Racin’ and RIT

This past week was race week here in the Tri-Cities. Hundreds of thousands of race fans flock toward Bristol Motor Speedway to watch the NASCAR race. I, however, was one of those fans. I camped at the track and relaxed most of the weekend in the scorching heat.

There was one thing this week that I was glad to see incorporated into the race festivities, and that was Rescue 5 from F.D.N.Y. This unit is now operated by the Rescue Remembrance Project, and it tours the country honoring those who were lost on 9/11 and the rescue units of F.D.N.Y. The Fire Critic gives his two cents about the project and some recent criticism they have received in this article here. Rescue 5 was on display at Family Race Night in downtown Bristol on State Street on Thursday night. I unfortunately was unable to attend due to being on-shift, but I did watch the transporter parade on a live web cast on-line. I thought it was neat that the rescue unit lead the NASCAR haulers in to the track on Thursday night. I was able to meet Chris Gantz, the project leader for the RRP, and passed along on of our Local 2270 challenge coins to him after purchasing a few items from him. Chris seems like a great guy and I am glad we have people like him carrying on the tradition. Check out their website and donate or purchase some clothing from them to help support the cause.

Today, I am back on shift in the “Model City,” and what better way to get back in to the swing of things then by having an ISO drill. Our department is required to have so many each year as part of our accreditation process, and today it was on our RIT pack. The RIT bag consists of an air cylinder, an extra regulator/mask, a quick fill hose, and a low pressure hose. This RIT bag is used when we have a downed firefighter, and the Rapid Intervention Team will take it in to the structure to provide additional air and/or equipment as needed. We currently have 3 RIT packs in our department and they are carried on our ladder truck, our deputy chief’s vehicle, and Fire-Rescue 12. At any working fire in the city, at least two of these apparatus will be on-scene. The drill was an eye-opener to a lot of the guys about how we don’t get our hands on this equipment as often as we should. It’s no ones fault but our own, but never the less, it was a great drill. We had two downed firefighter in a small storage room under a stairwell. It was very close quarters for our two rescuers to either fill the air pack of the downed firefighter or provide additional air to them by hooking up their buddy breathing connection. The rescuers had to locate the downed firefighters and provide additional air to them so everyone could exit the structure. Here are a few photos from the drill.

-Until next time: ABC