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Mayday: Basic Concepts

Tue, 6 Nov 2012|

In this free training program from the Firefighters Support Foundation, Eric Stroud of Fire and Rescue Concepts, LLC discusses firefighter self-survival and issuing the Mayday on the fireground.



[BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] The way Mayday has changed in how it's been looked at over the past 20 years. Twenty years ago, if a firefighter called Mayday, he would be considered a wuss among his crew. Now, in today's environment, we have a responsibility as firefighters to stay safe and to go home everyday. So if you're in an environment that you need to call a Mayday, and you do not call the Mayday, you're being irresponsible to yourself, to your crew and to your family. The purpose of this course is to show you an awareness level training of calling a Mayday. What we plan to do in this course is to go over a few key points, why you call Mayday, when do you call Mayday, who is to call Mayday, and what your responsibilities are. We're also going to go over some key points of what to do and how to train and prepare for a Mayday. But, keep in mind, this is awareness level training, and you need to take this further after this course is complete. One of the most important rules to live by when calling a Mayday is. Never be afraid to call a Mayday. It's better to call it and then to find out when you really did need it, than actually wait too long to call it, then you're already in a position where you can't get help. Remember, you have a duty and responsibility to your crew. The life you save could be your very own life by calling a Mayday. Our ultimate goal is to go home every day, every night to our friends and family and our loved ones. The bottom line here is, never be afraid to call a May Day when you need it. Now we're going to look at who can call the May Day. obviously, the firefighter in trail can call the May Day. But we have a whole list of people on the fire grounds that can call the May Day. And have responsibility to call the May Day. To answer the commander as well, he's gonna point a safety officer to oversee the whole safety operation [UNKNOWN]. Then you have your commander of your crew that's with you as well, or team member of that particular crew can't call the Mayday. And anyone else on the program whether is a pop operator or whether is a higher man that sees the situation where it deems necessary to call a Mayday. Why call a Mayday? Studies have shown one of the major leading causes of fire ground fatalities, are firefighters or team members or company commanders who become lost and disoriented. How do you become lost and disoriented? From the moment you step away from your hose line, the moment you step away from your rope,. The moment you lose track of your crew, and you cannot see your exit in front of you, you are lost. The next point we're gonna look at are out of air emergencies. There are two reasons why we may have an out of air emergency. The first reason may be due to SCBA malfunction that you may lose your air supply immediately. The second reason is firefighters stay inside too long and they run out of air. We are trained as firefighters when we enter the structure, to pay attention to our regulator and to our gauges of our air supply to let us know how long that we need to stay in. We're also told as firefighters that when we reach a air supply of half a tank. That we exit the structure immediately. Now many firefighters will ignore the warnings of their low pressure alarm going off. The whole purpose of the low pressure alarm is to let fire fighters know that they are in their reserve air supply and that they need to be finding their way out. Now in this presentation we're going to be talking about more about. Staying inside too long, pushing the envelope of during and air emergency. Now remember, when your low pressure alarm has been activated, you are either on your way out already or you need to try to find your way out. At this point, if you are not on your way out when your low pressure alarm's going off. You need to think about start calling a mayday, and having somebody on the way to meet you on your way out, in case you run out of air while you're trying to exit the structure. Next point's a building collapse. Whether it be inside the structure, or outside the structure. You know, we have building collapses all the time in fire fighting The [UNKNOWN] has to be inside. Fighting fire and the building can come down around them That is a point to call a Mayday or the IC or the safety officer from the outside sees that part of the building collapse. Or is getting ready to collapse he can pull the crew out by calling a Mayday and call the crew to come out. Some thing with the event crew on top of the roof. If they're working on top of the roof an event. Starts to give way and the roof starts to give way and it starts to have a collapse, they and they are in trouble, they can call a Mayday, to have more additional resources to help them out as well. Now after a building collapse, many a firefighter's become trapped. Often many times firefighter's thinks they can get themselves out of the situation, whether by moving themselves, or moving the debris around them. But mem, remember, don't