Valdosta Fire Department Hosts Rapid Intervention Operations Training with Orlando Fire Department Lieutenant Bassel Ibrahim
On Wednesday, June 30, the Valdosta Fire Department hosted a Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) Operations Training at the Lowndes County Emergency Operations Center. More than 70 firefighters from across South Georgia attended the training, including at least 25 members of the Valdosta Fire Department.
The training was led by Orlando Fire Department Lieutenant Bassel Ibrahim. The presentation titled ‘One Bad Day’ focuses on the proactive mindset of RIT Operationsor as Lieutenant Ibrahim describes it “firefighters rescuing firefighters.”
During the class, Lt. Ibrahim discussed some of the aspects of a RIT rescue such as stress response physiology and what happens to firefighters who are being rescued and are part of the rescue. Lt. Ibrahim also talked with the class about survival aspects of the job, such as mayday communication training.
Lt. Ibrahim says he has spent the last eight years presenting this important message to Fire Departments all over the country. “We are trying to change the mindset on RIT Operations from a check the box assignment to a more proactive approach on the fire ground. Just based on data and line of duty deaths, we have done some studies on those numbers, and we are trying to correct the curve and be more proactive to save firefighters lives. I think networking across the country is a good avenue to spread the word a little bit faster,” said Lt. Ibrahim.
Valdosta Fire Department Lieutenant Justin Ply heard Lt. Ibrahim speak at a previous conference and knew the presentation was something Departments in South Georgia would also benefit from. “This training is very important because not only are we here to rescue our citizens, but we are here to help our own fellow firefighters if something were to happen to them inside a burning structure or other type of call,” said Lt. Ply.
“After the class I received feedback from firefighters about how eye-opening Lt. Ibrahim’s class was and how much it changed their opinion on Rapid Intervention. I believe it was a great experience for everyone in attendance,” Lt. Keith Niehanke.
Background on Bassel Ibrahim:
Bassel Ibrahim is a 17-year veteran of the fire service and is currently a Lieutenant with the Orlando Fire Department. Bassel has spent most of his career on Special Operations units. He is a Florida Smoke Diver Instructor and FLAMES program graduate and teaches Truck School and RIT at many fire conferences around the country, including Orlando Fire Conference, Ft. Lauderdale Fire Expo and FDIC. He leads the Orlando Fire Department RIT and Survival programs and competition teams.