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Developed and maintained by the NFCC

Telemetry

The purpose of telemetry in fire and rescue service operations is to allow live and relevant data to be transmitted and received between a remote monitoring point and the breathing apparatus wearer.

To maximise the signal power of a radio frequency transmission, fire and rescue services should follow the relevant guidance from telemetry system providers and may consider, where appropriate, enhancing signal strength by using a ‘leaky feeder’ and/or repeater units.

This foundation document is based on the minimum functionality of telemetry equipment. Individual fire and rescue services will need to develop their own procedures for their equipment, and should seek to ensure that telemetry BA command and control and BA equipment procedures for using telemetry are interoperable as far as is reasonably practicable.

In the event of a loss of contact or breakdown in telemetry communications, the procedures followed by individual fire and rescue services must consider other ways to communicate with BA teams.

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Operational practice

Arrangements must be put in place to manage and operate the available telemetry, and to monitor information received via telemetry at the BA entry control point throughout the duration of BA deployment.

Depending on the scope and scale of the expected BA deployment and in accordance with the incident plan, additional support to the person responsible for the BA entry control point may be considered.

In addition to duties outlined in BA operational procedures – all incidents, the following responsibilities apply:

Role and responsibilities of the incident commander

The incident commander will:

  • Decide whether emergency selective evacuation is appropriate
  • Ensure that any decision to conduct an emergency total evacuation of all personnel is communicated to all telemetry BA entry control operatives
  • Ensure that the appropriate action, based on individual fire and rescue service standard procedures, is taken in the event of an unexpected and sustained loss of telemetry

Role and responsibilities of the BA entry control operative

The BA entry control operative will:

  • Monitor the time to activation of the low pressure warning device
  • Set up and operate a telemetry BA entry control board or unit in a position nominated by the incident commander
  • Log on telemetry-equipped BA wearers who are to be committed to the risk area
  • Monitor the displayed cylinder pressure of all telemetry radio units logged on to telemetry BA entry control boards or units
  • Ensure that appropriate action is taken if the cylinder contents of a BA wearer do not correspond with the BA wearer’s time of whistle or low pressure warning
  • Revert to manual BA entry control procedures if the telemetry signal is lost
  • Initiate BA emergency procedures if appropriate
  • Log off BA wearers leaving the risk area through the BA entry control point from their telemetry BA entry control boards/units

Role and responsibilities of the BA team leader

The BA team leader will:

  • Test telemetry equipment with the BA entry control operative
  • Ensure that the appropriate telemetry signal is transmitted by each member of the BA team when leaving the risk area
  • Ensure that the whole BA team is withdrawn if any member of the team receives an emergency evacuation signal (total or selective)
  • Ensure that each BA wearer acknowledges receipt of the evacuation signal (depending on the telemetry system employed)

Role and responsibilities of the BA wearer

The BA wearer will:

  • Shut down the BA set and collect the BA tally from the BA entry control operative