This is certainly the case for FAST Unit Operations.
Although our purpose as Firefighters is to save civilian lives and protect property, when a fellow Firefighter becomes the person in danger and in need of rescue, the FAST Unit procedures that we implement will aid in achieving the best possible outcome.
The idea of a Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) or as it is referred to in the FDNY–a Firefighter Assist and Search Team (FAST)–is not a new concept. The sole purpose of the FAST Unit is to be available immediately to assist a member who becomes trapped, distressed or involved in
other serious, life-threatening situations.
There are numerous books that have been written strictly devoted to this topic and, as a result, it seems almost an injustice to try and cover FAST Unit operations in a single article. Nevertheless, the intent is to touch on the basics and have this article serve as a general “refresher” on the
Members all know that feeling of eagerness and adrenaline when the tones go off and the response ticket says, “Fill out 10-75.” Then, you notice the letter “F” after your unit number, signifying that your unit is assigned as the FAST Unit. We feel an instant letdown, right? “Great, now we just get to stand around and watch.” We have all been guilty of feeling this way, as it is, in essence, a testament to our work ethic as Firefighters that we always wish to be actively involved in the operation.
To read more on FAST Unit operations see the 3rd/2016 edition of WNYF by Firefighter Anthony Caterino.