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Thread: Mayday

  1. #1
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    Default Mayday

    I was wondering what other Department's SOPs are for a Mayday radio call. We had a discussion after our firefighter survival class and a big question was how does our dispatch handle this and what each others Sops were. We found out that there were small differences between all of our mutual aid companies sops, and still waiting to hear from 911.
    My second sop qusetion is what are others department's radio use policy? Who has radio's? how are operations assinged on channels? etc.?
    My last question here is what is you departments policy for post trip inspection of the trucks. Who is to make sure all equiptment is back on trucks and it is ready for next call. What kind of post call log do you have?
    We all ready have policices in place but I feel there are dated and need revised. I was looking for others ideas, so I can update SOPs. If you have any Sops on the above subjects I would appreciate a copy e-mailed to me

    e-mail address

    Thank you.
    ASST.102
    The few the proud the firefighters from 102

    I.A.C.O.J.


  2. #2
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    Default Assist 102 mayday questions

    Sorry I can't oblige you on email SOP's as I retired.

    With the LAFD, we had, due to necessity of the BIG CITY, several different type of radio calls we would request.

    It seems, what you are asking, is similar to 'A POLICE OFFICER DOWN' type call. Our call for this, is 'Fire Dept. needs help' and / or the push of the emergency distress button on the radio. All positions on the apparatus has a radio, with it's own code that transmits and ID's itself to our dispatch center.

    When the verbal 'fire dept. needs help' call is put out, WE GET THE WORLD!!! It was for immediate threats or violence, etc. When I was a paramedic, between my partner and myself, when we would have to put out that call, within minutes, it was a very rapidly changing environment.

    We would get the police helicopter, many different LAPD squad cars, any of our fire companies that were on the air and heard the call, would jump the call if close enough to do so (we also did the same when another rescue was under attack) without being properly dispatched, our dispatch center would than dispatch at least a Task Force, which is 1 truck and 2 engines total of 10 firemen and a BC to boot.

    On one such call, I was very impressed and remember it to this day, when one of the LAPD's 3 wheeler traffic units came squealing around the corner on 2 wheels! I never once called those guys 'meter maids' after that! Was never meant to be disrespectful, but after that UNARMED non sworn traffic enforcer came to our aid, I looked at LA CITY traffic guys with a lot more respect.

    When the emergency distress button is pressed, our dispatch center ID's what radio it came from, what company and position. If it was at a fireground, immediate roll call is done. If the member is absent, immediate search and rescue goes into effect. The channel is cleared so that if that person can communicate, they will not be 'stepped on'. If it was an accidental trigger, than maybe a little embarrassment, ribbing from the guys, everything put back to normal.

    SOP's in a general sense then are: either company or individual is ID'd who needs help.
    The channel is cleared, only specific emergency transmissions, normally to the individual is allowed and if they can communicate, while other's monitor it who are not communicating with the person, normally radio traffic is moved to another channel as the emergency one is monitored.

    The dispatch of what ever help is going to be sent, what ever resources your department has, mutual aid if need be, law enforcement if it is of that type of nature, etc., etc. Obviously all of this will be tailored for your area, your department, it's needs.

    At one time, our department did not have radio's for each position. And we had multi frequencies, until we went to the 800mhz system. A radio is a very comforting tool, besides a safety item.

    I hope this might have helped you somewhat.

  3. #3
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    Default sorry forgot the rest....

    As far as the rigs go, getting the equipment back up to readiness condition, the whole company was repsonsible.

    Normally, the captain(s) did the fire reports, paper work, computer entrys and such.

    There were times, as a firefighter, all I wanted was a HOT SHOWER, was cold, wet, smelly, sweaty, you know how we get.. all I wanted was that shower and than I felt I would be MORE PRODUCTIVE GETTING THE REST OF THE RIG BACK...but, just like the rest of the guys, we all stayed COLD,WET, STINKY, SWEATY, 1 am in the morning, and put the tools up, blowers filled, chainsaws reserviced, the 'heavy ends' of them cleaned, hose either changed or reloaded.

    So, everybody chips in. That was our SOP. Yes, although the engineer and apparatus operator are responsible for their rigs, everybody chips in.

    It should be up to every individual to check equipment and readiness of the rigs. This way, a safety net is in place, a back up for the back up. Although there are individual peices of equipment you yourself should check, example, your BREATHING APPARATUS, but if the one you are using takes a dump you want to make sure the others are ready to go.

