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    Default Mayday Situation and Alarm Levels

    Hey guys, just a quick question. If you have a mayday, RIT activation, etc., are there any specific guidelines as to what the IC will request?

    Around here it's an automatic (Read: Mandatory, no matter how "severe" the problem is) 2 additional box alarm levels and an EMS Box Alarm.
    Last edited by ATFDFF; 02-04-2010 at 11:45 PM. Reason: Spelling

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    I dont think there is anything in policy for us. Me personally, if ever in charge of an incident and the *hit hits the fan, I am placing the FAST Truck in service and then calling for (at least) an extra engine, truck and heavy rescue. Would probably also call for an extra medic unit or two and might even place a helicopter on standby, and fly them if reports indicate the need.
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    mayday gets an auto-matic extra alarm. something like 3 pumpers 2 ladders, a district chief, a deputy chief, ambulance, squad and some other stuff
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATFDFF View Post
    Hey guys, just a quick question. If you have a mayday, RIT activation, etc., are there any specific guidelines as to what the IC will request?

    Around here it's an automatic (Read: Mandatory, no matter how "severe" the problem is) 2 additional box alarm levels and an EMS Box Alarm.
    No standing order.

    The SOP only addresses ordering up another fast team. However, i'm fairly certain that the Chief would start ordering up some additional units.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    Now that my FD has completed RIT training, we now respond a third Engine company to be the RIT team. If that company ends up going to work, another engine (either mutual aid or one of ours staffed with off duty personnel recalled for the incident) will be the RIT team.
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    When we have a confirmed working fire we dispatch a rescue (2 to 3 FFs) and an engine (4 to 5 FFs).

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    One added alarm level, plus additional EMS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ATFDFF View Post
    Hey guys, just a quick question. If you have a mayday, RIT activation, etc., are there any specific guidelines as to what the IC will request?

    Around here it's an automatic (Read: Mandatory, no matter how "severe" the problem is) 2 additional box alarm levels and an EMS Box Alarm.
    I think I know where their heart was when they wrote it, but that seems kinda silly if I am reading that right. Are you saying that if you are at a standard 1 alarm fire and someone calls a mayday a 2nd AND 3rd alarm assignment will automatically be started.

    I got news for you. In most true mayday situations, the person calling the mayday will be lost or saved in the first couple of moments, the exception would be someone that got pinned under something that was not immediately killed and had a decent amount of air left. Therefore, most of the time, the additional responding companies will be pointless.

    If you think you need them, call before someone calls a mayday.

    We do like Chief Gonz - added extra engine to all assignments to be RIT. Third in is RIT on houses, fourth is RIT on apts. and commercial buildings. Extra companies are called to manage the incident, not when or because someone calls a mayday. If a RIT company is deployed, another will be assigned out of staging or called if needed.
    Last edited by MemphisE34a; 02-05-2010 at 01:01 PM.
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    It depends on the nature of the call for assistance. We automaically have a FAST truck (RIT) dispatched to a W/F. A few times they've been sent in to assist FF's and the only additional call was for another truck to replace the original RIT unit. Another time after a sizable ceiling collapse in a public hallway flattened out an entire company covering them with burning debris and an 'urgent' call went out the IC sent in the RIT and transmitted an additional alarm. He didn't know the extent of the collapse but knew a company was caught in a burning collapse on the third floor of a frame building.

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    Quote Originally Posted by len1582 View Post
    It depends on the nature of the call for assistance.
    That's how ours is supposed to work. All officers have been trained as part of the RIT training that they should strike the next alarm if the RIT is pressed into action. There is nothing automatic, it comes from the IC. this allows for some give so the situation can be evaluated by the IC, but also provides some structure in that the IC knows what is expected so he/she must take that into consideration when determining the situation did not warrant another alarm. They will not fail to strike an alarm because they didn't know they should.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    In most true mayday situations, the person calling the mayday will be lost or saved in the first couple of moments
    The additional alarm companies could be in anticipation that the fire is going to grow further out of control while the interior companies (let's be honest, nobody's waiting for the FAST/RIT to get into the building) work to locate/free/remove the Madaying member.

