The mayday event isn’t something that can be managed by policy or training alone; it’s something that needs to be discussed and practiced throughout a firefighter’s career. The focus for mayday events has historically been on the reaction side of the equation, but its just as important to focus on prevention and preparedness measures that can be taken.
This is a pressing issue for fire and emergency service organizations because it isn’t a matter of if a mayday will happen but when it will occur. Studies completed in the mid- 2000s in Ft. Worth TX, Indianapolis, IN and Washington Township, IN revealed that firefighters are reluctant to declare a mayday because no one likes to admit that they need to be rescued and because our decision making processes are generally based upon our previous experiences as defined by the Recognition Primed Decision-Making (RPD) process. We simply don’t train our firefighters to get into trouble and then teach them how to get out.
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