Mayday Monday: Situational Awareness

Mayday Monday: Situational Awareness

By Tony Carroll

Well, another Monday is upon us. This week we continue with the subject of situational awareness (SA). It is important for all members to attain and maintain their SA while operating on the fireground. Last month, we reviewed instances where some members may lose their SA and get the BIG EYE on incidents. Keeping your SA will come with experience and training. Let’s look at a scenario for an SA tip.

While out reviewing buildings in the area, we came across a garden apartment that presented with three-floors on the A-Alpha side. The entry stairs took us up to the landing between the first and second floors. Most of these types of apartment buildings have four apartments per floor. Three floors means 12 apartments. But when we entered the “lobby,” we noticed there were 14 mailboxes…two more than we thought. What does this mean? The building was four floors with the lowest level having two apartments, for a total of 14. The lobby landing where the mailboxes were located was actually the third floor with two floors below.

There are a lot of buildings that are not how they appear. Try and get as much information as possible. Ensure companies reporting in the rear are performing thorough size-ups and reporting their findings. If need be, perform a 360-degree and check out the backside.

This week, your assignment is to go look in your area for a building that can mess with your situational awareness. Be sure to make a note of the address so you can pass it on.  Please send in pictures of your building to . We may use it in an upcoming post. Thanks and see you next week.

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

Mayday Monday: Building Construction

Mayday Monday: SCBA Confidence Drill

Mayday Monday: Stay Low and Stay Alive

Mayday Monday: Situational Awareness


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