A box alarm is dispatched in the first due, for a reported house fire. You and your crew are on the truck assignment and have been tasked with performing the primary search on the second division. The fire is confirmed to be underneath you in the first division. During your search, you enter a corner bedroom and check the far corner of the room. Suddenly, you notice that the fire burns a hole through the floor, and now you’re stuck with no apparent means of egress. Your crew is unable to reach you, and conditions are rapidly changing, forcing them to bail back down the stairs and out the front door. You look out of the bedroom window, and there is nothing there. No front/side porch roof, no ladder, nothing. You’re all alone, and you’re stuck. Would you call the mayday? If you answered yes, then good for you. You recognized that there is an immediate life danger, and aren’t afraid to ask for help. If you answered no, why? Are you too full of pride to ask for help? Are you afraid of being ridiculed by the guys back at the fire house?
Too often, pride and egos get in the way of making the right call. By refusing to declare a mayday when it’s needed, you’re not only putting yourself at risk but the entire company as well. Command calls up to the second division search team for a SitRep, and suddenly there is no response. You’re still contemplating a way to get out of the room with the hole in the floor. You sit there, thinking of a way to escape, but it’s too late. The heat overcomes you, you lose consciousness, and helplessly drop through the floor like a ton of bricks. Emotions run high, wondering what is going on and why you aren’t answering. Command sends in a second crew to check on your status. Running on pure adrenaline the second crew charges into the structure to look for you, only knowing your last location. Emotion overtakes the critical thinking part of the brain, and the second crew rushes into the very same room that you were in, and much like you, they fall through the floor. Now, instead of one man down, there are three.
Three widows. Parents who have to bury their child. Children that no longer have fathers.
Refusing to call a “Mayday” doesn’t only affect you… Swallow your pride; make the call.