Five or Die Culture - Preparing Your Organization to Survive the MAYDAY

Mike Horst & Eric Allen

Five or Die Culture - Preparing Your Organization to Survive the MAYDAY

Annually, the fire service experiences Line Of Duty Deaths (LODD) attributed to sudden events where members are Down, Unconscious, Not Breathing in a IDLH environment. We call these a Fire Chief's worst case scenario, a MAYDAY Rescue Event or "Five Or Die" situation. These MAYDAY events, both career and volunteer, are frequently caused by medical events. Time is everything and this presentation serves as an attempt to change a deep rooted existing culture which supports a slow reactive rescue mindset. This presentation is based in part on sound data submitted by departments which have experienced a MAYDAY event. Chief Don Abbott's Project MAYDAY has become a standard in the search for more effective data regarding the causation and prevention of the MAYDAY event. This data coupled with 20 years worth of studies on Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) has assisted us in identifying behaviors which can be modified in delivering preventative measures. This presentation provides a candid opportunity to challenge attendees to go home and conduct a fair and reasonable assessment as to exactly how many minutes it takes to remove their members from a "Five Or Die" scenario in a below/above grade situation. The four major studies we reference have shown it takes between approximately 12 to 24 minutes to remove one of their own from a below grade environment. We suggest this is a failure and this presentation is designed to help the student go back home and build an exciting new culture. We will discuss a proven process of how to remove their own in less than 5 minutes. The class goes on to discuss how RIT is no longer FAST and when one of their own is in a "Five Or Die" situation their partners have literally 5 minutes to remove and provide critical pre-hospital care. We intend to provide an atmosphere where the attendee's can openly discuss conventional RIT operations versus what can be done by their own members in proximity of the down member. MAYDAY prevention, firefighter self rescue, and pre RIT removal and handoff will be discussed. As an added bonus we will share new techniques for victim movement and rescue with drags, carries and a Hasty Rescue Device (HRD) In closing we discuss the value and critical need to incorporate Fire Fighter Down CPR into their training program. This session is designed to be FAST paced and thought provoking. Our ultimate goal is that it serves as a catalyst for a new culture in todays fire service.