RIT Mask Modification
The District of Columbia Fire Department is in the process of training the entire department in Rapid Intervention Team skills. One of the many skills covered is to replace a downed firefighter’s damaged or missing SCBA face piece. This somewhat simple skill becomes significantly complicated while wearing gloves in a low-vis environment. Some of the brothers knew there had to be a better way, so they came up with a simple, yet effective, modification to an old face piece.
The interesting thing about this post is that the information was sent in by two individuals: Captain Daniel Troxell from Truck Company 6, and Lieutenant Tony Carroll from Rescue Co. 2.
The first modification was created by firefighter Scott Creelman. His thought was to create a pull handle to facilitate handling the mask with a gloved hand. He took an old, broken face piece and removed a strap from the webbing. He then laced the strap through a good face piece where the bottom strap is attached to the webbing. The ends of the strap were then tied together to form a loop.
The second modification was suggested by a firefighter from Engine 6. He found an old garden hose, cut a piece and laced the new handle through the hose. This made the handle much easier to get a hold of with gloves on.
The third modification was by Captain Troxell from Truck 6. He suggested sewing the handle to the webbing. This keeps the webbing spread out and prevents it from “bunching up.”
The final improvement was the addition of large rings on the pull straps making it easier to cinch the mask on while wearing gloves.
Step by Step
Captain Troxell also points out that they discovered the AV2000 face pieces much easier to use for RIT operations than the AV3000, if available the AV2000 is much better option to be used in the RIT pack.