Many fire departments and training academies have "Mayday procedures." Even some large fire service organizations have a suggested series of actions and transmissions that you should perform when you give a Mayday.
THE FIRE SCENE >>> By JOHN J. SALKA Jr. Who, What, Where: What to Do If You Become Lost in a Fire Building Remember Who You Are, What Your Problem Is and Where You Are Y ou are performing a search with to do with where you are physically. It is three things; who I am, where I am and your partner on the second floor a mental condition that is not easily cor- what my problem is. Who, what, where. of an office building. There are rected. Silently trying to work your way This is easy, folks. reports of people possibly being unac- out of this problem could cost you your Let’s listen to my Mayday transmis- counted for and the exact location of the life, so don’t keep this to yourself. Yes, you sion and the responses from command: fire has not yet been determined. Your can still try to solve your “Mayday, Mayday, May- search team is one of two teams that problem, but you must call If you are day.” have been deployed into the building to for help. “Unit with the Mayday, locate both the victims and the fire. After a few minutes of search- Option two is another poor choice. It is not totally lost, transmit go ahead.” “This is L-71 remote. I am ing, conditions deteriorate further, the smoke condition has worsened and you incorrect because you are calling for help, but why put a Mayday. You lost. I think I’m on the third floor somewhere.” attempt to contact your partner to ask if this entire problem on the Let’s stop right here for a you should continue. You get no answer shoulders of a single firefight- must call for moment. Does the incident when you shout to him, so you call him er? Simply informing your commander need to know on the radio. He answers that he has al- partner of your predicament help. anything else to get help to ready begun to retreat and that he could will delay the operational re- me and solve my problem? not locate you or contact you. You make sponse that you really need at this point. Yes. He may want to know how much air a few turns and crawl a few feet to begin Your partner may even do the right thing I have left. He may want to know if I can your own exit when you suddenly real- and pass the information up the chain of hear any engines running or other rec- ize that you are lost! command to the incident commander, but ognizable noises. He may want to know We know that there are several ac- the notification and subsequent response whether I am injured or alone. tions you can take right now. One is to are now irreparably delayed. There are lots of things the incident try again to orient yourself and attempt
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