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“MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY” Managing the Fireground Mayday: The critical link to firefighter survival. Credit for much of the information contained in this.

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Presentation on theme: "“MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY” Managing the Fireground Mayday: The critical link to firefighter survival. Credit for much of the information contained in this."— Presentation transcript:

1 “MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY” Managing the Fireground Mayday: The critical link to firefighter survival. Credit for much of the information contained in this presentation to Timothy Sendelbach and Firehouse Magazine Credit for much of the information contained in this presentation to Timothy Sendelbach and Firehouse Magazine

2 INTRODUCTION Over the past several years, the fire service has placed a new emphasis on firefighter rescue, an emphasis never before considered to be necessary. Prior to the inception of NFPA 15OO (Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program) and programs such as “Get Out Alive” and Saving Our Own”, few if any firefighters could ever fathom the possibility of needing to rescue one of our own. Over the past several years, the fire service has placed a new emphasis on firefighter rescue, an emphasis never before considered to be necessary. Prior to the inception of NFPA 15OO (Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program) and programs such as “Get Out Alive” and Saving Our Own”, few if any firefighters could ever fathom the possibility of needing to rescue one of our own.

3 Terminal Objective: After lecture and discussion students when given a specific emergency scenario (situation) will be able to select the appropriate actions with (100% accuracy) to take if they or a crew member becomes trapped, disoriented or injured and have the need to call for a “MAYDAY”.

4 Enabling Objectives: After lecture and discussion the student will be able to recognize the critical factors that are present before entering a dangerous environment. After lecture and discussion the student will be able to recognize the critical factors that are present before entering a dangerous environment. After lecture and discussion the student will be able to know and understand the proper procedure for initiating a “MAYDAY” call for help. After lecture and discussion the student will be able to know and understand the proper procedure for initiating a “MAYDAY” call for help. After lecture and discussion the student will be able to understand the importance of establishing RIT / FAST After lecture and discussion the student will be able to understand the importance of establishing RIT / FAST

5 Who participates in rescue? This lecture is for ALL fire and EMS personnel. This lecture is for ALL fire and EMS personnel. Running a coordinated rescue requires that ALL individuals know what is expected of them and others. Running a coordinated rescue requires that ALL individuals know what is expected of them and others. Manlius must keep its command, safety, interior, scene support, operators and EMS personnel trained to be able to work TOGETHER for preparation of the scene and a coordinated rescue, if needed. Manlius must keep its command, safety, interior, scene support, operators and EMS personnel trained to be able to work TOGETHER for preparation of the scene and a coordinated rescue, if needed.

6 Definition Mayday as defined by Webster's Dictionary: an international radio-telephone signal word used as a distress call. Mayday as defined by Webster's Dictionary: an international radio-telephone signal word used as a distress call. The mere phrase “Mayday” has forever changed the careers and lives of many dedicated fire service professionals. The mere phrase “Mayday” has forever changed the careers and lives of many dedicated fire service professionals.

7 Firefighter Distress Signal Initiation or transmission of a mayday produces more stress and potential chaos than any other single type of incident we may encounter throughout our careers. Initiation or transmission of a mayday produces more stress and potential chaos than any other single type of incident we may encounter throughout our careers. As command, firefighters, and fire officers we must train to follow a standard plan of action that allows us to properly manage and overcome these chaotic and stressful events. As command, firefighters, and fire officers we must train to follow a standard plan of action that allows us to properly manage and overcome these chaotic and stressful events.

8 Preparing & Planning for a “MAYDAY” call The lack of pre-fire planning has claimed the lives of many fire service professionals in the recent past. The lack of pre-fire planning has claimed the lives of many fire service professionals in the recent past. Fire service managers today must use pre-fire planning to serve as a safety net when managing the fireground. Fire service managers today must use pre-fire planning to serve as a safety net when managing the fireground. Proper risk management coupled with a structured firefighter survival program enables today’s firefighters to understand the associated risks they are to encounter. Proper risk management coupled with a structured firefighter survival program enables today’s firefighters to understand the associated risks they are to encounter.

