Presentation on theme: "Managing the Mayday John “Skip” Coleman, Deputy Chief"— Presentation transcript:
1Managing the Mayday John “Skip” Coleman, Deputy Chief Toledo (OH) Fire DepartmentRick Lasky, Fire ChiefLewisville (TX) Fire Department
2The lost or trapped firefighter situation is very difficult and extremely stressful, but like anything else we do in the fire service, we have to train for it.
3“In order for a firefighter to survive the dangers of firefighting, he must know how other firefighters have died or been seriously injured.”Vincent DunnDeputy Chief, FDNY (ret.)
4The one thing in life you have absolute control over is … …your attitude !
5The Mayday Or Call For Help Is Out Establish the terminologyUrgent,Emergency,Emergency Traffic,and MAYDAY.
6Mayday is most often used when a member is in peril LostTrappedOut of airDown
7Mayday is most often used when a member is in peril When a collapse has occurred or is imminent.Where any other circumstance that can seriously injure or kill is present.
8Mayday is most often used when a member is in peril Simply put, if we don’t get out of this right now, we’re not going to make it!
9Whatever you come up with… make sure everyone who works on your fireground understands it!!!Train in it so that members will use it automatically should they get in trouble.
10Clear all radio traffic Attempt to identify the member in trouble.RIT should ready themselves to deploy into the structure.An emergency alert tone can be activated at this point.
11If the IC can’t identify the member in trouble Immediately perform a roll call.
12Performing a Roll CallStart with first-in interior companies and work out from there.Emphasis should be on accounting for each company.Check to see if each has all of its personnel.
13Performing a Roll CallAsking for specific names can wait until you get to the company with a missing member.Once the member is identified and reported as missing, announce the member’s name.Ask if anyone operating on the scene knows this firefighter’s last known location.
14Performing a Roll CallThroughout this process, ask the following questions:Who is trapped? How many are trapped?What was the last location(s) of the member(s)?What was the last assignment(s) of the member(s)?Are they radio-equipped?
15Performing a Roll Call If possible, review the tactical worksheet There have been times when companies were looking for someone only to find out that the firefighter made it outside, or was working with another company.
16Performing a Roll CallThis is where training in your accountability system pays off.As much as we like to think that we stay together, sometimes things happen and we become separated.
17Once the missing member is identified Deploy RIT into the structure.Sooner with small residential structuresLarger commercial structures:Attempt to provide the precise location of the member in distress or last known location.Anything that will help to increase potential rescue time.
18During the roll call …once you have discovered who is missing, continue with the roll call process.Involve your dispatch center or fire alarm office.Consider volunteers and off-duty paid members that respond to the scene in their personal vehicles.
19Other tasks Is EMS on the scene? If not, request a minimum of one advanced life support ambulance.
20Keep the operation going Keep working companies in their area of assignment.Continue to work on the fire and ventilate.Others can be redirected to assist in the rescue effort (RIT support).
21What Command Should Expect From Crews Expect mutinies.This will be perhaps the hardest scene a fire chief or IC faces.The want and need to help is natural!
22To control mutinies You must do three things… Expect them. Practice how to react to them.Control them.
23Training DrillsDrills, again, tend to be a small obstacle to overcome.“The essence of training, is to allow error without consequence.”
24Pick your battlegrounds. Vacant city-owned structures that will be used for a training burn work best.Training burn buildings also work well.If you anticipate mutinies and then attempt to adjust to them, the real scene may end as you hoped.
25Psychology of the trapped, injured, or lost firefighter This firefighter’s sole focus will be on removing themself from danger, if it is possible.Obvious factors in the area will be ignored.FireSmoke conditionsStructural elements, and so on.
26Psychology of the trapped, injured, or lost firefighter Firefighters in distress may walk (or run) past an open window in obvious view because they were looking for the stairs, or they may crawl over and ignore a hoseline while looking for a safety rope.They may forget what is connected to the end of the hoseline.
27Psychology of the trapped, injured, or lost firefighter The firefighter in distress will usually revert to what was learned and is “routine.”This is where our training in the basics and firefighter rescues pay off.
28Psychology of the trapped, injured, or lost firefighter Don’t expect a firefighter to accomplish a manipulative maneuver learned in a one-hour training session, especially if the task was learned months ago and never practiced after that.
29Psychology of the trapped, injured, or lost firefighter Finally, firefighters in distress will overcompensate – they will not be able to feel safe enough.Remember, their sole and overriding focus is to survive.
