Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Managing the Mayday John “Skip” Coleman, Deputy Chief

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Managing the Mayday John “Skip” Coleman, Deputy Chief"— Presentation transcript:

1 Managing the Mayday John “Skip” Coleman, Deputy Chief
Toledo (OH) Fire Department Rick Lasky, Fire Chief Lewisville (TX) Fire Department

2 The 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 Dunn Deputy Chief, FDNY (ret.)

4 The one thing in life you have absolute control over is …
…your attitude !

5 The Mayday Or Call For Help Is Out
Establish the terminology Urgent, Emergency, Emergency Traffic, and MAYDAY.

6 Mayday is most often used when a member is in peril
Lost Trapped Out of air Down

7 Mayday 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.

8 Mayday 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!

9 Whatever 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.

10 Clear 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.

11 If the IC can’t identify the member in trouble
Immediately perform a roll call.

12 Performing a Roll Call Start 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.

13 Performing a Roll Call Asking 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.

14 Performing a Roll Call Throughout 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?

15 Performing 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.

16 Performing a Roll Call This 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.

17 Once the missing member is identified
Deploy RIT into the structure. Sooner with small residential structures Larger 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.

18 During 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.

19 Other tasks Is EMS on the scene?
If not, request a minimum of one advanced life support ambulance.

20 Keep 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).

21 What 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!

22 To control mutinies You must do three things… Expect them.
Practice how to react to them. Control them.

23 Training Drills Drills, again, tend to be a small obstacle to overcome. “The essence of training, is to allow error without consequence.”

24 Pick 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.

25 Psychology 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. Fire Smoke conditions Structural elements, and so on.

26 Psychology 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.

27 Psychology 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.

28 Psychology 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.

29 Psychology 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.

30 Psychology 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.

31 Psychology 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.

32 Psychology 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.

33 The 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.

34 The 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.”

35 What 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.

36 Command 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.

37 Command should consider staffing constraints

38 Command 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.

39 The 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).

40 The 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.

41 The essential crews are the following:
Finally, any available search crew still conducting a primary search for viable victims should continue.

42 Withdraw 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.

43 Consider all options Don’t overlook breaching walls.
Remember to establish a “think-tank.” Diagram the building. Evaluate staffing and time constraints.

44 Communications During a Mayday this will be challenging at best.
Stop the yelling as soon as possible.

45 Communications Communications from Command and from company officers should be deliberate, calm, clear, and concise. Only essential communications should be allowed. Think about channel assignments.

46 Command 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.

47 The 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.

48 The Fire The decision on what remains as is and what will be suspended rests with Command.

49 The Rescue The officer in charge of the rescue will need two general things: A RIT. RIT support. RIT support is the “Logistics” of the rescue.

50 The Think Tank The 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.

51 Command 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.

52 Command Multitasking Continually 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.

53 Command should give up the portable radio ASAP!
Get an aide to monitor the Command channel. By now, Command should have built a staff into the command structure.

54 Returning to Normalcy After the firefighter rescue, Command should conduct another PAR. After the PAR, reestablish a plan of attack for the original fire.

55 Returning to Normalcy As 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.

56 Returning to Normalcy Consider 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.

57 Returning to Normalcy Take time to review past incidents, and look at what got you in trouble. Determine your resources and develop your own lost/trapped firefighter policy.

58 How 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.


60 Thank you !

Download ppt "Managing the Mayday John “Skip” Coleman, Deputy Chief"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google