1. #1
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    Default Emergency Helmet toss out the window

    I was wondering if anybody knows where I might be able, if at all possible, to find some kind/any kind of video of an emergency where a fire helmet gets thrown out a window as a distess signal (the old-school way). I'm putting together a class on calling a mayday and wanna use a vid like that as an icebreaker. I have looked and looked annnnnnnd looked with no success. I'd really appreciate any help with this. Thanks a bunch.

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    Seems to me I might have seen something like that on a YouTube vid? I know that's kind of vague, but I think I've seen it somewhere on there.

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    Make it yourself???

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    I know you said "old school", but IMO that seems like kinda a dumb thing to do. Your helmet protects your head. Why would you want to toss it out the window? There has to be a better way I'm sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. D. View Post
    I know you said "old school", but IMO that seems like kinda a dumb thing to do. Your helmet protects your head. Why would you want to toss it out the window? There has to be a better way I'm sure.
    Absolutely. In pure desperation, it might be OK, but it's one of the last things I'd throw.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
    --General James Mattis, USMC


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    It is truly an "old school" act. It pre-dates individual radios, electronic accountability, emergency alerts, SCBA, etc. If a firefighter found himself trapped in a life-threatening situation he would throw the helmet out the window (off roof, etc), hoping someone would see it. It was, for some departments, a universal signal for a firefighter in distress. The object thrown had to be something that every firefighter would always have with them. Regardless of type of unit or assigned position. I guess the helmet made sense. If anyone on the fireground saw a helmet lying on the ground he would alert everyone to the fact that a member was in distress. This was for the most serious situations, ones where the firefighter would trade his head protection for saving his life.

    Nowadays there are a lot of better options, but I guess in a total pinch it might be worth it.

    Sorry, but I don't know where you can find a video.

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    Backdraft.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Backdraft.
    My first day on the job, as my boss was trying to get me where he wanted me to be, this was one of my first lessons.
    We caught a small room and contents fire, about thirty minutes into my first shift. We were walking up to the building and it was clear that things were under control. We talked about rig placement, etc...one of the things this well-seasoned and very experienced fire officer taught me was, at a fire scene, while walking around a building and I come across an obscure helmet lying on the ground, to look up. There will probably be a firefighter up there that threw it.

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    Honest question....have you ever?

    I've come across other things...but not any piece of FF gear.


    --- and as I think about it more....the helmet was not thrown in Backdraft...it came off due to the flash. My bad.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Frequency (2000)... This has been bugging me since the original post. Think this is more to break the window though and less of a distress signal in the movie as I recall. It's been a while since I saw it.

    I haven't seen a vid of a real life one though.
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

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    I know one exists. Just not sure if they caught the toss on video. Old video from Philly. Probably mid to late 80s. West Philly like a 6 story walk up heavy fire and smoke. Member threw his helmet which drew the attention of members on the ground. 35 ft ladder raised to member for removal. They show the video during the fire academy, or at least they use to. Not sure if they still teach the helmet toss but it was an acceptable form of communication prior to everybody having radios.

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