Survival Zone

Mayday Monday: Situational Awareness

Mayday Monday: Situational Awareness

By Tony Carroll

Mayday Monday…Happy Monday to everyone. It’s another hot one here in the nation’s capital. When it gets this bad, sometimes outside drills are cancelled in order to keep our members from the oppressive heat. With that in mind, today’s Mayday Monday edition will keep you cool.

The staff here at Mayday Mondays wanted to take a moment and talk about Situational Awareness. This can be tough for us to stay aware of our surroundings and the dangerous environment we work in. We have a lot of emergencies we respond to that may seem routine and not present with a danger. Such is the case in this report found on the Firefighter Near Miss Web site. Please click the link  firefighternearmiss.com/reports and paste this into the search bar: Firefighter Falls Into Opening In Floor.  his report from January 28, 2015, illustrates the need to pay attention to our surroundings. In this case, a crawling member came across a hole in the floor of a building under renovation. This firefighter was quickly removed and turned over to EMS. Amazingly, a second member using a TIC walked into the same hole. The report recommends that we “crawl, don’t walk when visibility is poor.” Pretty basic stuff.  Do you have members who get the BIG EYE? When the bell goes off, they turn from a mild-mannered fire professional into a one-eyed-stay-out-of-the-way Cyclops who can only focus on one thing. We need to make sure our firefighters are getting the whole picture and can recognize dangers.

This week, please search the firefighternearmiss.com website and find a report that you can relate to. Bring it to the kitchen table and review it with the whole crew. This is a great resource for us to learn from others. See you next Monday.    

Tony Carroll is a captain with the safety office of the District of Columbia Fire & EMS Department.

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