Handling the Mayday: The Fire Dispatcher's Crucial Role

BY P.J. NORWOOD "Mayday, Mayday, Mayday." If this message were sounded on your fireground on a dispatch or nonfireground frequency, would your fire dispatcher know how to handle it? This article explores an area in Mayday training often neglected in many departments: the communications center. Fire dispatchers need to understand what a Mayday is, the conditions under which a firefighter calls a Mayday, and the immediate actions the incident commander (IC) will take when a Mayday is called before they can see their role during the Mayday. Mayday is an international distress signal in voice procedure radio communications. It signals a life-threatening emergency primarily by marine...

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