hesitate to call a may day we can always send people inside to come help you out if needed. The next point we're gonna look at is deterioration of the fire conditions, both inside and outside the structure. Now outside the structure, the fire crew on the inside may not see what's going on and they may not be aware of fire wrapping around behind them or wrapping around over their head into a dangerous condition. The IC, the safety officer, or anybody else on the fire ground can call a Mayday or emergency situation to get the crew out. Now inside of the structure, it could be that deteriorations have, the fire has deteriorated so rapidly that it may cause the firefighter to back out of the situation, or get lost or trapped, or get away from their hose line, and then cannot escape quickly. Now, after many times. Fire fighting is definetly hard and stressful in our bodies. Now, they may not be a reason of, somebody be a [UNKNOWN] oriented or at their mercy, that may actually ditacte the [UNKNOWN] situation. It could be class fire fighter both inside and outside the structure due to unforseen medical condition at that time. If that happens, please don't hesitate to call a may day to let IC or the safety officer, or even communications know that you have an emergency on the fire ground and that you need help immediately. Next, we're going to look at fear of calling a may day. Even in today's society, firefighters still fear calling a may day. And we're gonna look at this points individually. While fire fighter may be afraid to call mayday. Our next point is retribution. Sometimes fire fighters feel retribution because their poor decision allow them to get into a mayday situation. So they don't wanna call mayday, because they don't wanna be punish. It's better to be punish and get home at night than not to be punish and not go home at all. Often firefighters fear calling a may day because they fear ridicule from their supervisors and their crew. Everybody needs to attend may day training so that ridicule does not happen but don't allow yourself not to call a may day because you fear being ridiculed. Now remember, just like before, it's better to come home to your crew and be ridiculed than to not come home at all and not be ridiculed. Forget retribution, forget being ridiculed. Make the decision, call the Mayday, and go home. Another fear of calling a Mayday is because firefighters, often, are over confident. With over confident becomes pride and denial. If you're at a point where you are trying to decide that you can get out of a situation and that you are telling yourself, that you can get out of this. It's already too late. You need to call in the Mayday. Forget being prideful, forget being over confident, and get out of the situation that you're in. Another reason why firefighters fear calling a Mayday is because lack of training. They're not exposed to it, they don't understand the terminology. ICs don't understand the responsibilities. And they really don't have a clear picture fo what goes on a Mayday training scenario or a may day training scenario or a may day situation on a fire ground. After this presentation you should be aware of what a may day is and allow yourself to train on it more in depth so that you do not fear calling may day. Next we want look at what happens after you call the Mayday. Here we're gonna look at the firefighter. What is the firefighter's responsibility after he calls a Mayday. One of the first things that you need to do when you're calling a Mayday is remember the acronym LUNAR. When we look at the acronym LUNAR, we're gonna break it down by each letter of the word. First we wanna start with l, l is the location when you calling a may day give the location or your best description of where you think that you are inside the structure. Whether it be division c, d corner, c-a corner, in a hallway, or just first floor, second floor, or in the basement. Try your best to remember and get a bearing of your area and let command know your location. Now its gonna look at the letter U. U stands for unit. After you give your location, you need to give the command your unit assignment. Your unit assignment is going to let command know a better idea of what location in that building you are assigned to. Next, we want to look at the letter N. N stands for your name. Once you give your location and your unit, also give your name. For example, firefighter John Doe. That will allow the fire ground operations, whether it be the IC Safety officer or commander, your location, better understanding of it, and your possible assignment at that given time before the mayday was called. Next you're going to look at the letter A. A stands for air supply. Whether it be yourself, your partner or your crew. When you're calling a Mayday, make sure you update the status of your air supply to command. Next we're going to look at the letter R. R stands for resources. When you're letting command know of your status and your situation. Try to give him a better understanding of what type of resources that you may need. Whether it be an extra S E B A word, an extra wrist pack, hose line whatever the situation may deem necessary for what type of equipment that you may need. Now the acronym LUNAR does not cover why you're calling the Mayday. So