistance will be provided to any firefighter in distress by deploying a fully equipped team dedicated solely to the rescue of injured or trapped firefighters while operating at the scene of an emergency. This procedure shall be implemented at any incident where fire Page 3 of 10

4 personnel are subject to hazards that are immediately dangerous to life and/or health (IDLH). III. DEFINITIONS IDLH - Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health. For the purposes of this policy and to comply with CAL-OSHA regulations, any structure fire that has progressed beyond the incipient stage shall be considered immediately dangerous to life or health. INCIPIENT PHASE FIRE- A typical incipient fire is one limited to materials originally ignited. The oxygen in the room is not significantly reduced and the room temperature is only slightly increased. RAPID INTERVENTION CREW- A team deployed in a ready state, to immediately react and respond to rescue injured or trapped firefighters. A rapid intervention crew shall consist of at least three members and shall be available for rescue of a member or a team if the need arises. Rapid intervention crews shall be fully equipped with the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) including SCBA as well as any specialized rescue equipment that might be necessary given the specifics of the operation underway. TWO IN / TWO OUT A section of OSHA 29 CFR 1910 and 1926, which requires that two personnel maintain a position outside of a structure fire prior to fire attack operations commencing. These personnel are responsible for accounting for the location of interior personnel and affecting a rescue, if necessary. Upon the arrival of a dedicated RIC, these personnel may be reassigned to other tasks. POINT of ENTRY - The designated area at an incident or within a division, where all companies enter and exit the hazard zone. RIC STAGING - An area designated, near the point of entry / search rope attachment point, by the IC or the RIC Officer for the purpose of staging additional RIC personnel and equipment. IV. PROCEDURE A Rapid Intervention Crew shall be established at all working structure fires or any time the Incident Commander (IC) or Operations Chief (Ops Chief) deems it necessary. RIC may be a unit from the first alarm or additional resources (based on incident needs). A formalized Rapid Intervention Crew shall be established no later than the first arriving unit from the second alarm. The Rapid Intervention Crew shall report to and communicate directly with the Incident Commander or Operations Chief (if established). Page 4 of 10

5 The Rapid Intervention Crew shall be established for the sole purpose of providing emergency assistance to firefighters (who may become trapped, injured or disoriented while operating at an emergency incident). A Rapid Intervention Crew shall consist of a minimum of 3 trained personnel inclusive of a supervisor. The Incident Commander may assign multiple Rapid Intervention Crews (in strategic locations) depending upon the size and complexity of the incident (example: front and rear of structure or on multiple fire floors). The position of RIC Group Supervisor shall be established any time multiple companies have been assigned to the function of RIC. The RIC Group Supervisor shall be responsible for the supervision and coordination of all companies assigned to the RIC Group. Units / apparatus assigned to the RIC Group shall maintain their normal County Identifiers (example: 3493, 2545, etc.) and communicate with the RIC Group Supervisor. The RIC should complete simple tasks (securing utilities, etc) and / or soften the structure as long as it will not delay them from performing their primary duties. If the task requires RIC to go on air or prevents them from monitoring the radio RIC should not complete the task. When performing interior fire Suppression activities, RIC companies, in most cases, should not be re-assigned to other duties. Passing RIC company duties to another company could be detrimental if an emergency traffic call should arise. RIC companies should have a good idea of the building layout, where crews are working, and what access points are to be used. RIC companies may also be engaged in softening the building, and should have their equipment in place, ready for deployment. All members of the Rapid Intervention Crew shall be responsible for constant monitoring of radio traffic. The RIC Officer shall monitor the assigned tactical channel ( scan function turned off). The Rapid Intervention Crew should move at a quick pace and be ready for an immediate activation while maintaining crew integrity. RIC shall respond to the scene in full PPE with basic tool requirements (Section VIII Equipment). The RIC officer shall report to the Command Post and the crew members shall cache equipment in a location designated by their officer The IC will brief the RIC officer on the location of companies operating at the scene, tactics and known safety hazards. The RIC Officer shall monitor the movement of companies within the structure. Page 5 of 10

6 RIC companies shall conduct a size up of the structure. The size up should encompass all sides of the structure and should be used to identify and anticipate potential hazards, equipment needs and best access and the best egress points. Pertinent information gained during the size up, including location of fire, safety hazards or special needs, shall be relayed back to the IC. The RIC officer shall develop a basic Action Plan and be ready for any unexpected events, such as, flashover, collapse, or missing firefighters. All RIC members should be briefed on the plan, access points, individual assignments and needed equipment. The Rapid Intervention Crew shall locate a dedicated hose line (for RIC only) that may be deployed as needed. Additional equipment/tools that may be needed shall be cached in a central location. V. EMERGENCY ACTIVATION The IC shall be notified of all RIC activations. The Rapid Intervention Crew shall immediately respond to all Emergency Traffic transmissions, requests for assistance or audible PASS alarms heard inside of the structure. The Rapid Intervention Crew shall be a fast moving, lightly equipped recon team. Its objective is to quickly locate the downed firefighter and perform a rescue or coordinate the rescue effort. The Rapid Intervention Crew shall deploy a search rope from the access point into the structure. The RIC shall communicate with the IC until a RIC Group has been established. The IC shall automatically assign a minimum of one additional company to the position of RIC Group whenever RIC is activated. The Company Officer shall serve as the RIC Group Supervisor until relieved by a ranking officer. The RIC Group shall be proactive and request additional resources to assist with the rescue (additional alarms may be required). The location of victims, additional resources, or specialized equipment needs shall be communicated to the IC. Page 6 of 10

