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Developed and maintained by the NFCC

Interoperability and intraoperability

There will be occasions when breathing apparatus wearers are required to work alongside teams from other fire and rescue services and with personnel from other emergency services.

The BA command and control procedures of fire and rescue authorities should provide a common framework for safe and effective systems of work when working with other emergency services and, where necessary, other public, private and commercial fire and rescue organisations.

Operational practice

Fire and rescue services should review the effectiveness of cross-border arrangements with neighbouring services and outline these in their risk management plans.

BA entry control procedures between neighbouring fire and rescue services

Subject to prior arrangement, planning, exercising and validation of arrangements between fire and rescue services, BA teams may work together where:

  • Methods for identifying BA entry control points are compatible
  • BA wearers from different fire and rescue services are wearing the same specification BA equipment and follow the same procedures
  • BA wearers ensure that the person responsible for the BA entry control point is fully informed of their maximum cylinder capacity and duration, to ensure the correct duration table is used to plan the time of whistle or low pressure warning device
  • Radio communications are compatible between all BA wearers in a BA team and the BA entry control point, and at least between the BA team leader and the BA entry control point

BA wearers from neighbouring fire and rescue services using the same specification BA sets and associated equipment may insert their BA tallies (where used) into each other’s BA entry control boards at an incident.

Working with other emergency services

Police

In each police service, some units are trained to use respiratory protective equipment, including breathing apparatus, for specific specialist roles.

Fire and rescue services should comply with appropriate locally agreed protocols for safe systems of work based on this guidance and developed for interoperability with the police service.

Ambulance

Ambulance specialist response teams are trained to use respiratory protective equipment, including breathing apparatus. They may work alongside the fire and rescue service and the police service within the inner cordon of an incident and provide medical support to casualties.  

Fire and rescue services should comply with appropriate locally agreed protocols for safe systems of work based on this guidance and developed for interoperability with the ambulance service.

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