In 2005, the events that took place in the first 15 minutes of a large church fire would become a life-changing event for the crews involved. This fire would result in a “near-miss” for the first-due fire crew when the officer and firefighter became separated, disoriented and lost on the second floor with rapidly changing fire conditions. With the air in their SCBAs depleted, a mayday was called. Heavy radio traffic, the incident commander changeover, and an unaccounted-for crew member caused the mayday to go undetected, along with communication errors as interior operations were being conducted. This class is a first-hand account of the lessons learned from the perspective of a then-firefighter, a promoted fire officer, and current instructor who have become valuable teaching tools for the entire department. All levels of leadership and operational personnel will learn the importance of knowing that rehearsing basic firefighter skills can save your life.