Mayday Monday: Firefighter Self-Rescue

Escaping on the fireground
Escaping on the fireground
Tony Carroll/Mayday Monday

It’s official, we are over halfway through 2020. We at Mayday Mondays hope you enjoyed your Independence Day.  July is the month we recognize the sacrifice of Firefighter John Nance of the Columbus (OH) Fire Department.


Training Days: The John Nance Drill

Mayday Monday: Basement Fires

Training Minutes: Rescuing a Firefighter Who Has Fallen Through the Floor

Training Days: The Head-First Ladder Slide

If you have been through any firefighter rescue training, you surely have performed the Nance/Columbus Drill. John Nance died fighting a fire in a commercial building.  The fire weakened the floor of the building and while Firefighter Nance was searching for a route to the fire, he fell into the basement.  The subsequent rescue efforts proved futile and John was killed in the collapse.  Please look at this link, “The Murder of John Nance”, and reflect on the tragedy and your plans for this scenario.

Firefighters and Escape

Watch the above video. Last month, a firefighter in Philadelphia found himself in a tough spot that required him to make a hasty escape.  While searching for trapped occupants and fire, a collapse forced the member to retreat to a window.  Thankfully, he had been trained in ladder escape and executed the technique out a third-floor window. Are you ready for this scenario? As firefighters continue to go into burning buildings and go above the first floor, they need to know how to get out if something goes wrong. Plan A is to put the fire out, but if that doesn’t happen, members need to have a Plan B.  This month’s Firefighter Survival Drill/Skill is to practice this life-saving technique. Here is a video from Dale Pekel on a good, homemade prop that you can make to get you the necessary setup to practice this, and many more survival techniques.

Fire Engineering/YouTube

Thanks for reading the July 2020 Mayday Monday Firefighter Survival Campaign Skill/Drill. If you liked the article, have questions, or want to see more, please look for the upcoming Fire Engineering Webcast on July 27, 2020.  You can find out more at Now, get out and get ready for your next fire!

Tony Carroll is a battalion chief with the District of Columbia Fire & EMS Department.

Mayday Monday: Basement Fire LODDs

Mayday Monday: Residential Tactics at Commercial Fires

Mayday Monday: Basement Fires

Mayday Monday: Lucky to Have a Plan?

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