Fire crews rescue one of their own during a training session
Firefighters train to save one of their own during a fire. Rapid Intervention Teams from Clark County assembled for yearly drill. Video by ktnv.comvideo
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) - It has been more than 20 years since a Clark County Firefighter perished inside a burning building. But every year crews practice rescue tactics just in case they need to save their own while fighting a fire.
A drill played out this morning at a home near McCarran Airport. Clark County Fire crews got the call and went in, then a firefighter calls for a mayday. That's when the Rapid Intervention Team assembles.
The synthetic smoke made it virtually impossible to see. And if it were a real fire, temperatures would be around 200 degrees.
"You have the Hollywood version of firefighting, which is good for the cameras, and then they the real version. You can't see, you can't hear, you don't know what's going on and we still didn't add in the heat and the danger elements in there," said Captain John Steinbeck.
Using an infrared camera and search tactics crews work quickly to locate a firefighter down and bring them to safety.
"If he has no air he's got minutes. He's got three to five minutes without any air," said Steinbeck.
It's a situation that Captain Steinbeck can't recall in his tenure with Clark County Fire, but it's a situation firefighters must always be ready for.
Rapid Intervention Team or "RIT" training was developed because of many line-of-duty deaths, injuries and close calls that have occurred across the country.