be sure to remember, when you're giving your descriptions of everything, to let the IC know why you're calling a Mayday. Now we're gonna look at the incident commander after the may day is called. What do you do as the incident commander when your hear a may day, meaning a call for help? One of the first things you need to do is remember your departments SOGs. The SOGs are Standard Operating Guidelines. If you do not have an SOG for mayday procedure, you need to sit down with your staff and develop a mayday procedure for your SOGs. When the IC hears a mayday, he needs to ensure that all traffic not associated with a mayday needs to be squished over to a different channel. By doing that, it will allow less confusion, and allow clear communication between the IC. And the person call for help. That may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many communications are where somebody calls a Mayday, everybody tries to talk all at once. The red team is trying to communicate. The person who called a Mayday is trying to communicate. IC is trying to communicate. Everybody's got something to say. But the one person needing help can not get their point across and can not get their radio traffic out and to open air. Once all radio traffic has been established and has been switched over to a different channel. The IC needs to call a par. PAR stands for a personal accountability report. By doing this he can get a better location where all the crews are. And see who's accounted for, and who's not accounted for at that time. Now remember every fairground operation a personnel accountability report needs to be given roughly about every 15 to 20 minutes so that way everybody ensures the safety in the locations of their crews, now remember, after the [UNKNOWN] has been given, the IC must maintain radio control. One thing you do not want during a mayday is freelance radio traffic. By having freelance radio traffic may hinder the ability of the rescue team and the IC to locate the downed firefighter. Now when the IC is maintaining radio control and radio discipline. When the Mayday's been called, be sure that the IC gives enough time for the down firefighter to answer his questions on the radio. By doing this, this will alleviate or the problems that people have in radio communications. So many times in the past, the IC has talked to the down firefighter and not given him enough time to answer questions. By keying up the radio, or being overly excited when that time is given. Give the firefighter enough time to speak his needs. Now during a Mayday, the IC needs to remember to stay calm on the radio. By doing this, this sets the tone for everybody else that can hear him over radio traffic. It'll allow the firefighters and allow everybody else to work at a nice smooth pace and not get overly excited. Remember don't let the problem rattle you, remember your training and stay calm on the radio to have a positive outcome. Now once the medic has been called and once the IC has the last known location or the current location of the downed firefighter. That is when his decision is to deploy the rapid intervention team is applied. By doing so, it allows the team to quickly get to the location of the downed firefighter and to have a successful extrication of the downed firefighter. Now after your RIT team has been deployed, go ahead and call for additional resources. Call for additional alarms, call for more companies to come to the ground, fireground, but also, you'll have the amount of people there that you need. It's better to have them and not need them, than to need them and not have them. Now after medics have been called, you as a firefighter, the biggest thing that you can do to help yourself is to stay calm. Work your problem. Don't let the problem work you, and also try to remem, remember any relevant training that you've had in the past. Now after you've made contact with the IC, you may decide to use a self rescue technique to get yourself out of the situation if immediate rescue is unavailable. But if you use a self-rescue technique, you may want to coordinate this with the IC. So, they do not see any resources. And after one area of the structure. When you may actually be in another area of the structure trying to escape. Now we're going to look at the techniques of rescue operations. During a Mayday. You've got two options as a downed firefighter. You either wait for help, wait for the red team, or to apply self rescue techniques to get yourself out on your own. If you and your crew has decided to wait for help, be sure you try to get yourself into a safe location. Out of harm's way, and relayed that location to the ICM. Try to let them know, give them a best, accurate picture of where you're at inside of the structure. Once that has happened, the second thing you need to do is to activate your pass device. By activating your pass device, it's gonna create a loud sound to allow other firefighters inside of the structure. Or the [INAUDIBLE] coming to assist you to find you in your location. Thirdly what you can do is take your flashlight turn your flashlight on have the beam facing towards the ceiling. And put it up against the wall by doing this it will create a silhouette of light through the smoke. To allow fire fighters potentially be