9 Pre-fire planning / Pre-fire Analysis Case studies have shown that the success or failure of any “Mayday” incident is a direct result of effective IM and pre-fire planning. Case studies have shown that the success or failure of any “Mayday” incident is a direct result of effective IM and pre-fire planning. The best preparatory effort given to the fireground commander is the pre-plan or the pre-fire analysis. The best preparatory effort given to the fireground commander is the pre-plan or the pre-fire analysis.

10 “There is no substitute for the fire department developing a system of accumulating and organizing information for retrieval at the time of the fire”. “Frank Brannigan”

11 Five Pre-fire Indicators that can lead to a potential “Mayday” incident and/or compromise fireground operations: Weight - excessive weight in the overhead should be of immediate concern to the IC when deciding to deploy additional firefighters during a rescue effort. This may include: HVAC units, large billboards, storage tanks, etc. Weight - excessive weight in the overhead should be of immediate concern to the IC when deciding to deploy additional firefighters during a rescue effort. This may include: HVAC units, large billboards, storage tanks, etc. Fuel Loads - Excessive fuel loads (flammable or combustible) are an indication of potential rapid-fire spread which may lead to firefighters being trapped or overcome during initial firefighting. Fuel Loads - Excessive fuel loads (flammable or combustible) are an indication of potential rapid-fire spread which may lead to firefighters being trapped or overcome during initial firefighting. Building History – Previous fires, structural collapses, renovations (known & unknown) to the IC may lead to the entrapment of firefighters. Building History – Previous fires, structural collapses, renovations (known & unknown) to the IC may lead to the entrapment of firefighters.

12 Pre-fire Indicators (con’t) Deterioration – A factor to the fire ground continues to be vacant buildings or buildings in ill repair. As firefighters we’re taught early on that all buildings are occupied until proven otherwise. Pre-fire planning should enable the IC which buildings require absolute defensive operations to support firefighter safety and survival. Deterioration – A factor to the fire ground continues to be vacant buildings or buildings in ill repair. As firefighters we’re taught early on that all buildings are occupied until proven otherwise. Pre-fire planning should enable the IC which buildings require absolute defensive operations to support firefighter safety and survival. Support Systems / Truss Construction – Examples of firefighter fatalities have been shared with the fire service for years. Bowstring and light weight truss construction must be of utmost importance to the IC. Support Systems / Truss Construction – Examples of firefighter fatalities have been shared with the fire service for years. Bowstring and light weight truss construction must be of utmost importance to the IC.

13 Truss Collapse Being under a burning truss, is like playing Russian Roulette with a loaded revolver. As fire ground commanders begin to consider deploying RIT teams for rescue efforts, careful consideration must be given to the potential of truss collapse, which could further complicate if not compound the rescue efforts. – –(This should also be considered before deploying interior attack teams).

14 On-Scene Indicators and how they can potentially lead to a “Mayday” incident: Prolonged burn time - continued or heavy fire throughout the structure. Prolonged burn time - continued or heavy fire throughout the structure. Smoke showing through walls - extensive structural damage, gas accumulations. Smoke showing through walls - extensive structural damage, gas accumulations. Inadequate ventilation - flammable gas accumulations, potential for rapid fire development. Inadequate ventilation - flammable gas accumulations, potential for rapid fire development.

15 On-Scene Indicators (con’t) Two or more floors involved in fire – multi point structural compromise. Two or more floors involved in fire – multi point structural compromise. Sagging floors, bulging walls, interior collapse – major damage to structural integrity. Sagging floors, bulging walls, interior collapse – major damage to structural integrity. Water between bricks, excessive water in building – excessive downward force. Water between bricks, excessive water in building – excessive downward force. Unprotected steel – direct flame impingement or structural components, collapse pending. Unprotected steel – direct flame impingement or structural components, collapse pending.

16 Firefighter Survival Training Firefighters who have been properly trained in self- survival skills can greatly enhance the possibility of a successful RIT team rescue. Standardized, predictable actions of a trapped, lost or disoriented firefighter will enable rescuers to locate and remove the firefighter in a more timely and effective manner.

