Leadership

MAYDAY AND URGENT MESSAGES

Issue 4 and Volume 157.

BY JOHN MILES AND JOHN TOBIN Because of the normal volume of traffic on fire department radios during firefighting operations, a department must have a procedure that gives priority to an individual who needs to notify the incident commander (IC) of a life-threatening situation that has happened or is about to happen. In the fire service, we classify these emergency transmissions as “Mayday” or “Urgent” transmissions. Below are some situations where you would use this type of emergency radio message. MAYDAY VS. URGENT A Mayday transmission is needed if imminent collapse is feared, structural collapse has occurred, a member is unconscious or has suffered a life-threatening injury, an officer discovers that a member under his supervision is missing (if the missing member is an officer, any team member can transmit the message), or a member is trapped or lost. An Urgent message is transmitted if a member suffers an injury…

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