I was training with a group of volunteer fire academy trainees at a live burn building . We had made it to the second floor and getting ready to enter the fire room. I was on the nozzle when I started to cramp from the heat. I will admit that I should have been pre-hydrating better than what I did but that’s not the whole issue. I stood up just a little and my PASS/Low Air alarm went off. I knew that I had 3/4 (or better) of air in my MSA SCBA. Our team leader, tapped me on the should and asked what was wrong. I said that was my low air alarm and he send me out. In Detroit we had always been told if one has a problem that requires a hasty exit from the structure, such as a low air alarm, then all exit. The team leader was chastised by the training cadre for allowing the other three firefighters and himself to leave with me. The Assistant Chief, who is a military fire protection specialist, at the same rank told him that if he could see me leaving the fire building under my own power then the was no need for everyone to leave. This Chief went on to say "my babies are up there burning up". The was the second time that we as a team had "played together" and while in the real world each firefighter would have his or her own radio. We did not. The first time was a first floor evolution and seem to go fairly well.
Lessons Learned: I have asked MSA to check on my SCBA is see if it has the heat sensor built into the PASS/Gauge, if so that was what the alarm was. I will then have to take some of the blame as that I didn’t know everything about my equipment and that’s a dangerous way to start to start training. Second, it very dangerous to do live fire training with firefighters that you have never partnered with. The two in – two out rule must be strictly enforced, even in a training environment. We must train as we fight and we will only be successful in our fight with the Red Devil if we train safely. Every firefighter must have a fire radio, even it’s in a training environment.