17 Actions to take if you become trapped or disoriented: Initiate an emergency “Mayday” Initiate an emergency “Mayday” Stay “calm” and preserve your air supply. Stay “calm” and preserve your air supply. Activate P.A.S.S. Activate P.A.S.S. –If you cannot actively activate pass alarm, then remain still! PASS will activate. People have hard time with this, so they struggle.

18 Actions to take if you become trapped or disoriented (con’t): Provide a situation / problem report. Provide a situation / problem report. If trapped or disoriented as a crew, it’s imperative to “stay together”. If trapped or disoriented as a crew, it’s imperative to “stay together”. Search for an exit – look for light. Listen for noise or fans. Search for an exit – look for light. Listen for noise or fans. Attempt to follow a hose line or life line to safety. Attempt to follow a hose line or life line to safety. –“lugs lead to life”

19 Actions to take if you become trapped or disoriented (con’t): Retreat to an area of safety. Retreat to an area of safety. Assume a horizontal position (if possible) to enhance the audible signal of your P.A.S.S. and enhance thermal protection. Assume a horizontal position (if possible) to enhance the audible signal of your P.A.S.S. and enhance thermal protection. Use your flashlight as a beacon device and attempt to making tapping noises using tools or other objects. Use your flashlight as a beacon device and attempt to making tapping noises using tools or other objects.

20 How to call a MAYDAY: LUNAR Does not need to be in order, but it helps. If you hit Signal 50 button, start with “mayday” and “location” Start with “MAYDAY-MAYDAY-MAYDAY” Location Location a. Where are you a. Where are you  i.e. “Side Alpha, basement Unit Unit –a. What / where you on  “Engine 1” Name Name –a. Yours  “this is Firefighter Smith”

21 LUNAR, continued Assignment Assignment a.Given by Command a.“Search and Rescue group” Resources Resources a.What do you need to be rescued? a.Bolt cutters, more air, chain saw, hose line Example: “Mayday-Mayday-Mayday, this is firefighter Smith on Engine 61, attack crew operating in the basement. I need RIT with wire cutters, I had a drop ceiling fall on me.” Example: “Mayday-Mayday-Mayday, this is firefighter Smith on Engine 61, attack crew operating in the basement. I need RIT with wire cutters, I had a drop ceiling fall on me.”

22 LUNAR PRACTICE Active drill: Now Practice the Mayday scenario. Active drill: Now Practice the Mayday scenario. –Firefighters utilize radios –Firefighter call mayday “mayday, mayday, mayday” –Have IC acknowledge MAYDAY, silence traffic –Firefighter gives LUNAR reports –IC moves traffic to another channel Then: PRACTICE LUNAR in small groups

23 Fire ground Preparations: (scene support personnel, listen up!) Proactive fire ground preparations for survival cannot be over stated! 1. Proactive ladders - provide secondary means of egress and serves as an immediate access point for RIT members 2. Scene lighting at entry point or all 4 sides if possible – provides enhanced firefighter accountability and directional orientation for lost or disoriented firefighters. 3. Back-up / Safety lines – provides an additional line of support in case of rapid-fire development. 4. PPA - Is it safe to use a Positive Pressure Attack to clear IDLH of smoke?

24 Standardization / Predictability Standardization creates predictability, and predictability enables fire ground commanders to manage and forecast the needs of the fire ground. Standardization creates predictability, and predictability enables fire ground commanders to manage and forecast the needs of the fire ground. Best Practices– well established Best Practices create operational effectiveness for our departments. The safe and effective management of a Mayday incident is dependent upon a structured, predictable fire ground based on firm rules of engagement. Best Practices– well established Best Practices create operational effectiveness for our departments. The safe and effective management of a Mayday incident is dependent upon a structured, predictable fire ground based on firm rules of engagement.

