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FDIC 2012: 25 TO SURVIVE (Lecture)

**This week we are featuring a short run-down of each of the programs that our staff will be presenting at this year’s FDIC in Indianapolis**

Tuesday (Pre-Conf Workshop, 130p-530p) – 25 to Survive

25 to Survive

TT’s Lt. Mitchell and Capt. Shaw will co-present thier flagship program, 25 to Survive:  The Residential Building Fire.  This program highlights 25 critical areas that present themselves to operating forces at the number one fireground killer of civilians and firefighters alike.  They will present this engaging, interactive presentation will focus on pre-incident, operations and post incident operations.  They will give you street smart tips and take home drills to make yourself and your fire company better prepared at the next residential fire you respond to.  

Lieutenant Douglas J.Mitchell Jr., Fire Department of New York and Captain Daniel D. Shaw, Fairfax County Fire & Rescue:

Course Summary:  More firefighters are seriously injured and killed while operating at residential building fires than at any other fire we encounter. This dynamic and interactive lecture program will address 25 critical firefighting errors and issues common to the residential building. Learn sound tips and take home practical drills to address and correct errors at residential fires. Topics include combat-ready attitude, leadership techniques, SCBA confidence, overcoming building construction features (setbacks, long stretches), communication failures on the fireground, developing and delivering sound and accurate on-scene reports, coordinated ventilation, and more.


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Posted by | Posted in administration-leadership, Blog, Combat Ready, command-leadership, Company News, Engine Company, fire-rescue-topics, firefighting-operations, Incident Command, line-of-duty, RIT / Survival, technology-communications, Tips & Skills, Truck Company, Upcoming Classes | Posted on 08-02-2012

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Saturday March 10, 2012 – Sunday March 11, 2012

View Map | Register



Traditions Training Presents:

Modern Rapid Intervention Essentials


with a tactical twist will allow you to

“Manage the Mayday with a Real World Skill set!”

Topics and group skill stations include:

Constructing & Deploying the Initial RIT

A principal concern of any RIT deployment is the ability to locate the downed firefighter. This station will focus on several search methods specifically oriented to downed firefighters utilizing a “two-team” approach. Use of a search-rope system for this purpose is also included. Members will overcome challenges to locate the downed firefighter utilizing the search rope as an orientation means as well as a method to identify the downed firefighter’s location for assisting teams.

Packaging & Moving the Downed Firefighter

 Students will practice packaging a downed firefighter. Methods will cover the pro’s & con’s of various methods including “DRD” (in coat) devices, the SCBA, webbing, etc. Techniques for moving the downed firefighter will also be covered, including negotiating obstacles and stairs.

 Downed Firefighter Air / SCBA Emergencies

Keeping a downed firefighter on air during extrication and critical is a life-or-death matter. This station will teach students to systematically assess a downed firefighter’s SCBA status to identify and correct problems. This includes correction of face-mask emergencies, mechanical malfunctions, and low/out-of-air scenarios. Buddy- breathing will also be included, along with the 3 tiered rule of air change over.

“Out Side the Box” Removal Techniques

Downed firefighter removal from basement windows, upper floors, and roofs using basic equipment found on every firground or even in your pockets!

Real World Scenarios

 The class will conclude with these evolutions that will last 3 hours. Armed with the skills and knowledge gained in the above stations, students will be broken in to teams of 4-6 firefighters and assigned as the RIT at a mock incident. Amidst distractions, obstacles, and other challenges students will be challenged to resolve a realistic RIT scenario. These scenarios will challenge their new and existing skills as well as their teamwork, communication ability, and problem solving under stress.

Click for a Downloadable Flyer

March 10th & 11th, 2012

Hosted By: Lionville Fire Company – Lionville, PA (Philly area)

Registration: $250.00


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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, RIT / Survival, Upcoming Classes | Posted on 14-09-2011

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The Basic Goals of RIT & Class in Bedford, VA

This weekend TT instructors Nick Martin (DCFD/KVFD), Scott Kraut (FFxFD), Chris Birch (DCFD), and Roger Steger (BCFD/KVFD) traveled south to Bedford County, Virginia.  We were being brought in to do some RIT training with the 3 departments in the county that had primary responsibilities for RIT – Bedford FD, Forest FD, and Stewartsville FD.

Class focused on two simple sets of rules.

The primary goal of the RIT should be to:

  1. Locate the downed firefighter.
  2. Keep the downed firefighter on continuous air.
  3. Keep the fire off the downed firefighter.

Most operational LODD’s result from asphyxia first and burns second.  The goal of the initial team is to create a protective envelope around the downed firefighter.  If you keep the firefighter on air and the fire away, you can work on solving any additional challenges such as collapse, etc…

Our second rule was:

Most successful rescues of firefighters are a combination of:

  1. Excellent basic firefighting skills.
  2. Basic tools and equipment.
  3. Ingenious, out of the box thinking.
  4. Communication, problem-solving, and teamwork.


