Special Operations

Rincon Valley Fire District has personnel that are trained in Special Operations, so we are prepared for whatever situation we are called to. Our special operations training is based on the needs of our community.

Rope Rescue

Rope rescues are low frequency, high risk situations.  These are not routine calls for firefighters, however, our continuous training and classes such as Rope Rescue 1, 2, & 3 maintain our knowledge and skills to handle such situations.

Rope Rescue classes are certified through Arizona Center for Fire Service Excellence and Pima Community College.  RVFD employs one of Arizona’s top rescue instructors.  Through his teaching, RVFD employees are able to learn cutting edge rescue skills such as the use of the MPD’s, aluminum caribeaners, sewn prusik loops, and static system safety checks.

The picture above is from a rope rescue class put on by “CMC Rescue” in Bend, Oregon.  The tower rescue pictures were from a class put on by  “Ropes That Rescue” in Tucson, AZ at Tucson Electric Power’s training tower facility.  In these classes, the information is passed down to RVFD employees through continuous education/training, keeping them always prepared for their district.

Swift Water Rescue

Swift Water calls are low frequency, high risk calls where 1 out of every 3 rescuers become a victim themselves. Sixty-eight percent of Swift Water Rescue calls occur in low to no light conditions.  It takes less than six inches of water to carry your car downstream.  Arizona has the “stupid motorist law” and individuals can be sited by law enforcement agencies.

Through the Swift Water 1 and 2 classes, continuing education, and swift water drills, many of RVFD’s employees are highly trained and always prepared for these situations.  RVFD also has some cutting edge equipment that helps aid in such situations. Some examples are: NRS self bailing rescue boat, Bridger NR85 Coast Guard Line Gun, and Live Bait Rescue Vests.  RVFD would love to convey to the residents of the district, “If you come cross a road with water running across it – to please turn around, don’t drown.”

Hazardous Materials

The Rincon Valley Fire District Hazardous Materials Program is designed to promote hazard materials awareness and protection within the District, while training and preparing fire crews for responding to hazardous materials releases. Every RVFD firefighter is trained to the First Responder – Operations level requirements, as established by Occupation Safety & Health Administration, and The National Fire Protection Association. Some firefighters gained further training and are trained as Haz-Mat Technicians. Our technicians are members of the Pima County Regional Hazmat Team which trains together on a monthly basis, and every quarter the team test their skills and knowledge with scenario based drills. This advanced training benefits the District by better preparing fire crews to handle all types of hazardous materials releases.

Wildland Fire Program

The Rincon Valley Fire District Wildland Fire Program is designed to promote wildland fire safety within the District, while equipping and preparing fire crews for responding to wildland fires. Every RVFD firefighter is trained to the basic wildland firefighter requirements, as established by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group. Some firefighters choose to pursue advanced training in wildland fire tactics, including chainsaw operation, advanced firefighter, engine boss, and incident commander type 4. This advanced training benefits the District by better preparing fire crews to handle large scale wildland fires.

Rincon Valley Fire District maintains a cooperative agreement with the Arizona State Forestry Division. This agreement allows RVFD to call upon additional local, state, and federal firefighting resources, including aircraft and firefighting hand crews, should a large wildfire threaten the District. This agreement also obligates RVFD to respond when requested to wildland fires across Arizona and the United States, provided the District has adequate staffing. Rincon Valley maintains a team of specialized firefighters who respond to these incidents on fire engines, water tenders, and ambulances. Firefighters can be deployed for 14 days straight or longer, and often work strenuous 16 hour shifts. The experience gained on these types of assignments is of great value to the District. Rincon Valley Fire District recuperates all costs associated with off-district assignments.

The Mission of the Wildland Fire Program is to train and equip RVFD firefighters to respond to wildland fires in the District and across the United States, and to educate District residents about the threat to the community from wildland fire.

The Wildland Fire Program Strategic Goals are:

  1. Train and equip RVFD firefighters to respond to wildland fires.
  2. Equip and maintain RVFD apparatus for wildland fire response.
  3. Establish and maintain working relationships with regional wildland firefighting agencies.
  4. Assist the Public Education Program in community wildfire awareness.
  5. Maintain a fiscally responsible wildland budget within the Fire District annual budget.