25 Standardization / Predictability (con’t) Incident Management System – Strong, early presence of a fireground commander is paramount to effective fireground management. Any fire ground that lacks an early command presence is destined for disaster. Incident Management System – Strong, early presence of a fireground commander is paramount to effective fireground management. Any fire ground that lacks an early command presence is destined for disaster. Standardized Communications – this continues to be an ongoing problem in the fire service. “It is imperative that on-scene operations be given fire ground tactical radio channels that are separate from the normal dispatch frequencies”. Standardized Communications – this continues to be an ongoing problem in the fire service. “It is imperative that on-scene operations be given fire ground tactical radio channels that are separate from the normal dispatch frequencies”.

26 Discipline / Enforcement Strict discipline and strong enforcement enable fire ground commanders to adequately account for and assign the necessary crews to complete the task without the fear of freelancing or contradictory actions. Strict discipline and strong enforcement enable fire ground commanders to adequately account for and assign the necessary crews to complete the task without the fear of freelancing or contradictory actions. RIT – In the event of a Mayday incident, physical and mental limitations will be taxed to the limit, rescuers must be forced to follow rules of personal safety at all times. Teams that fail to follow the directions of the IC and their respective RIT Officer will most likely become victims themselves. RIT – In the event of a Mayday incident, physical and mental limitations will be taxed to the limit, rescuers must be forced to follow rules of personal safety at all times. Teams that fail to follow the directions of the IC and their respective RIT Officer will most likely become victims themselves.

27 Discipline / Enforcement (con’t): Suppression Personnel – Personnel assigned to fire attack / suppression operations must overcome the desire to get involved. Previously assigned fire attack/suppression crews must maintain their position in order to limit the threat of flame impingement on the trapped or disoriented firefighter(s). Suppression Personnel – Personnel assigned to fire attack / suppression operations must overcome the desire to get involved. Previously assigned fire attack/suppression crews must maintain their position in order to limit the threat of flame impingement on the trapped or disoriented firefighter(s). A trapped or disoriented firefighter has two factors working against them: 1) limited air supply and 2) flame impingement barring the fact that direct physical trauma is not involved. A trapped or disoriented firefighter has two factors working against them: 1) limited air supply and 2) flame impingement barring the fact that direct physical trauma is not involved.

28 Critical Factors to Consider Fireground Command - as the IC during a “Mayday” incident in which a firefighter(s) is lost, trapped or disoriented within a structure, your composure, self- control and self-discipline are sure to be tested. The IC must immediately begin to build a support staff for immediate and post-incident needs. Fireground Command - as the IC during a “Mayday” incident in which a firefighter(s) is lost, trapped or disoriented within a structure, your composure, self- control and self-discipline are sure to be tested. The IC must immediately begin to build a support staff for immediate and post-incident needs.

29 Critical Factors (con’t) Activation of the Rescue Action Plan – The IC must understand that regardless of his/her experience, training level and personal confidence, the initial plan may not always be the best plan; reevaluation and willingness to compromise is the key to success (this should be done throughout the entire incident). Activation of the Rescue Action Plan – The IC must understand that regardless of his/her experience, training level and personal confidence, the initial plan may not always be the best plan; reevaluation and willingness to compromise is the key to success (this should be done throughout the entire incident).

30 Critical Factors (con’t) Personnel Safety – as rescue efforts begin, adrenalin often times overruns our ability to think clearly which may inevitably lead to rescuer injuries which further complicates the rescue operation. “Be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem”. Personnel Safety – as rescue efforts begin, adrenalin often times overruns our ability to think clearly which may inevitably lead to rescuer injuries which further complicates the rescue operation. “Be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem”. Communication – The IC must maintain constant communication with RIT team(s) throughout the incident. Communication – The IC must maintain constant communication with RIT team(s) throughout the incident.

