"Mayday, Mayday, Mayday!" OK, Now What?

Before we go to this month?s Close Call case study, I want to throw a few thoughts on the table regarding firefighter line-of-duty deaths. Several readers recently e-mailed, ?Does it seem like there are more and more of them?? Yes, to me it does...


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As this month?s case study shows, whenever we hear, ?Mayday, Mayday, Mayday,? we must be able to immediately answer the call for help with actions and skills that directly impact our members? ability to survive.

Readers are asked to share their accounts of incidents in which firefighters found themselves in dangerous or life-threatening situations, with the intention of sharing the information and learning from one another to reduce injuries and deaths. These accounts, in the firefighters? own words, can help others avoid similar ?close calls.? We thank those firefighters who are willing to share their stories. We invite readers to share their experiences. We will not identify any individuals, departments or communities. Our only intention is to provide educational information and prevent future tragedies.

We thank Contributing Editor William Goldfeder for compiling these reports. You may send your reports to him at chgold151@cinci.rr.com.

William Goldfeder will present ?Scared Straight on the Fireground!? at Firehouse Expo 2004 in Baltimore, July 13-18.


William Goldfeder, EFO, a Firehouse? contributing editor, is a 31-year veteran of the fire service. He is a battalion chief with the Loveland-Symmes Fire Department in Ohio, an ISO Class 2 and CAAS accredited department. Goldfeder has been a chief officer since 1982 and has served on numerous IAFC and NFPA committees, and is a past commissioner with the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. He is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy and is an active writer, speaker and instructor on fire service operational issues. Chief Goldfeder and Gordon Graham host the free and noncommercial firefighter safety and survival website www.FirefighterCloseCalls.com.