As lawmakers continue to slash fire department budgets our members are feeling the effects in reductions in training and staffing. Under trained and under staffed fire departments place our members at an increased risk with every response.

Data compiled by the United States Fire Administration shows that fire fighters becoming trapped and disoriented represents the largest portion of structural fire ground fatalities. Fire fighters don’t plan to be lost, disoriented, injured or trapped during a structure fire or emergency incident. But fires are unpredictable, volatile and ruthless – and they will not go according to plan.

So it’s not a matter of IF the MAYDAY happens, it’s WHEN!

Our members must continually train on the critical skills needed to prevent a MAYDAY situation from occurring and how to respond when one does occur. As a part of the FIRE/EMS Safety, Health and Survival Week we are encouraging our members to take the IAFF Fire Ground Survival Awareness Course online. The course will help you learn more about preventing a MAYDAY, being prepared in a situation of a MAYDAY, self-survival procedures and skills, and fire fighter expectation of command.

The IAFF will continue to fight to ensure our members have the resources they need to do their jobs safely. Don’t let budget cuts and staffing reductions prevent you from doing all you can to prepare yourself and your crew to survive a MAYDAY situation.