"Hey kid, go out on the apparatus floor and play with the R.I.T. bag, oh and put your gloves on." Well readers that's as far as many command level officers regardless of rank handle their MAYDAY training. Sadly, few command officers prepare themselves emotionally and tactically for handling that MAYDAY call. Whether its a firefighter out of air, sudden change in fire conditions, or partial ceiling collapse that bangs a few noggins of your members will cause moments of excitement, anxiety and lets face it, increased "puck factor" in you and those you command on the fire ground.
So whats the answer? Well, I have created my own way of preparation and would like to offer the idea to you and your departments, it involves the review of close calls and LODDs, use of simulation and also a little editing of fire ground videos and audio that are plentiful on the internet.
Below are what I consider must study events for all firefighters and each of these have many lessons learned click on the link provided for all you need for self study and sharing. Remember to review as the officer in command of these incidents and most importantly review as a witness not as a juror (DON'T JUDGE), A good reminder when reviewing any firefighter LODD or injury report.
Command MAYDAY check sheet:
I have an example from Prince George County Fire of a check sheet you can practice with and maybe even incorporate into your department procedures, even the most experienced bosses can remember everything, especially under the pressure of a MAYDAY.
Simulation Exercises & Video Exercises
I have created several simulation exercises which focus solely on a MAYDAY situation, feel free to look at and utilize for your own training they can be found here:
If you think a MAYDAY will not occur or you're too good and competent think again, yes preventing them from happening is the first step in prevention but that all goes out the window when an unpredictable event happens on your fire ground. You owe it to your members to be prepared!
Practice and be safe.