There is not a one-size fits-all tool you can buy and throw on the rig to solve your RIT problems.  Scenarios are often unique and often highlight a situation we hadn’t thought of until after it occurred.  To be prepared we must first be excellent at fighting fire and PREVENTING the RIT deployment and second we must be problem-solvers with many “tools in our toolboxes” from which we can pull and generate a solution.

Class on Saturday started with a 4-hour seminar on RIT essentials and team formation.  In the afternoon we worked on practical skills focusing on:

  • locating the firefighter and use of search-rope kits
  • troubleshooting and resolving SCBA emergencies
  • packaging and moving the downed firefighter

Sunday was entirely hands-on scenarios.  We demonstrated the reality that a 4 firefighter RIT is NOT likely to last long enough to complete an entire rescue. Students overcame scenarios involving missing firefighters, a catastrophic floor collapse, burned through stairs with members trapped above, and firefighters through a hole into the basement, among others.  The staff of TT was constantly impressed at the skill, ability, and attitudes of the members from Bedford County.  All scenarios were successful and much was learned by both students and instructors.

What was the last RIT training you did?  Was it realistic?  Was it based on the rules above?  Remember – no one is coming in for us, but US.  Stay COMBAT READY.

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, Company News, RIT / Survival, videos | Posted on 07-04-2011

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Another Great Weekend in Maine! RIT, Officer Skills, & Box Alarm Drills…

Nick reviews putting a facemask on a downed FF...

Nick reviews putting a facemask on a downed FF...

For the 3rd year in a row, TT instructors Nick Martin, Doug Mitchell, Danny Doyle, and Mike Stothers headed flew into Portland and made the drive northwest to Farmington.  Our previous classes included “Firefighter Survival” and “First-In Engine/Truck Operations”.  On the calendar for this year’s program was a mixed bag…

On Friday evening we held a 3 hour course on company-officer essentials including “command presence”, size-up, on-scene / situation reports, and tactical decision-making.  Saturday was all about Rapid Intervention; we focused on techniques to locate the downed firefighter, manage SCBA emergencies with various RIT-Pak assemblies, and removal techniques.

Sunday brought Traditions Training’s trademark “Box Alarm Drills”…  Scenarios were setup at an acquired building simulating various structural fires and students had to respond with skills gathered over the past 3 years, from engine/truck company work to rapid intervention to incident management.  Scenarios were conducted at full speed with the most realistic conditions.  Not only did this allow firefighters to practice their skills but it also helped identify challenges that could occur on a real fireground, so that they could be prepared for or addressed in advance.

IMAG0024 IMAG0019

On Saturday night, the fellas held a cookout for the instructors and class, featuring a cooler full of lobsters (of course), steaks, and more.  Thanks again to Chief Bell and Lt. Hardy for inviting us back and for the excellent hospitatlity!  We look forward to seeing everyone again.

To learn more about hosting this or similar programs at your department, please contact us

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Company News, fire-rescue-topics, firefighter-safety-health, firefighting-operations, news, RIT / Survival, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics | Posted on 26-05-2010

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Hands-On Open Enrollment in Farmington, ME

For our friends in the Northeast, the Farmington Fire Department has a few spots available in thier upcoming class on May 21-23, 2010 in Farmington, ME.  This program consists of an interactive presentation on Friday evening and then 16-hours of hands-on training in acquired builidings.  Topics to be discussed include:

Click HERE to download a flyer on this program!

Essential Structural Tactics & Leadership Skills – This 3-hour interactive presentation will discuss some essential tactical issues for company officers and incident commanders at structural fires. We will discuss the offensive deployment of tactical resources as well as several general leadership concepts applicable to both current and future fire officers.

Rapid Intervention Skills – We will focus on various techniques to locate a downed firefighter, resolve SCBA related emergencies with a RIT-Pak, and perform basic packaging and removal of the downed firefighter. We will begin Saturday morning with a classroom discussion of RIT principals along with several case studies highlighting hard-learned RIT concepts. The remainder of the day will consist of rotating skill-stations where students will have the opportunity to learn and practice new skills using the RIT equipment actually carried on their apparatus. Teamwork and problem-solving will be a cornerstone of these skills.

“Box Alarm!” Drills – Sunday will consist of multiple “box alarm” scenarios – simulated responses to structural fires. These will occur in
real time and operations will need to be carried out as they would be at an actual structural fire. Students may have to perform a variety of skills that we have covered in past training programs ranging from engine company and truck company operations, self-survival skills, and basic rapid intervention skills. To further challenge the students, the scenarios will be randomized – just like a real fire, students will not know what they are going to encounter until they arrive. Time will also be available to review and reinforce any skills, as necessary.

If you’re intersted in attending this weekend’s program, please contact Lt. Tim Hardy Lt. Tim Hardy, Farmington FD at (207) 491-4567 or thardy410@verizon.netSPACE IS LIMITED!