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    Default

    Ok, well we have what we call a "signal 13" and "MAYDAY". A signal 13 is when you are on a call and are being physically attacked and need assistance. You key the mike and say tell fire alarm that you have a signal 13. Doing this you also hit the emergency button on the radio which locks onpen the mike on what ever channel you are on. Also when the emergency button is depressed no one else is able to talk on that radio channel but you and fire alarm. When this is done all police and fire units in the area respond no matter what.

    A MAYDAY is done when lost or stuck inside of a dwelling fire. We say MAYDAY 3x's on the operation channel and then firealarm is supposed to notify the person in command. Then they lock that channel down and try to locate that person or persons.

    In my county, most of our engines carry 2 portable radios. One foe the officer and one for the crew in the back. Some stations have more than just 2 on a wagon. On our's we carry 3 on the first out engine, 2 on the second out engine and 1 one the ambulance.
    Rescue Squad 12 to FireAlarm!!.....Squad 12?.....Give Me The 3 Alram!!!!!!

  5. #5
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    Default

    Here's ours (in a generic, easy to copy format ): http://www.wtfd.net/maydaySOG.html
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

  6. #6
    Forum Member firespec35's Avatar
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    Default

    For us:

    Any emergency traffic for a firefighter is SAFETY ALERT x3 and everyone clears the air

    As far as putting the truck in service it is up to the driver of the apparatus to make sure the truck is ready for the next call.
    Never Forget 9-11-01!!!!!!
    There wasn't just 343, the other 73 rescue workers deserve to be remembered too!!!!

  7. #7
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    Default

    For us:

    Any emergency traffic for a firefighter is SAFETY ALERT x3 and everyone clears the air

    As far as putting the truck in service it is up to the driver of the apparatus to make sure the truck is ready for the next call.
    Never Forget 9-11-01!!!!!!
    There wasn't just 343, the other 73 rescue workers deserve to be remembered too!!!!

  8. #8
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    Default

    essentially ...............once a mayday is established the dispatcher is suppossed to set off our pagers, announce "emergency traffic" and then command is supossed to then talk to the person transmitting the mayday.Obviously no one is supposed to be trying up the radio during this time. The only problem we have is NOT going to another channel. We only have 2 that dispatch can monitor, one of them is the countywide dispatch frequency, channel 2 is what entitiy that is the county back runs on and are failry busy, there is a channel 3 but it is only made for mobile and portable traffic and disaptch cannot monitor it. It would be nice to dispatch on the county channel, use 2 for EMS runs and #3 for fires , but dispatch cannot monitor them all. So for now what you see is what you get.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  9. #9
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    Default What NFPA says-

    In California- Our FireScope www.firescope.org system is BASED ON NFPA 1500 AND 1561 which states "clear text is to be used and says that "mayday" is reserved for air and sea purposes only. Here is the link that gives PROOF on the first page-

    http://www.firescope.org/ics-big-fog...0-1Chptr17.pdf

    This simply makes radio communication clearer within the ICS system. "Mayday" became popular after 9/11 because it was used quite offen that day. This is understandable, but the standard? But here is what NFPA recommended-

    "EMERGENCY TRAFFIC"- A term used to clear desinated channels used at an incident to make way for important radio traffic for a firefighter emergency situation or an immediate change in tactical operations.
    NOTE- The term "MAYDAY" should not to be used for fire ground communications which could cause confusion with the term used for aeronautical and nautical emergencies.
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 04-02-2004 at 06:09 PM.

  10. #10
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    Angry

    OH Bou Firescope is a product of the 60's. Mayday is used in the fire service all over the place so just cause Firescope dosnt endorce it does not mean it isnt valid. Get a life
    Front line since 1983 and still going strong

  11. #11
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    Default Get an education...

    Sorry EMT that you are misformed at your fire/police combo safety departmentin Utah. Firescope in CA was developed in the 70s, NOT the 60s and was the benchmark model for the Department of Home Defense's recently debuted ICS plan. Maybe you should get and education first before coming in here and bashing someone for sharing requested information.

