Canadian Firefighter Magazine

Fit for Duty: April 2015

Sherry Dean   

Features Fitness Health and Wellness

I recently taught a basic rapid-intervention course to a group of seasoned firefighters. The consensus was that rapid-intervention team (RIT) techniques are very physical; even the smallest firefighters are awkward and heavy in full gear. Whether you are initiating self-rescue techniques, dragging in needed equipment or hauling out a downed firefighter, you need to be fit to be effective at RIT rescue.

This got me thinking about a RIT-specific workout that focuses on some of the necessary tasks during RIT rescues; pushing/pulling, whole-body movements and endurance are some of the keys. So here it is:


complete up to four rounds in total. If you are not able to do four, do as many as you can and work up to a full completion. This is not an easy workout. Keep in mind it is based around pushing the same limits you would if you were performing a RIT rescue.

You can challenge yourself by doing this workout in full gear on air, but at a much slower pace. Use your rule-of-air management, and take your cylinder to your low-air alarm. Time yourself to see how long you would have on scene to do the equivalent workload.

RIT is an activity none of us wants to perform in reality, but, if it’s needed, will certainly take a large amount of physical and mental effort. We should not be asking ourselves at the scene if it is possible. We should know that we are able. We need to invest the physical effort to be RIT ready.


I hope you enjoy your RIT workout and be safe.

Sherry Dean is a career firefighter/engineer with Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency Service. She has more than 20 years of experience in fitness and training.

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