The IC’s Guide to a Mayday Response

Issue 3 and Volume 162.

BY TODD HOUSTON In the past few years, my department has had the misfortune of being involved in several Mayday situations, resulting in the death of one firefighter and injuries to four firefighters. Our department is progressive and uses the incident management system, an accountability system, safety officers, rapid intervention teams (RITs), comprehensive standard operating procedures, and building preplans. However, after the last incident (involving the tragic loss of a firefighter), the department realized that more needed to be done. In a rare moment of insight, it was decided to tap our internal resources and ask our firefighters and officers to identify and address concerns that might impact operations during a firefighter-down incident. I was asked to formulate a lesson plan that would be used to reinforce our chief officers’ knowledge of what to do after a Mayday is called. I believe that our officers are some of the best…

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