Rapid intervention team use is described as low frequency, but extremely high risk and intense because firefighters are rescuing one of their own.
Thursday’s scenario simulated a firefighter who was partially buried under a collapsed roof, who’s mask was knocked askew. Firefighters had to haul not only their own heavy gear, but also extra supplies to help the trapped team mate. The firefighters went into the dark and smokey course that littered with debris to rescue the crash-test dummy firefighter.
“Well, because we’re carrying specialized equipment when we go into the structure fire in the first place,” said Matt Emrich, a firefighter and paramedic. “We have equipment that the rescue team takes in to help support that downed firefighter– to be able to fill up his air while he’s in there, to be able to put a new mask on him if he has a mask malfunction, and then other tools to help disentangle or to help drag the firefighter out.”