31 Critical Factors (con’t) Progress Reporting – Good, clear, concise and regular progress reports are a absolute necessity. Progress Reporting – Good, clear, concise and regular progress reports are a absolute necessity. Emergency evacuation signal – RIT teams typically operate under conditions that are or will potentially become too hazardous to safely operate in. As an additional measure of safety all personnel should be made aware of and/or reminded of the emergency evacuation signal/procedures prior to making entry. Emergency evacuation signal – RIT teams typically operate under conditions that are or will potentially become too hazardous to safely operate in. As an additional measure of safety all personnel should be made aware of and/or reminded of the emergency evacuation signal/procedures prior to making entry. –THIS IS THREE LOUD BLASTS FROM VEHICLE AIR HORNS

32 Critical Factors (con’t) Restricted entry – Following the initial PAR report, the IC should immediately restrict entry to only those members of the RIT team. Restricted entry – Following the initial PAR report, the IC should immediately restrict entry to only those members of the RIT team. –Note: If the firefight is safe for non-RIT related fire suppression, firefighting should continue. –Note: The RIT crew can and should utilize hose lines to provide defensive interior rescue assistance Crew continuity – this is an absolute necessity throughout the incident for proper accountability during firefighter rescue operations. “STAY TOGETHER ” Crew continuity – this is an absolute necessity throughout the incident for proper accountability during firefighter rescue operations. “STAY TOGETHER ”

33 Call for PAR Calling for an immediate PAR is three-fold; enables the IC to quickly and effectively identify the number of personnel involved. enables the IC to quickly and effectively identify the number of personnel involved. identifies the general area of the structure involved. identifies the general area of the structure involved. potentially identifies the extent of the rescue effort. potentially identifies the extent of the rescue effort.

34 PAR (con’t) PAR’s should be first requested from the personnel in the area of most danger. This cannot be overstated, it enables the IC to prioritize the fire ground. Manlius uses the “one tag” system. The operator of the vehicle should, if available, bring the unit’s tags with all personnel on the ring to the IC for accurate accounting.

35 Deployment of the RIT RIT should be deployed only after a quick briefing of known facts from the IC. RIT should be deployed only after a quick briefing of known facts from the IC. By adequately identifying the last known location, number of personnel involved and the possible cause of deployment of RIT, personnel can properly prepare themselves for assignment and ensure proper equipment is deployed. By adequately identifying the last known location, number of personnel involved and the possible cause of deployment of RIT, personnel can properly prepare themselves for assignment and ensure proper equipment is deployed.

36 36 The individual(s) who has declared a MAYDAY or is missing shall be identified from the PAR. The individual(s) who has declared a MAYDAY or is missing shall be identified from the PAR. RIT shall be deployed to the last known location of the lost or trapped personnel. RIT shall be deployed to the last known location of the lost or trapped personnel. RIT should follow hose lines or routine search patterns and consider standard operating tactics while searching for lost personnel. RIT should follow hose lines or routine search patterns and consider standard operating tactics while searching for lost personnel. Deployment of the RIT…

37 3 Things the IC should consider when deploying RIT personnel 1. Initial RIT (Reconnaissance Team) –Locate the downed, trapped member(s) –Establish a tractable means of access to the victim(s) –Determine additional needs (air, water, fans, extrication, thermal imaging cameras, etc.) – –Suggested team size: 2 firefighters, 1 officer – –In Manlius, this is at least 2 firefighters (Team A)

38 Deploying RIT personnel (con’t) 2. Secondary RIT (Stabilization/Removal Team) –Provide equipment and personnel as requested by the Recon Team –Begin extrication process, clear debris for rapid egress – –Suggested team size: 2-4 firefighters

39 Deploying RIT personnel (con’t) Third and subsequent RIT (Support Team(s) – –Provide external support as requested by initial teams – –Provide personnel to relieve initial teams – –In Manlius, this is at least 2 firefighters, Team B. NOTE: We supplement the vehicles with all RIT qualified personnel from both stations when we are called for RIT. RIT requires many personnel. As a general rule, the IC should try to stay one alarm ahead of the incident demands.

40 40 When RIT locates a downed firefighter(s) they shall notify the RIT Group Leader by name who they have located, their location and status. When RIT locates a downed firefighter(s) they shall notify the RIT Group Leader by name who they have located, their location and status. RIT shall advise the actions being taken to remove them or if additional assistance is needed. RIT shall advise the actions being taken to remove them or if additional assistance is needed. If a self-rescue or a quick grab and go rescue is not possible, RIT members shall use the “AWARE” principle. If a self-rescue or a quick grab and go rescue is not possible, RIT members shall use the “AWARE” principle. Rapid Intervention Procedures

41 41 Trapped emergency responder’s hopes of survival depend on the following four critical needs. Trapped emergency responder’s hopes of survival depend on the following four critical needs. AWARE Principle: 1. Air: RIT should first provide the victim with a redundant (primary & secondary) supply of air. 2. Water: If the rescue involves fire, the next consideration is to provide a defensible space for the victim by using a hose line or distributor to protect the victim.

