“Units were dispatched to an apartment fire reported “in the area of” with no address. The Battalion Chief arrived on scene and communicated a working fire. I was the officer on the first arriving engine. We found 4 apartments with heavy fire involvement and command advised us to hit it from the other side. Not knowing where the other side was, we changed from pulling a 3″ attack line to establishing a hose lay attacking the fire with a 1 3/4″ line. Command advised we had a second crew coming in behind us. We attacked fire on the 1st floor, knocking major portions of fire in the first two units. My crew advanced the line to the second floor for fire attack. During this time the fire began to intensify…While completing attack on the second floor, the floor collapsed causing me to fall into the first floor. My two firefighters, who were exiting the building, advised command of the incident. Command continued communicating over the radio. I was unable to call a MAYDAY because of the radio traffic…”
- If your department responded to the incident described, how quickly would it be able to address the essential fireground responsibilities of rescue, fire attack, back-up, extension protection, ventilation, command and safety?
- Does your department have a protocol, practice or SOP in place to promote radio discipline so essential messages can be transmitted?
- What command post practices does your department have in place to ensure an organized approach so the fireground is maintained?
- How many times each year do you participate in firefighter safety and survival training?
- How frequently do your department’s command level officers train on handling mayday incidents?
Note: The questions posed by the reviewers are designed to generate discussion and thought in the name of promoting firefighter safety. They are not intended to pass judgment on the actions and performance of individuals in the reports.