Augusta Firefighters' Rapid Intervention Team Train to Save Live - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Augusta Firefighters' Rapid Intervention Team Train to Save Lives

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Augusta, GA -

For the last 2 days, a dozen firefighters from Richmond County trained rigorously on how to rescue a trapped or injured firefighter.

The group is called the "Rapid Intervention Team" and it's the first of its kind for the department.

When crews are called out to the scene of a fire, every minute counts. But sometimes the unavoidable happens – a roof could cave in trapping one or more of the firefighters. On Friday, firefighters learned how they can rescue one of their own.

"We are dangerous – we are constantly in danger. Should one of us go down, this training will save firefighters," said shift commander Frank Lanier.

This is a Pittsburgh drill – where firefighters navigated an obstacle course, carried a 50 pound oxygen tank and rescued a trapped worker about 50 feet inside – and all of it in the dark.

"If the firefighter remains still too long and he's not moving, a device goes off. This training is to get to him," said shift commander Frank Lanier.

The Rapid Intervention Team trained on a number of different real life scenarios.

"How to get someone out of a basement – instead of coming down a set of steps, how do you get someone up," said shift commander Frank Lanier.

"We practiced a victim trapped on the roof and brought him down – of a flat roof, and a structural collapse inside using airbags and lifted the materials off the firefighter, said captain Alan Kneece.

The goal is to prepare firefighters just in case they're faced with a real life emergency but the training could also help you.

"We may have someone on the roof and we could use this training to get them off," said Lanier.

Now that the 2 day training is over – these firefighters will go and train the other 300 firefighters in Richmond County just in case one of them gets in trouble.

Richmond County has 19 fire stations and each time there is a major fire, a team of first responders from the Rapid Intervention Team is there on standby.

It could take several months to get every firefighter trained.

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