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Breathing Apparatus team brief/debrief

It is essential that every breathing apparatus team is fully briefed at the BA entry control point by the appropriate person.

The brief should contain:

  • The designated BA team call sign
  • The nature and layout of the structure to be searched
  • The specific area to be searched
  • The hazards and risks presented
  • Existing control measures
  • The search procedures to be employed and equipment to be used
  • The level of BA command and control procedures in use
  • The location and tasks of any other BA teams
  • Any relevant air-management criteria
  • Communications provisions
  • BA emergency and contingency arrangements
  • Debriefing requirements
  • All other relevant information
  • The brief for a BA search team may require them to start the search at the point of entry:

At a location beyond the point of entry where there is the greatest danger for casualties

  • Where the likely seat of a fire is located
  • At some other designated point within the building or structure.
  • The BA team must follow all appropriate safe systems of work, search and rescue procedures and personal safety techniques in reaching the designated point for the start of the search and during the search itself.

Suitable plans of the structure, annotated with areas still to be searched and those already searched, landmarks (orientation reference points) and hazards identified, should be produced wherever possible. These plans can provide additional information that may be used during briefing and debriefing BA wearers to enhance the safety and effectiveness of BA search and rescue teams.

On completion of any BA deployment, the team should be fully debriefed at the BA entry control point by the nominated and appropriate person. The essential elements of the debriefing should also be recorded.


Key information should be recorded appropriately. A suitable and sufficient record of search and rescue instructions and briefings to breathing apparatus teams, debrief intelligence and any other relevant operational and planning information should be maintained at the BA entry control point. This risk-critical information impacts directly on the effective command and control of any incident involving BA and the tasks allocated to subsequent BA teams.

Records should be maintained, not just for the duration of the incident but for subsequent audit, training and investigation purposes. These provide a contemporaneous record of the instructions given to BA teams and information gained at the debrief on completion.