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A mayday is the critical moment where the incident can go one of two ways – rescue or tragedy.

Key to avoiding tragic outcomes is mayday training, particularly for newer members with less muscle memory aligned with real-world fireground emergencies. But even seasoned firefighters can find themselves paralyzed with panic, unsure how to proceed.

This special series provides critical survival resources for all firefighters, from the newest recruit to the most seasoned veteran.

It’s important to underscore the danger of the situation while not instilling an unproductive level of fear
What the data shows about how, when and why mayday incidents occur, plus the 16 most common phrases heard on the radio prior to a mayday call
The same day a firefighter from an adjacent city died in a house fire, I found myself falling through a floor, trapped
ICs need training reps to practice strategic deployment of resources, backup plans and communication skills
With the right training and direction, rapid intervention should never be a dull assignment
A Nashua, N.H., mayday underscores the importance of a quick mayday call and swift RIT response
Many firefighters started calling a personal mayday years ago – it’s time to turn the tide
While self-rescue drills are vital, so too is mayday prevention training focused on fire dynamics, building construction, case studies and technology
Key questions to help determine if your department has the documentation needed – and whether your members are prepared
Your job is to make sure that you have put all the pieces in place to address a mayday before, during and after the incident
Repeated training and breathing techniques to help lower your heart rate will help you make the mental shift
Radios serve as a critical communications and safety tool on any hazardous scene
The checklist incorporates both the simple Who-What-Where for the person announcing the mayday and LUNAR for the IC
Download your copy of the Guide, featuring a BC’s mayday experience, mayday training resources, and guidance for running command at a mayday event