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

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Presentation on theme: "Managing the Mayday John Skip Coleman, Deputy Chief Toledo (OH) Fire Department Rick Lasky, Fire Chief Lewisville (TX) Fire Department John Skip Coleman,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Managing the Mayday John Skip Coleman, Deputy Chief Toledo (OH) Fire Department Rick Lasky, Fire Chief Lewisville (TX) Fire Department 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.) 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. 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 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. 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 dont get out of this right now, were not going to make it!

9 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. 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. Whatever you come up with…

10 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. 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. Clear all radio traffic

11 If the IC cant 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. 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 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 members name. Ask if anyone operating on the scene knows this firefighters last known location. 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 members name. Ask if anyone operating on the scene knows this firefighters last known location. Performing a Roll Call

14 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? 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? Performing a Roll Call

15 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. 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. Performing a Roll Call

16 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. 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. Performing a Roll Call

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. 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. 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. 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). 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! 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… 1. Expect them. 2. Practice how to react to them. 3. Control them. You must do three things… 1. Expect them. 2. Practice how to react to them. 3. 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. 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. 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 firefighters 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. This firefighters 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 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. 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. Psychology of the trapped, injured, or lost firefighter

27 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. 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. Psychology of the trapped, injured, or lost firefighter

28 Dont 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. Psychology of the trapped, injured, or lost firefighter

29 Finally, firefighters in distress will overcompensate – they will not be able to feel safe enough. Remember, their sole and overriding focus is to survive. Finally, firefighters in distress will overcompensate – they will not be able to feel safe enough. Remember, their sole and overriding focus is to survive. Psychology of the trapped, injured, or lost firefighter

30 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. 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. Psychology of the trapped, injured, or lost firefighter

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. 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 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. 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. Psychology of the Mutineers

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. 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. 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 structures stability. 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 structures stability.

36 The RIT. Back-up line for RIT. Second and additional back-up lines. Support with special tools if needed. EMS personnel. The RIT. Back-up line for RIT. Second and additional back-up lines. Support with special tools if needed. EMS personnel. Command should consider staffing constraints

37 GET ENOUGH HELP TO THE SCENE! Command should consider staffing constraints

38 Reason 1: To control or hold in check the inevitable freelancing. Reason 2: To get members who can provide RIT support. Reason 1: To control or hold in check the inevitable freelancing. Reason 2: To get members who can provide RIT support. Command should remove nonessential crews

39 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). 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). The essential crews are the following:

40 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. 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. The essential crews are the following:

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

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. 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 Dont overlook breaching walls. Remember to establish a think- tank. Diagram the building. Evaluate staffing and time constraints. Dont 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 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. 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. Command Multitasking

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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

59 MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

60 Thank you !


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