  12. #12
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    Default

    We just revised our "mayday" and RIT policies recently. I've got a copy of the Mayday Policy in word format lurking somewhere on my hard drive. If I can find it, I'll email it to you, '102.
    Chris Minick, P.E., Firefighter II
    Structures Specialist, MD-TF 1

    These statements are mine and mine alone
    I.A.C.O.J. Building crust and proud of it

  13. #13
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    Bou,

    I understand the reasoning in your area for not using the term Mayday. We've never used aircraft for fires in this area and probably never will.

    I prefer the term "Mayday" for emergencies because there is no ambiguity. Everybody on the fireground knows something has gone very, very wrong. You ask any Joe Schmoe what "Mayday" means and they can tell you it means somebody is in bad trouble. It is also less likely to be misunderstood because of radio problems, etc.

    I'm not bashing you guys for not using it, just stating the case why we do.
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

  14. #14
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    Default NFPA is not in your area?

    Sorry bro- I hear ya, but please click on the link I provided. The system used in "my area" is solely based on NFPA 1500 and 1561. That is listed on the first page of the link I provided.

    Like I said earlier, "mayday" became big after 9/11. Thats fine.
    I just have not heard or read that it became the "new national standard." If it is, please show me. Thanks.
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 04-01-2004 at 05:16 PM.

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    Default Re: NFPA is not in your area?

    Originally posted by CALFFBOU
    Sorry bro- I hear ya, but please click on the link I provided. The system used in "my area" is solely based on NFPA 1500 and 1561. That is listed on the first page of the link I provided.

    Like I said earlier, "mayday" became big after 9/11. Thats fine.
    I just have not heard or read that it became the "new national standard." If it is, please show me. Thanks.
    Brother, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this one.

    No matter what NFPA, DHS or anybody else says, we're gonna keep on using the word for all the reasons I previously stated - not because FDNY uses it.
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber PFD109NFD107's Avatar
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    Default

    Originally posted by WTFD10
    Bou,

    I understand the reasoning in your area for not using the term Mayday. We've never used aircraft for fires in this area and probably never will.


    You better hope you don't have to use an aircraft to fight a fire in Washington Township

  17. #17
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    Default

    Tanker drop on Raintree Village ?
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  18. #18
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    Default Ummm....

    Hey..Do what you want. Like I said, As far as I know, "mayday"
    is not the national standard. Looking for a benchmark, N-F-P-A
    1561 says "clear text" is to be used. "Mayday" is a air and sea
    term much like "bulk head", "galley", "stern" or "lavatory."

    I dont think "air drops" in your town are the final factor. I just used that as an example. Again, my state has a standard based on NFPA, if you have something better, please post it with a link like I did.
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 04-02-2004 at 06:02 PM.

  19. #19
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    Originally posted by PFD109NFD107
    You better hope you don't have to use an aircraft to fight a fire in Washington Township
    Well, even if we ever had one big enough for an air drop I would either be at the full-time job or stuck at home with a sick kid. (Got your e-mail, thanks)


    Originally posted by Weruj1
    Tanker drop on Raintree Village ?
    It could only improve the place!


    Originally posted by CALFFBOU
    Hey..Do what you want. Like I said, As far as I know, "mayday" is not the national standard. Looking for a benchmark, NFPA 1561 says
    "clear text" is to be used. "Mayday" is a air and sea term much like "bulk head", "galley", "stern" or "lavatory."

    I dont think "air drops" in your town are the final factor. I just used that as an example. Again, my state has a standard based on NFPA, if you have something better, please post it with a link like I did.
    Brother, why do you want to keep arguing? I already agreed that it is not a national standard. It's what we use and will keep using because it works for us. You use what works for you. I'm not bashing you for it, so go easy.
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

  20. #20
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    Lightbulb Mayday Mayday Mayday

    There was a Mayday transmitted at a 2 alarm job in the 1st Division the other night for a member trapped...well over 100 firemen and officers all equiped with a handie talkies and there was no communication problems. No one thought a plane was going down or Marine Company skinking, no one asked for number SOBs!

    For a copy of all FDNY procedures including Mayday and Urgents, go to FDNY Procedures. I don't know anyone that has ever been disapointed in the info. It is an excellent resource for battle tested procedures... Not Buzz words pushed off by Fire Administrators and Managers.

    You would want to look to the Communications manual in Chapters 8&9.

    Regardless, do your research...there is no reason to re-write the book on Maydays completely, take what can work for you.

    Best of Luck,

    FTM-PTB
    Last edited by FFFRED; 04-02-2004 at 01:59 PM.

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