Sioux City Fire Rescue trains for "mayday" scenarios - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Sioux City Fire Rescue trains for "mayday" scenarios


SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV)- When Sioux City Fire Rescue arrives on scene, they have to always be prepared for the worst case scenario.

"When you go in to a fire, it's a totally different environment. The temperatures are high. The visibility is zero. You pretty much go through the structure strictly on feel. When you're inside that structure, things can go bad. Ceilings can collapse on you. Floors may give out and you can fall through the floor," Firefighter Greg Thode said.

"Mayday training is used for our guys to be able to practice one of the worst scenarios we can think of, which would be having to rescue ourselves while at an emergency scene," Fire Marshal Mark Aesoph said.

That's why firefighters trained for mayday situations. Firefighters were trapped under a chain linked fence, which simulated a structure collapse.

"You try to give them your location, your name, how much air you have left, where you're at in the structure, and what resources you may need for other firefighters to come in and get you out," Thode said.

Crawling through a narrow box with all their gear on posed another challenge, but one that firefighter Greg Thode said is important.

"A lot of times when a ceiling collapses inside of a structure during a fire, the electrical wiring will fall down with it, and so when you're crawling through a structure, it's easy to get entangled in electrical wiring or the wires will catch on your tank," Thode said.

And, although Thode said he's never had to call mayday, he hopes this training helps him stay calm in a life threatening situation.

"It's usually a panic scenario, so the more we practice that and get familiar with the routine, the easier it will be when the real thing happens," Thode said.

Sioux City Fire Rescue said at every fire structure, their rapid intervention team is on standby with this special equipment just in case one of their own gets in trouble.

Sioux City Fire Rescue said they do hands-on mayday training at least once every year.

But, firefighters train weekly for different kinds of scenarios like rescuing victims and EMS.

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