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, command-leadership, Company News, fire-rescue-topics, firefighter-safety-health, firefighting-operations, news, RIT / Survival, Training Resources, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics | Posted on 05-05-2010

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TT Instructors Receive Awards for Valor

Congratulations are in order for Traditions Training instructor Joe Brown, who was recognized last week for his role in rescuing Prince George’s County firefighter Daniel McGown.  Brown (left), a Captain with the Kentland Vol. Fire Department, was the officer of Rescue Engine 33 operating at a house fire in April 2009.  While performing a search, he heard an activated PASS device and quickly located FF McGown at the entrance to the fire room, who was unconscious and without a face piece.  Brown quickly transmitted a MAYDAY, packaged FF McGown, and removed him to a window where other members of RE-833 assisted in utilizing a “Denver Drill” style maneuver Lito take him out the window. Last week, Capt. Brown was awarded a Gold Medal of Valor by the Prince George’s County Fire Department for his actions at this incident.

Brown, Walter Joe_3x5

Tony Kelleher (right), also a TT instructor, is the Chief of Kentland and received a bronze medal of valor for his actions as the incident commander in managing and coordinating the rescue effort and the house fire simultaneously. Thankfully, despite life threatining injuries, FF McGown has made a full recovery and is back on the job.

This succuessful rescue is another testement to the value of a constant COMBAT READY attitude and excellent training.

Well done, men! You make us proud!

Link to PGFD Story on the Awards & Incident

Link to Kentland VFD Story on the Fire

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, Company News, fire-rescue-topics, firefighter-safety-health, firefighting-operations, fires, major-incidents, news, rescues, RIT / Survival | Posted on 03-05-2010

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TT Staff featured in April Fire Engineering!


Have you received this month’s edition of Fire Engineering?  If so, be sure to look for content from some of Traditions Training’s own staff:

  • “The Two-Team Truck Company” – In this feature article, Nick Martin looks at maximizing effeciency and accomplishing essential truck company tasks during the attack phase of a structural fire.  Featuring suggestions on how the “two-team truck” can be implemented in your department, regardless of staffing levels!  Nick will be presenting on this topic at FDIC next week, so if you’re in town be sure to see it.
  • 2010 Ray Downey Courage & Valor Award – TT is proud of Joe Brown, who received a nomination for this presitgious recognition.  Joe was nominated for his actions in rescuing a unconscious fellow firefighter from a house fire in 2009.

We are particularly excited to be in this issue, with it’s nostalgic cover celebrating the history of the “National Fireman’s Journal”.  If you haven’t seen these articles yet, be sure to check them out in the April issue.  Keep your eye out, we’ve got more coming!

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Commentary, Company News, fire-rescue-topics, news, Tips & Skills, Training Resources, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics, Truck Company | Posted on 16-04-2010

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NFPA 1407 – R.I.T. – Part II

In our first post on R.I.T, we reviewed the new NFPA Standard for Rapid Intervention #1407 ” and its role in defining RIT training.  In this is second blog post we will take a look at the rest of the NFPA 1407 document.  On the fireground, No one is coming in for us, but more of us…  We need to be sure that we are ready to go to work as a member of a R.I.T Company.


If you missed Part 1 of this series, you can find it here


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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, Company News, fire-prevention-education, fire-rescue-topics, firefighter-safety-health, firefighting-operations, fires, in-the-line-of-duty, Incident Command, news, RIT / Survival, Tips & Skills, Training Resources, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics, Truck Company, Uncategorized | Posted on 14-04-2010

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NFPA 1407, New Standard on Rapid Intervention Training……

Recently, a new NFPA standard was released that impacts Rapid Intervention Team Training. Along with a few other  items,”NFPA 1407:  Standard for Training Fire Service Rapid Intervention Crews, 2010 Edition” has formalized the training requirements for members who participate in RIT and for those who serve as leaders of a RIT.  The document provides a framework for identifying the skills that are necessary to be included in training for RIT and for training in Firefighter Safety and Survival.1407.1

The wording in the NFPA standard is clear to point out that the document does not attempt to address the operational deployment of the R.I.T.  But, as is found with most of the training we do, the training mirrors what we do…when we go to work. (more…)

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, command-leadership, Company News, fire-rescue-topics, firefighter-safety-health, firefighting-operations, RIT / Survival, Tips & Skills, Training Resources, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics, Truck Company | Posted on 29-03-2010

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Pressboard "I" Beam's

I-JOISTWe updated this post from a few years back.  There seem to be consistent tragedy that follow these lightweight plywood “I” beams. From a construction perspective, they are great!  They often times hold more weight, are lighter, cheaper and easier to assemble than nominal lumber. For us firefighters, the plywood “I”, when exposed to fire conditions are potential killers.  They silently wait for us to put our weight on them… advance our hose-lines over and crawl under them.  We are testing thier fire ravaged and weakened strength. As we advance, we often cannot measure what strength is truly left in that “I”.


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Posted by | Posted in Blog, fire-rescue-topics, firefighter-safety-health, fires, RIT / Survival, Tips & Skills, Truck Company | Posted on 24-01-2010