In the interest of firefighter safety, Kuhl Hose adopted a Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) concept in 1990. Since 1990 RIT has become a common term in the fire service.  Kuhl Hose RIT is a team of six or more highly trained firefighters who specialize in search and rescue techniques used to extricate firefighters who become lost, trapped or are low on air in dangerous environments. The RIT typically responds as part of an automatic first alarm preplan to neighboring departments on reports of structure fires.


Once on scene the RIT gathers equipment and sets up close to the structure. The RIT Officer will consult with the Incident Commander (IC) and Accountability to assess how many personnel are inside the structure and where they are located. The RIT Officer stays close to the IC to assess scene conditions and activate the Team if necessary In the meantime, other team members perform a 360 degree evaluation of the structure to look for possible egress points and potential hazards. With firefighter safety as their primary mission the RIT may take proactive measures to make the scene safer. For example, throwing ground ladders to second story windows or setup lighting equipment. The entire team will then standby by in full PPE with SCBA ready to respond to the MAYDAY call of a downed firefighter. The RIT shall have no other operational assignment until the incident is under control or they are relieved by another qualified Team.


Kuhl Hose typically responds two pieces of apparatus on RIT assignments, our rescue-pumper 683 and an ambulance. The ambulance brings additional RIT trained firefighters/EMTs, and stages ready to treat and transport injured personnel. Due to the complexity of the tasks involved the RIT may use a variety of equipment to carry out its duties. A detail of typical RIT equipment can be seen below: