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The “Columbus Kit”
Rapid intervention training in honor of a Columbus 1987 line of duty death.
Published Wednesday, August 15, 2012
YouTube/FFDGP - This is a compact kit that can be used by a RIT (Rapid Intervention Team) or FAST (FF Assist and Search Team) to extract an injured or unconscious firefighter that has fallen through a hole in a floor or roof. We first developed this setup back in 1995 and refined it to what you see in the video - We call it the "Columbus Kit" in honor of the Columbus Ohio Fire Department who shared the lessons learned from a LODD they experienced on July 25, 1987 -- FF John Nance died when he fell through a weakened section of floor into the basement of 4 story commercial building and could not be rescued before he exhausted his air supply.
The kit contains 2 - 50 foot sections of 5/8" rescue rope, 2 XL locking carabiners, 1 custom made storage bag and a 12 foot "Quik Step" folding ladder. Our RIT will only perform this type of operation when the floor or roof is strong enough to support a rescue attempt from above. The kit we assembled has MORE than 7 options for deployment - Using either one or both ropes together. The 3 primary methods include:
1. Carabiner/ Shoulder Strap Technique
2. Full Body Harness
3. Handcuff Method
It's important to realize that there are variations to all 3 of these techniques as well as other methods that can be used - The set up of the kit allows numerous deployment options based on a RIT's level of training and experience. Other techniques we train on include the use of a hose line and webbing - The "Columbus Kit" is a BACKUP when these methods or more basic procedures are ineffective.
When deploying the Kit we use the "Quik Step" ladder to access the trapped firefighter, but only if the hole is large enough to accommodate both the ladder and the firefighter descending/climbing it. Otherwise we reach the trapped firefighter by performing a hose line slide or lowering a rescuer down with one of the Columbus Kit ropes....... It's important to keep your options open and to train on a variety of techniques as there's rarely one best way to perform a rescue.
Train, Be Prepared, Stay Safe, Make the Save - SURVIVE!
Dale G. Pekel