IFD learns what to do when firefighters call ‘mayday’ during deadly scenarios

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Indianapolis firefighters learned lessons Wednesday that could literally save their lives while in the line of duty.

It’s the call of “mayday.” No firefighter wants to hear it come over the radio. It means one of their own is in imminent danger.

Indy firefighters learned what to do Wednesday if they ever need to make that call.

“The whole class is built around firefighter deaths and how to prevent them in the future,” said Anthony Soffa, Lead Instructor for the International Association of Firefighters, visiting from the Burbank, California Fire Department.

Nearly two dozen firefighters from all over Indy learned what to do when they’re knocking on death’s door by going through various scenarios in mayday training put on by the International Association of Firefighters.

“We focus an extreme amount of time on calling that mayday. Letting the other firefighters know that we are lost, trapped, or disoriented, so we can start those rescue efforts,” said Soffa.

Deadly situations were the focus of the training. In one scenario, teams of firefighters had to break through a wall because they were trapped from a fire.

Another simulated a firefighter trapped in a dropped ceiling and entangled in wires. A third and final scenario simulated firefighters trapped on second or third story and needing to repel to the ground.

All these lessons, firefighters present, took back to their own departments. Firefighters representing IFD, Lawrence, Beech Grove, Speedway, Westfield, Wayne, and Decatur Townships, were all on hand.

“As a lieutenant I can take it back to my crew and teach them and then we can work on getting better and improving,” said Lieutenant William Jones with the Lawrence Fire Department.

“We go to the firehouse; we know that we may not come home. But as a lieutenant, my job is to make sure my crew can come home every day,” said Jones.

The final day of mayday training is Thursday.  So far in 2016 there have been 27 reported on duty firefighter fatalities.

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