    I doubt anybody writing a Mayday policy that calls for additional resources is so stupid as to think that the extra alarm companies are going to be there to assist with the Mayday.
    Last edited by emt161; 02-05-2010 at 07:19 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    Are you saying that if you are at a standard 1 alarm fire and someone calls a mayday a 2nd AND 3rd alarm assignment will automatically be started.

    Of course with staffing of 1 on each apparatus after they secure from being crossing guards, correction officers, lawn keepers and the other massive assortment of jobs they want us to do on duty.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocVBFDE14 View Post
    Of course with staffing of 1 on each apparatus after they secure from being crossing guards, correction officers, lawn keepers and the other massive assortment of jobs they want us to do on duty.
    Soon there gonna install a line striper on the side of the pumpers so we can fix faded street lines while going to calls and a street sweeper underneath.

    In my county we add an extra alarm. The extra alarm agencies will generally be relief crews.
    Stay safe!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    I think I know where their heart was when they wrote it, but that seems kinda silly if I am reading that right. Are you saying that if you are at a standard 1 alarm fire and someone calls a mayday a 2nd AND 3rd alarm assignment will automatically be started.
    Yes you are correct. On a standard 1st Alarm Box we would get a 2nd and 3rd alarm. But, i think EMT161 got it pretty right. I asked my chief how they came to that decision, and here was their reasoning:

    Most of the 1st alarm companies would be helping with the RIT scenario. So the 2nd alarm companies would assume most of the 1st alarm company's responsibilities, additional fire attack, primary/secondary search, vent, etc. The 3rd alarm companies would most likely stage and be used assuming that the fire DID grow and would have needed more resources regardless of the RIT situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ambrose33 View Post
    Soon there gonna install a line striper on the side of the pumpers so we can fix faded street lines while going to calls and a street sweeper underneath.
    Oh my god... our guys can't drive straight.

    That's gonna be a problem!

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    Once a Mayday is declared, it's County policy to do the following:

    -Next 2 RIT teams are sent
    -Advises a PAR check to be taken
    -If no communication with Command after 2 minutes (I think 2, may be 3-5), the next alarm is automatically dispatched without question.
    -Additional ALS unit is sent.
    A Fire Chief has ONLY 1 JOB and that's to take care of his fireman. EVERYTHING else falls under this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ATFDFF View Post
    Most of the 1st alarm companies would be helping with the RIT scenario. So the 2nd alarm companies would assume most of the 1st alarm company's responsibilities, additional fire attack, primary/secondary search, vent, etc. .

    You need to sure the so called "first alarm" companies continue to carry out their assignments and responsibilities.

    Abandoning their assignments and positions to help with a downed firefighter, while good hearted and done with the best intentions, can have disastrous results for both the downed firefighter and the rescuers.

    A harsh reality. But a reality nonetheless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakesdad View Post
    You need to sure the so called "first alarm" companies continue to carry out their assignments and responsibilities.

    Abandoning their assignments and positions to help with a downed firefighter, while good hearted and done with the best intentions, can have disastrous results for both the downed firefighter and the rescuers.

    A harsh reality. But a reality nonetheless.
    Exactly. Everyone can not abandon every aspect of the incident in order to facilitate the Mayday. You have to continue to manage the fire as well.
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    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakesdad View Post
    You need to sure the so called "first alarm" companies continue to carry out their assignments and responsibilities.

    Abandoning their assignments and positions to help with a downed firefighter, while good hearted and done with the best intentions, can have disastrous results for both the downed firefighter and the rescuers.

    A harsh reality. But a reality nonetheless.
    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    Exactly. Everyone can not abandon every aspect of the incident in order to facilitate the Mayday. You have to continue to manage the fire as well.
    Jakesdad and Memphis are 100% correct. The reason we started sending RIT or FAST co's to scenes to begin with was so that initial on scene companies DO NOT abandon their specific roles or activities at the moment of a mayday being issued. The firefight must be continued in order to further reduce the danger that caused the mayday. Unfortunately, real firefighters want to rush to the area of danger to rescue or assist their fallen or injured brother/sister. Seems like a good thing until the entire scene is compromised because people stopped doing what they were tasked with. Protect your area, continue your scene specific responsibility, and allow the RIT crew to do their thing.

