RIT Operations: Making the Stairs

By Donald L. Wedding

Removing a trapped or unconscious firefighter from a basement or other sublevel floor by the stairs can be difficult and physically demanding. This “Quick Drill” demonstrates a modified technique to the commonly taught practice of placing both legs over the shoulders when removing a downed firefighter. This “one leg” technique can also be used when moving a firefighter vertically (up stairs) or horizontally across floors during drags.

Download this drill as a PDF HERE







As with any fireground operation, it is imperative that a 360° walkaround be conducted to identify the possibility of a basement as well as below-grade points of egress such as walkouts or egress windows. The presence of a basement and all egress points should then be communicated to all units operating on the fireground, especially for those units and personnel assigned with any rapid intervention duties or tasks.  


Donald L. Wedding is a firefighter for the Fredericksburg (VA) Fire Deptartment and an instructor with Traditions Training, LLC.

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