able to find you. Now, flashlights. You can actually get different types of manufacturers for flashlights. Some flashlights have a regular straight beam. Some flashlights have a flashing beam. Now, I found out that the flashing beam flashlights will actually attract attention greater by having the flashlight pointed up and having that beam flash intermittently versus just one solid beam. Now next. Now hopefully you, you or your crew has some type of hand tools inside with you. By you can use your hand tools to create sound by banging on the floor or banging on the wall to allow firefighters to get a better location or better understanding of where you're at inside the structure so they may be able to come and find you. Now lastly, you wanna be sure to conserve your air supply. If you're gonna wait for a team to come and find you, there's no given time how long it's gonna take 'em to come and get you. So you want to do some type of breathin' techniques to allow yourself to maintain the current air supply, whether it be shallow breaths or skip breathing. Now be sure to always to remember to maintain a radio contact with the IC. Give em updates and status location of your air supply and possibly injures of your team members involved. Until someone is there to find you. Now we're gonna look at rescuing yourself of your team. Now you and your team may not be able to shelter in place and wait for a red team. So we're gonna look at some techniques that may allow you to be able to escape due to the deterioration of the fire conditions inside, collapsing of the building or an out air emergency that may require you to immediately evacuate the structure. now when you've decided to recuse yourself and your team, the first thing you need to do is that you need to be escape that environment that you're in. And the best way to prepare for it is to train for it. And we'll talk about the training for an escape here in just a few more slides. Now secondly, when preparing yourself for rescue, self rescue a may day situation, you need to familiarize yourself with the tools that you may need. Whether it be your air pack, your buddy breathing hose or red pack that you may carry, already have with you, your hand tools that you may have, and the capabilities of what those were designed to do, and also. Search rope and rescue filters s well. Now, you may have these tools on your truck, or on your equipment cash right now. But, what you need to do, is take these tools and train with them for potential may day scenarios. So that you may have a better understanding how each tool can help you during a may day. Next we're going to look at some examples or why you may need to rescue yourself out of a Mayday situation. First off is hot air emergency. If you run out of air or find yourself running out of air the one thing your could use is use a buddy breathing hose to give yourself some more air. You can use your partner's buddy breathing hose off his air pack, if he has one, hook it to your regulator, and allow yourself to share his air supply. But by doing so, you greatly risk both you now running out of air instead of just one person. Next we're gonna look at another tool that you can use in out of air emergency, our rescue filter. These filters are designed to be worn on the waist strap of your airbag and to have it protected so when you need it all you have to do is pop open the case and take the wrapper and hook it to where your face piece, where your regular would be and the filters are designed to give you fifteen minutes of filtered air in a split field environment. Now, another potential environment that make cause you to [UNKNOWN] your scape in a various situation, is if a fire fighter is trapped in an unknown room. Now, you can use your hand tools or your SCBA to help you out in these situation. Now, if you find yourself in a room that you're lost and you can find your way out, and you have [UNKNOWN] that are coming down to you. You may need to breach the wall to escape to another room, but also you can take the [UNKNOWN] take your bottle, open the wall up in between the studs, all your hand tools, allow yourself to escape to safety, now another rescue technique that you can use for yourself or your team is called a ladder bailout. Or have an outside crew place the tip of the ladder at the window seal that allows you an area to escape on an elevated floor. You can go head first out to the ladder and grab yourself onto the rungs and use your feet as brakes to allow yourself to escape a harmful environment or impending fire conditions in that area. Another tool that you can use. You've typically got one of these two next tools with you. Whether it be a hose line or a rope. Some search crews use a rope when they're actually going into a building to start searching for victims and or other firefighters as a means to escape and some type of emergency. Whether be a Mayday or some other situation that they need to get out. By retracing their steps with the rope. They can get themselves right out to the point of entry that they have. Secondly, do you have a hose line? Typically when an environment will cause you to escape, when you're on a hose line, a lot of firefighters would drop the hose line right where they're at, and they will do an about face and follow