In my department if you push the orange emergency button on your radio no one else gets a word on the air until you are done. The emergency button transmits an emergency tone that everyone hears, your ID pops up on the dispatchers screen and on some other radios (newer ones). We use LUNAR and have had great success in training and fortunately never had to have it used on the fireground.
I'm not sure wehre all these lost mayday calls are occuring. I can't recall any posts on FFCC or other websites listing them. I am also unsure why this would help someone remember to activate their PASS after calling. I see nothing wrong with it but would not support this change at my department.
We did have a unique application of the mayday LUNAR. After we had completed a series of maydays drills over several days, a member went into our hose tower and the door shut. We had switched the lockset so that during the mayday drill no one could get out-they were trapped. Well, the member could not get out now. So he picked up his Nextel and called the shift with MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY THIS IS FF ____ I'M LOCKED IN THE HOSE TOWER AND CANNOT GET OUT PLEASE SOME GET ME. We call got a chuckle but at the training officer I was impressed that he remembed the procedure and followed it.
Frank, I find the PASS assisted Mayday interesting. My only concern is adding more things to do and to remember during a very stressful situation. I have listened to quite a few real Maydays and it seems that the situation or interpretation of the situation directly impacted the quality of the MAYDAY. The Mayday becomes less thorough as the severity of the situation increases. I believe in keeping it simple and repeated training so it become almost like muscle memory. Why do you feel transmiting the PASS alarm is more effective then saying MAYDAY over the radio? The PASS alarm has basically become just a nuisance on the FG. I feel addressing this problem and reinforcing the importance of PASS alarm usage will help fix this problem. The PASS alarm should mean someone in trouble, period! Do you think fixing the PASS problem would help? Radio discipline is a big problem as well. We have heard many instances when Maydays have not been heard because others are talking on the radio or because the IC was busy doing other things and not focused on what was happening on the radio. I would be curious to study this further. If the Pass assisted method is proven effective, I'm all for it.
See you at FDIC