42 42 3. A Radio: If the victim is conscious and able to communicate, RIT may want to provide the trapped victim with a transceiver to monitor his condition. Depending upon the size of the incident, a separate radio channel may be designated for the victim to use. 4. Extrication: Removal of the victim. AWARE Principle:

43 43 RIT should give the estimated time it will take to complete the rescue and advise the RIT Group Leader or Command of their plan. RIT should give the estimated time it will take to complete the rescue and advise the RIT Group Leader or Command of their plan. The RIT Group Leader shall assign additional Rapid Intervention Teams to assist as needed. The RIT Group Leader shall assign additional Rapid Intervention Teams to assist as needed. Additional RIT personnel should be in place as soon as staffing allows during an active RIT operation. Additional RIT personnel should be in place as soon as staffing allows during an active RIT operation.

44 Termination of Rescue Efforts Although no firefighter, fire officer or IC ever wants to terminate a rescue effort, firefighter safety “must” remain the top priority. As unfortunate as it may be, the IC must terminate the rescue efforts when conditions begin to jeopardize the safety of those involved. No decision, order or assignment ever given by an IC during their career will ever bare equal weight. It’s decisions of this nature that will ultimately decide the number of members lost or injured.

45 Summarizing a “MAYDAY” Incident PAR – upon immediate distress signal, call for a PAR of on-scene units. PAR – upon immediate distress signal, call for a PAR of on-scene units. Initiate RIT Operations – utilizing a technique that is expedious. Initiate RIT Operations – utilizing a technique that is expedious. Hazard Assessment – Upon locating downed firefighter(s), RIT personnel must quickly perform a hazard assessment to ensure their own safety. Hazard Assessment – Upon locating downed firefighter(s), RIT personnel must quickly perform a hazard assessment to ensure their own safety.

46 Summary (con’t) Identify victim needs – air supply, fire impingement, extrication needs, etc. Identify victim needs – air supply, fire impingement, extrication needs, etc. Initiate victim removal (if possible) – an initial progress report of findings and/or actions should be relayed to the IC. Initiate victim removal (if possible) – an initial progress report of findings and/or actions should be relayed to the IC. Provide medical care – upon removal from the hazard area, on-scene EMS personnel should provide immediate care / transport. Provide medical care – upon removal from the hazard area, on-scene EMS personnel should provide immediate care / transport.

47 Summary (con’t) PAR – once victim(s) have been extracted from hazard area, another PAR should be given by all on-scene companies. PAR – once victim(s) have been extracted from hazard area, another PAR should be given by all on-scene companies. Post-incident analysis / debriefing – following all RIT deployments a formal post-incident analysis should be conducted to review, revise and update existing procedures. Request (Critical Incident Stress Debriefing) CISD team if needed. Post-incident analysis / debriefing – following all RIT deployments a formal post-incident analysis should be conducted to review, revise and update existing procedures. Request (Critical Incident Stress Debriefing) CISD team if needed.

48 Conclusion After you (the IC) have assessed the situation and have a known rescue operation keep this in mind: Assume the worst and prepare for the worst. By doing this you will enable yourself to overcome anything less than the worst with positive results. Preparing for anything less will put you in a reactionary or catch-up mode during a high stress, high emotional incident in which the lives of fellow firefighters lie in the balance. Assume the worst and prepare for the worst. By doing this you will enable yourself to overcome anything less than the worst with positive results. Preparing for anything less will put you in a reactionary or catch-up mode during a high stress, high emotional incident in which the lives of fellow firefighters lie in the balance. WE MUST (AND WILL) PRACTICE MAYDAY AND RIT SCENARIOS!!


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