7 During rescue operations, the RIC Group Supervisor will monitor the air (SCBA) status of the crew making entry every five minutes. Vital fire suppression duties shall not be abandoned to assist with the rescue. IC should consider calling for additional resources if warranted. VI. VICTIM EXTRICATION RIC has two options after a victim has been located: Rapid Extrication or an Extended Operation. This decision will be based on extrication time and remaining air supply. Rapid Extrication is the immediate removal of a downed firefighter. The primary objective is to remove the victim to a safe area by using any combination of drags, carries, or lifts. Victim must be close to an exit with no entrapment issues. Extended Operation is used for victims who are trapped or deep inside of a structure. The primary objectives are to immediately provide a safe haven for the victims with an additional air supply (RIC SCBA) and protection with a hose line until the rescue can be completed. VII. COMMUNICATION Emergency communication is of paramount importance. All personnel operating at the scene must maintain strict radio discipline when an emergency is declared. RIC shall operate on the Tactical Channel assigned for the incident. One member of the crew shall be assigned to monitor Control 4 or assigned Channel. TERMINLOGY: Priority Traffic: A situation exists that requires immediate attention. This would include information that would significantly impact the incident or a severe safety hazard. Emergency Traffic: Only to be transmitted when a firefighter is in immediate danger. This should only be transmitted when a firefighter is requesting assistance for him/herself or a fellow firefighter. A firefighter in distress has two options for declaring an emergency: 1. Verbal communication via radio, stating Emergency Traffic. Page 7 of 10

8 Broadcasted in the following order to ensure vital information is communicated. L.U.N.A.R. is the acronym to be trained upon for easy broadcasting, and receiving by the IC. L Your Location U - Your Unit Identifier N - Your Name A- Your Assignment R Resources Needed To Rescue You. Example Broadcast: Stanley Blv. Incident Command. Emergency Traffic. Firefighter Stuck in HVAC wires. In the machine shop area. 1249, Firefighter John Doe, Fire Attack. Bring wire cutters and SCBA. 2. Activate emergency button on portable radio. Reminder that the Emergency button on the portable radio may not go off when activated, depending your location in the county and due to different communication centers repeaters that can create a failure in communications. After hearing a request for Emergency Traffic, the IC shall make a general announcement on the assigned tactical channel declaring an emergency. Upon the location of the downed Firefighter radio communication shall be in the form of : PAC- CAN P- PASS, Person A-Supply of downed Firefighter C- Condition of Firefighter C-Condition of Location A-Your Actions N-Your Needs for extrication All non-essential radio traffic (other than life or death) shall stop. If the Emergency Traffic request is done on the assigned tactical channel, the channel shall be kept clear to allow communication between the RIC, the IC and the downed firefighter. The firefighter requesting assistance shall never be asked to switch radio channels. Page 8 of 10

9 An additional tactical channel may be needed for fire suppression operations, if the victim is unable to activate the emergency button. If the a Emergency Traffic request is activated by the emergency button on portable radio. All RIC operations shall be conducted on Control 4, or what ever channel your radio in you location sets to. The IC shall assure that adequate pauses in radio traffic are provided. This is to allow the firefighter in distress an opportunity to transmit. The IC and/or RIC Group Supervisor should attempt to make radio contact with the downed firefighter to obtain any additional information (name, unit number, last known location). When rescue operations are completed, the IC will announce that units may return to normal radio procedures. VIII. EQUIPMENT All Apparatus with RIC equipment shall be marked with a 6 Reflective tape (RIC) on compartment for ease of locating by other companies / agencies. i.e. RIC bag, LAS (RIC) Rope Bag, McGuire tarp. Selection of tools/equipment should be based on the type of incident, building construction and potential rescue needs. The RIC officer needs to be proactive in developing a plan and selecting tools based on possible rescue potential. Tools need to be cached in a central location, where they are readily accessible in the event of an emergency. Rapid Intervention Crews will have the following equipment ready: Standard Alameda County approved Search Rope /8 Kevlar rope with knots & rings located 20 apart, with (2) 25 tag lines. Velcro accountability tag to attach on rope at entry anchor point Portable Radio for each crew member Personal flashlight per crew member RIC SCBA pack/or packs complete with mask and transfill contection Set of irons ( Forcible entry tools) Box lights Thermal Imaging Camera Full PPE and SCBA for each member Mass Loops Mguire carry tarp, with strap & large D ring. Locate a hose line (dedicated for RIC only) Barrier tape to ID RIC entry point Page 9 of 10

10 Pre-placement of ladders will be implemented as deemed necessary. Optional Tools/Equipment: The RIC officer shall determine what tools are to be staged based on the incident needs. Examples of possible tools are as follows: Chain Saw - wood frame structure Partner Saw - masonry or metal structure EMS Gear Additional SCBA units Various hand tools Specialized rescue equipment All subsequent incoming RIC crews will need to assess their need of the equipment and make sure they have the proper cache to function as a RIC company. If assigned as a RIC company, and you have no equipment, you may have to find another RIC pack, LAS (RIC) Rope Bag, forcible entry tools, Ladders Etc from another company on scene. Page 10 of 10

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