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What terminology does your department use for a MAYDAY?

In California the FIRESCOPE Field Operations Guidebook, or "FOG", is a major tool used for creating policy when it dealing with ICS and NIMS terminology. I feel that the FOG is a great resource and may be under utilized. However, where it deals with Firefighter emergencies, I feel that it is not necessarily up to the perceived industry standard. In the FOG it states that "MAYDAY" is a term that is only to be used for air or marine emergencies. For Firefighter emergencies, the FOG states that the term "Emergency Traffic" shall be used. The problem I see is that we use Emergency Traffic for more than just Firefighter emergencies. We use Emergency Traffic to alert members of fireground hazards, to order members out of a building, or anything else that the IC deems necessary. Does this not water down the importance of a Firefighter emergency?

My questions for you are...

What state are you from? Does your Department follow the NIMS/ICS system? And finally, what terminology does your department use for a Firefighter emergency?

For more information on the FIRESCOPE "FOG" book, just type FIRESCOPE into your search engine. There will be plenty of sites that you can look at the FOG.

Thanks for your time on this topic.

Stay Safe everyone,


"Everyone Goes Home"

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There are many follow-up MAYDAY radio transmissions being used around the country. The IAFF/IAFC Fire Ground Survival Program currently being developed has elected to advocate the use of the 3 W's or "Who" is calling? "Where" are you? and "What" is your emergency? The program gives instruction to first transmit MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY to get the attention of the IC and to clear the radio of all traffic. The follow-up transmission is then given after the IC requests the distressed FF to “identify.” This reduces the length of the radio transmissions and helps prepare all on the incident to listen carefully to the distressed FF’s follow-up radio transmission. The content of the 3W's is also found in mnemonics such as LUNAR, HELP, LIP and CLAN. Because you're familiar with LUNAR this what the others stand for: HELP stands for "Handle," or firefighters name and rank, "Equipment," or equipment the person is assigned, "Location" or where the firefighter is located, and "Problem". LIP stands for "Location" or where are you?, "Individual", Who are you?, and "Problem". CLAN stands for "Conditions," "Location," "Assignment or Apparatus," and "Name".

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