30Psychology of the trapped, injured, or lost firefighter When you locate the firefighter in distress, do the following:Speak calmly.Offer reassurance.Explain every action you are taking.Promise anything. Then, try to keep your promises.
31Psychology of the Mutineers The IC must understand that these individuals, when activated, will focus or tunnel in on the rescue. However, they may ignore the obvious:Fire conditions – flashover, rollover, changing smoke conditions, and the like.Safety – they might ignore safe practices.
32Psychology of the Mutineers Performance – they may not be able to perform multitasks.Get crews inside with RIT to focus on fire conditions. Back-up lines should be staffed by crews who will focus on back-up.Assign a safety officer specifically to RIT.
33The Psychology of the Others On-Scene As stated earlier, expect mutinies.They want to help their brother or sister!Some should remain and fight the fight.Utilize them for RIT support.
34The Psychology of Command Resist the temptation to be the hands-on guy. This is a natural tendency.Command will want more than the usual number of updates, especially from RIT.Command should build a small “think-tank.”
35What Command Should And Should Not Do! Command should consider time.New turn-out gear – limits.RIT needs to get in.Hose streams need to be working in the area of the endangered members ASAP.SCBA work time – extra bottles.Monitor the structure’s stability.
36Command should consider staffing constraints The RIT.Back-up line for RIT.Second and additional back-up lines.Support with special tools if needed.EMS personnel.
37Command should consider staffing constraints GET ENOUGH HELP TO THE SCENE!
38Command should remove nonessential crews Reason 1: To control or hold in check the inevitable freelancing.Reason 2: To get members who can provide RIT support.
39The essential crews are the following: The RIT.Any hoseline in the last known location of the firefighters giving the Mayday.Any hoseline that can be used to hold the fire away from the area of the lost, injured, or trapped firefighter(s).
40The essential crews are the following: Ventilation in progress that will help draw fire and heat from the area is also essential.If additional crews are available, open up as much of the building as possible without drawing the fire into the area of the rescue.
41The essential crews are the following: Finally, any available search crew still conducting a primary search for viable victims should continue.
42Withdraw nonessential crews All other crews are nonessential and should be withdrawn, accounted for, and reorganized.RIT support will grow to at least three times the size of RIT.
43Consider all options Don’t overlook breaching walls. Remember to establish a “think-tank.”Diagram the building.Evaluate staffing andtime constraints.
44Communications During a Mayday this will be challenging at best. Stop the yelling as soon as possible.
45CommunicationsCommunications from Command and from company officers should be deliberate, calm, clear, and concise.Only essential communications should be allowed. Think about channel assignments.
46Command must build a think tank Now is the time to build a team at the command post.Consider two operations chiefs:One for the fire.One for the rescue effort.
47The Fire The fire may have to held in check for the time being. This is where “holding actions” may need to be in place while the search for endangered firefighter(s) commences.
48The FireThe decision on what remains as is and what will be suspended rests with Command.
49The RescueThe officer in charge of the rescue will need two general things:A RIT.RIT support. RIT support is the “Logistics” of the rescue.
50The Think TankThe three (or more) individuals (Command and the officers in charge of “the fire” and of “the rescue”) will need to be together and they must talk.
51Command must be able to “multitask” conceptually Command will have many conversations, thoughts, and visual observations running through his or her head at the same time.Command must be able to sort and prioritize these thoughts and observations while clearly defining tasks and expectations.
52Command MultitaskingContinually thinking on two fronts, the fire and the rescue.Command must be allowed to step back and momentarily weigh requests and realities and then come up with a sound decision.
53Command should give up the portable radio ASAP! Get an aide to monitor the Command channel.By now, Commandshould have built astaff into thecommand structure.
54Returning to NormalcyAfter the firefighter rescue, Command should conduct another PAR.After the PAR, reestablish a plan of attack for the original fire.
55Returning to NormalcyAs soon as you can, send additional crews to the scene for relief and reassign on-scene crews to the necessary assignments.As soon as relief comes, get the original on-scene crews to a debriefing. They should be required to leave the scene.
56Returning to NormalcyConsider support sectors such as a public information officer to handle the media and chaplain to handle critical incident stress management (CISM).Training in incident management, rapid intervention, and rescue techniques obviously is just a start.
57Returning to NormalcyTake time to review past incidents, and look at what got you in trouble.Determine your resources and develop your own lost/trapped firefighter policy.
58How well Command manages the Mayday and how well on-scene crews interact with one another will determine the success or failure of the toughest type of incident we will ever fight.