Date of Issue: 6-1-97
Effective Date: 6-10-97
Developed By: Earl Obelenus
Issued by Authority of:
Earl Obelenus, Fire Chief
FIREFIGHTER ASSIST AND
SEARCH TEAM (FAST)
The purpose of the “Firefighter
Assist and Search Team (FAST) is to have a fully equipped rescue team on-site,
in a ready state, to immediately react and respond to rescue injured or
trapped firefighters or civilians.
This procedure shall be
implemented at all fires using offensive, defensive firefighting tactics
and other incidents where fire department members are subject to hazards
that would be immediately dangerous to life and/or health in the event
of an equipment failure, sudden change of conditions, or mishaps.
Examples of special
hazardous operations include but, are not limited to:
1. Hazardous Material Incidents
2. Confined Space Rescue
3. Offensive Interior Fire
4. Defensive Exterior Fire
5. Any other incident having
The IC will assign a crew,
plus an ambulance, for rescue standby duties at the incident.
The FAST will consist of
a minimum of three (3) firefighters and an officer. The type of EMS crew
and treatment capability (BLS or ALS) will depend on the hazards of the
situation. The ambulance shall be in addition to any ambulances that are
needed for transportation of civilians at the incident.
Fire departments may respond
to incidents that present an unusually high risk to firefighter safety.
This guideline identifies the requirements for and operations of standby
rescue teams during fire operations and special hazard operations.
1. The IC will determine
the standby location near the CP, at the entry point or other selected
location. FAST members will consist of experienced and trained firefighters.
Members will assume a ready state, including full protective clothing and
SCBA’s for all personnel. For other types of incidents the protective clothing
and equipment will be appropriate for the hazards.
The FAST will be assigned
a radio and will closely monitor radio communications at all times. The
team must be able to react immediately to a sudden emergency event at the
incident site. It is imperative that the team do a size-up of the
scene. In addition to the personal protective equipment listed above, rescue
equipment shall include but, not limited to: regular and specialized
rescue equipment, multi-purpose disk saw or chain saw, halligans, axes,
hand lights, PW extinguisher, search ropes/tag lines and ceiling hooks.
It may be necessary to get the equipment from different companies on scene.
2. FAST will be reserved
for immediate life threatening situations, such as firefighters lost, injured
or other critical situation. The FAST could also be assigned to a civilian
rescue situation, if needed, at the discretion of the IC. Another FAST
will be activated to replace the one being used immediately by the IC.
3. During the course of
an incident, the IC may elect to assign the FAST to a tactical function
but, again shall activate another team, as long as the hazardous situation
4. Command will assign “FAST
SECTOR” to the FAST. The team will remain in the sector until needed or
the incident is terminated. The only time the team will leave other than
being called will be to do a “size-up” of the building to get an idea of
the building size, construction, etc. They will at all times be in contact
with the IC by radio.
5. Command may assign more
than one team and ambulance for standby duties if necessary. For extremely
hazardous rescues ( i.e. confined space rescue ) there shall be a minimum
of two (2) firefighter rescuers on standby for each firefighter involved
in direct rescue efforts.
6. Command should assign
the FAST from firefighters at the scene whenever possible. In other situations
it may be necessary to call additional mutual aid companies for FAST duties.
7. Additional firefighters,
including additional mutual aid, will be requested and sent to the rescue
area as the emergency dictates.
8. This guideline is intended
to increase the overall level of safety for fire department personnel operating
at emergency incidents.
VI. SUPERSEDED GUIDELINE
This is a new guideline.