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Developed and maintained
by the NFCC

Breathing apparatus entry control procedures



Breathing apparatus (BA) entry control procedures are designed to provide a consistent method for the safe and effective command and control and management of BA operations, and to ensure the safety of firefighters.

BA entry control should be aligned with the incident command system. BA entry control procedures should be proportionate to the scale and complexity of the BA operations at an incident, the overall incident plan, and any known or reasonably foreseeable hazards and risks to BA wearers.

The BA entry control procedure adopted should be consistent throughout the entire incident and for all BA entry control points.

Establishing and maintaining effective communications between the BA entry control point and the BA team is essential, as is exchanging timely and regular information throughout the command team.

Local fire and rescue service development processes should identify personnel who are suitably qualified to carry out the role of BA entry control operative. However, the incident commander has overall responsibility for BA entry control.

BA entry control operatives should be nominated for each BA entry control board. The BA entry control operative will undertake specific tasks in relation to BA entry control only, under the command and direction of the person responsible for the BA entry control point.

The briefing of BA wearers should be confirmed, communicated and recorded before deployment. BA wearers deployed into hazard areas should be informed of:

  • Tasks, such as:
    • Firefighting
    • Search and rescue,
    • Guideline laying
  • Hazards
  • Existing control measures
  • Methods of communication
  • Emergency arrangements
  • Other resources deployed
  • External activity

Following an appropriate risk assessment, tasks may be combined, for example, firefighting and search and rescue.

The BA team and team leader should confirm their understanding of the briefing and instructions. Information from the debrief should be confirmed and relayed to relevant personnel, such as command unit, BA teams, incident and sector commanders.