To provide Emergency Services Organizations with recommended RIC operational protocols in the event a firefighter (s) has/have become lost, trapped or disoriented and/or a MAYDAY has been transmitted.
This guideline shall apply to all Emergency Services Organizations actively engaged in the search and/or rescue of a lost, trapped or disoriented firefighter.
This guideline details the roles and responsibilities of each group involved in a MAYDAY operation.
- Transmit a MAYDAY message using the “LUNAR” acronym.
- Last Know Location
- Unit Number
- Remaining Air and Resources Needed
- Activate PASS device
- If awaiting rescuers:
- Stay calm and conserve air
- Position flashlight toward ceiling
- Assume a horizontal position in order to maximize audible effects of the PASS device.
- Monitor conditions and report and change to the IC.
- Advise the IC if moving or attempting to self extricate.
- Gather LUNAR information from the firefighter
- Conduct a risk analysis to determine if a team can and/or should be deployed to attempt a rescue. If a rescue operation will be initiated, deploy the RIC team.
- Announce the confirmed receipt of the MAYDAY.
- Make announcement on the Operations Channel that a MAYDAY has been transmitted and for all companies not involved in the RIC Operation to switch to OPS ___. The OPS channel will be determined by the IC. The downed firefighter, IC and RIC group will remain on the Ops Channel that the MAYDAY was transmitted on or the last channel the firefighter was operating on.
- Notify the Communication Center that there is a report of lost, trapped or disoriented firefighter (s).
- Assign a RIC Group Supervisor, if one has not already been assigned.
- Assign a radio operator to monitor the RIC Operations channel.
- Assign a scribe to monitor time and benchmarks.
- If the MAYDAY was caused due to a collapse, flashover, or explosion, the Operations Chief or Safety Officer will assess the need to evacuate the building or area. If deemed necessary, an immediate evacuation may be initiated based on conditions and safety.
- Call for a PAR (Personnel Accountability Report) of all companies on the fire ground.
- Withdraw all non-essential crews; this is those not directly involved with the suppression efforts or those that report they have contact with the downed firefighter.
- Ensure the incident stabilization operation continues.
- Transmit Alert Tone and make the following statement:
“Attention all units operating at location”. “A MAYDAY has been transmitted.”
- Dispatch an ALS unit and an ALS Supervisor.
- Place air medical on standby.
- Prompt the IC for any additional resources
- Next alarm and staging location
- EMS strike team and staging location
- Specialized rescue companies or equipment.
- Notify the County Fire Coordinator.
RIC Group Supervisor
- Assign a Control Officer to maintain entry of all RIC members. This person will track names, air supply and time of all RIC members as they enter the IDLH (Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health) environment.
- Request additional RIC Teams from the IC as needed.
- Conduct ongoing size ups of the IDLH. Be prepared to stop the RIC operation if conditions warrant.
- Work with the Operations Chief to:
- Position hose lines to protect trapped firefighters and rescuers in fire areas.
- If warranted ventilation to improve conditions and visibility.
- Provide collapse hazard and debris stabilization as rescue efforts proceed.
- Have spare SCBA’s and cylinders brought to the RIC staging area.
- Provide lighting in the area if necessary.
- Recognize the benchmarks of the RIC operation
- Firefighter located
- Air secured
- Packaging complete
- Removal started
- Removal complete
- It is recommended that the RIC team be divided into smaller teams if possible. These teams will represent each stage of the operation; Recon and Rescue.
- Deploy the Recon team to locate the firefighter.
- The Recon team should:
- Ascertain last known location from the RIC Group Supervisor or IC.
- Follow hose lines when possible.
- Listen for PASS devices.
- Listen for tapping noises being made by the firefighter.
- Look for flashlight beams pointed at the ceiling.
- Stop and listen for breathing noises.
- Communicate with the firefighter on the radio when possible.
- Report any findings to the RIC Group Supervisor.
- Once the firefighter is found report the location where found, air supply of the firefighter and the team, and resources needed to extricate the firefighter.
- The Rescue team will only deploy if requested by the Recon team or as instructed by the RIC Group Supervisor.
- The Rescue team will work to package and remove the firefighter from the IDLH. All reports, findings and updates will be communicated to the RIC Group Supervisor.