    IMO only: I could see how someone would REFUSE/NEGLECT to call a mayday because they knew it would involve the transmittal of one or two more complete alarms which would further their shame/embarassment level. Therefore, they wouldn't call it out of pride and the situation would worsen perhaps to the point of being too late to call a mayday. Let's be honest with ourselves. Too many guys get into a bind where a mayday is warranted but they don't want to "be that guy" that had to call a mayday or couldn't get himself out of a jam so therefore they plunder on, often to more severe consequences. Adding 1 or 2 extra alarms would only further that stigma.

    We call extra help on a case by case basis when a mayday is transmitted. Works for us, understand it's different for the OP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ATFDFF View Post
    Hey guys, just a quick question. If you have a mayday, RIT activation, etc., are there any specific guidelines as to what the IC will request?

    Around here it's an automatic (Read: Mandatory, no matter how "severe" the problem is) 2 additional box alarm levels and an EMS Box Alarm.
    We have a county wide dispatch center. For us, if a Mayday is transmitted, on scene RIC is activated for the Mayday, Mayday/rescue ops remain on original tac channel and all other fire scene ops move to a new channel. Dispatch automatically dispatches an additional ambulance and two closest fire units. IC will up that if he feels the need based on ongoing ops and conditions. Only those assigned to the rescue ops handle that portion, all others continue original assignments to ensure the fire is being controlled or at least held in check to protect the rescue area.

    If the FF transmitting Mayday does it on a different channel, that channel becomes locked for the scene and Mayday ops to ensure he can communicate. If he can't get out on the tac channel and does it on the primary dispatch channel, that is his and they switch to alternate means of dispatching other emergencies (station alerting systems, other channel, etc.).

    All our radios are set up to where if you turn the channel knob all the way either direction you end up on our channel 1 in case you can't get out on the tac or have inadvertently switched off the tac and don't know what channel you're on.

    Our initial structure fire dispatch is five fire units (including at least one quint or truck and our heavy rescue), BC, Safety Officer/Investigator, and ALS ambulance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Now that my FD has completed RIT training, we now respond a third Engine company to be the RIT team. If that company ends up going to work, another engine (either mutual aid or one of ours staffed with off duty personnel recalled for the incident) will be the RIT team.
    Do your engine co.'s carry all the equipment for a rit assignment? Do they take stuff off a truck? Just curious. We run separate truck co.'s and engine co.'s, and while in theory they could make an engine a rit company, here it is always a truck.
    Just a typical moronic, childish, idiotic munchkin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whocares
    Do your engine co.'s carry all the equipment for a rit assignment? Do they take stuff off a truck? Just curious. We run separate truck co.'s and engine co.'s, and while in theory they could make an engine a rit company, here it is always a truck.
    I know you asked Gonz, but we do the same thing so I will offer my 2 cents.

    Here, many of the truck companies carry (2) saws. Other than the saws, engine companies do carry a basic compliment of truck tools. If there is something that is needed that the engine does not have, yes....equipment can be gotten off of a truck on the scene.

    Although I do agree with you that 99% of RIT operations will be truck work, I think the prevailing logic was that we have twice as many engines as trucks so dispatching an extra engine would not make as much of a dent in coverage. Additionally, I am currently on an engine, so..........more fires for me!! =))
    Last edited by MemphisE34a; 02-06-2010 at 09:06 PM.
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    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakesdad View Post
    You need to sure the so called "first alarm" companies continue to carry out their assignments and responsibilities.

    Abandoning their assignments and positions to help with a downed firefighter, while good hearted and done with the best intentions, can have disastrous results for both the downed firefighter and the rescuers.

    A harsh reality. But a reality nonetheless.
    Welcome back Jakesdad!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whocares View Post
    Do your engine co.'s carry all the equipment for a rit assignment? Do they take stuff off a truck? Just curious. We run separate truck co.'s and engine co.'s, and while in theory they could make an engine a rit company, here it is always a truck.
    We do similar to Gonz. We added a 4th engine to the assignment to be the RIT team. We have them take needed equipment off of the special services (truck/tower or heavy rescue squad). We have a limited number of special services in the county, so it was better to add an engine as opposed to another truck or squad.

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    The issue of pulling equipment off of the trucks is the biggest problem with RIT assignments around here. All to often a crew will be assigned RIT and just chill out somewhere near command. At the VERY least gather come hand tools, spare bottles, extra SCBA, flashlights,etc. and throw it all in a Stokes basket. Better than nothing.

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