Mayday Monday: SCBA Confidence Drill

Mayday Monday: SCBA Confidence

By Tony Carroll

Mayday Monday…the Dog Days of Summer carry on. This past week a report was released on a LODD incident from December 2015 in which a firefighter from New York was killed. This report comes from the New York State Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau. The group just issued a total of 14 citations to two fire departments involved with the fire that killed Lt. Jack Rose. One of the issues found in this fire was Lt. Rose grabbed a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) off of a neighboring department’s fire truck. The SCBA he used was not one he was fitted for or trained on. The lieutenant’s injuries included burns on his nose and lower forehead. Were these injuries due to the mask not fitting? The report does not answer that question. Either way, we must train on the type of SCBA we will use. Here is a link to a story about the New York case:



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Today’s drill is one of the Mayday Mondays staff’s favorite–it’s is called “Shake and Bake.”  In short, you will pile all the parts of 3-4 SCBAs together in a room. Then, send in 3-4 blindfolded firefighters and have them retrieve the necessary parts to assemble and don a SCBA. I suggest you have the firefighters wear blindfolds or swim goggles that are blacked out, so that this way they will have to don the facepiece, as well. Now, it is time to train. Don’t forget to make them wear firefighting gloves, too. Please send me some pictures of your crews shaking and baking at

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

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