the hose line on the way out. Now there is a trick on the hose line that you can use. It's called [UNKNOWN] called a smooth bump, bump to the pump. By the female end of the hose is a smooth shank with a, a nutted coupling. On the male end of the hose, you have just a nutted coupling. If you feel yourself to the smooth shank first to the two nutted couplings, you are in the direction towards the pump. That is total direction of the way out of the house. If you find yourself in the reverse situation. Where you feel the nutty couplings first. And then the shank, then you're going to back yourself towards the fire. Now, another tool that firefighters use are road bail out kits. These are typically road bags and kits and safety control devices inside the bag. A bag that's very similar [SOUND] to this bag. It's designed to go on your waist belt or your harness that you may carry with you, and in times when you need to escape this environment and you don't have a ladder, you don't have a search rope, and you don't have a hose, you may find some type of anchor inside that room, hook up your rope bag to it. And descend out the window, and allow yourself to actually lower yourself down the windowsill into a safe environment, whether it be outside into a net, or into potentially one floor below you into another room. Now there are numerous manufacturers of these rope bail out kits, now this is definitely something that you need to be. Some type of training and use before you were to just buy some and put it on your rip, your scva so to speak. Some manufacturers won't even let you buy any unless you've gone to their specific training school for rope bail out procedures. During Mayday training the best way to prepare for Mayday is to train for it. Now remember, Murphy said it best, if it can happen, it will happen. You wanna prepare your mind, prepare your body, and prepare your gear for potential may day situations so you can have a successful outcome. Now preparing your mind is a key subject when you're dealing with may day training and to prepare for may day. Now mental fitness is the key to survival. Now if you allow yourself to be overcome with stress in stressful environment without even realizing you've allowed your body to increase it's respiration. You increase your respiration's. You use more oxygen, your using up your air supply and SBA. By training yourself to handle,. In yourself in a stressful environment. You can train your mind to be able to realize in this stressful times to so, you don't use so much O2. Now, in preparing your mind, when you look at this slide right here, you see two examples of how different types of training can prepare your mind in to allow yourself to become accustom to the type of stressful environments. That you may have. The more we experience stress in training, the less we are affected by it in a real situation. Next, we're gonna look at preparing the body. By staying physically fit, it can help us conserve our air supply. Our muscles depo, depend on oxygen for strength. The better in shape we are with our muscles, the less amount of O2 is needed. Next we're gonna look at preparing your gear. By allowing your crew and yourself to do daily, weekly, and monthly checks will help you ensure that your PTE is in proper, working condition. Something else you can do to help you prepare your gear and for yourself for Mayday situations. Is to train for equipment failure. And to also, to know your gear inside and out. to be able to disassemble and reassemble it in a hazardous environment and a dark filled environment. To where you actually cannot see the things that you're touching. Now, part of our initial training as firefighters. When we're starting out in fire service, we train to disassemble and reassemble our SCBA's. What typically tends to happen is, when a firefighter has some experience and some years on him, over time they get complacent and they fail to train and they fail to re-adequate themselves with the working parts of an SUVA. Now, looking back at, looking back on this training What you really to take away from this is that. This particular training that we're doing for you guys is awareness level training. You need to keep all training after this, don't let this be the only training that you have. The best way to help prepare for it is to train for it as often as possible. You know, review your SOGs. Review your equipment. You know, put yourself into training situations. You know, that may cause you to think outside of the box. To get yourself out of the harmful environment, you know. The best thing that you can do in a stressful environment is to stay calm. You know, stay calm and collected, work with your teammates, work with your crew. And get yourself out of a harmful environment. The, the ultimate goal at the end of this is to get everybody aware of Mayday. And get you adequated with calling the Mayday. You know, don't be afraid to call it. Don't be worried about what everybody is gonna think. When it comes right down to it this is your life, and you only get one chance at it. So the best thing that we wanted to do is just, just tell everybody just to stay safe, and remember your training, and to keep training. Don't let this. Stop here.

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