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Fire and rescue service roles and responsibilities in pollution intervention planning

Intervention planning

One aspect of response and incident reduction planning is to consider protecting the natural environment as well as public safety. The protection of plants and animals by the fire and rescue service as part of a risk management plan, although not a duty, is an expectation. For further information see Protecting the environment.

Fire and rescue service risk management plans should consider the environment, the impacts of incidents and the non-emergency operations of the service. For further information, see Risk management plans.

Fire and rescue services should consider the hazards identified in their local community risk registers and the National Risk Assessment when preparing an environmental protection strategy for their risk management plan. This information will also support fire and rescue services when formulating emergency response plans for specific premises.

Benefits of planning 

Fire and rescue service managers should consider environmental protection activities during the planning process, to minimise the impact of incidents on the environment. Benefits include:

  • Protecting drinking water supplies and public safety
  • Minimising the impacts on plants and animals that need a clean uncontaminated environment
  • Protecting other uses of water, such as the watering of livestock, irrigation of crops, fishing and bathing
  • Using a pollution intervention or response plan that can be shown to help mitigate or prevent pollution, as part of the defence described in Water resource protection legislation for site operators and the fire and rescue service

For these reasons, fire and rescue services should allow for pollution prevention activities within their planning processes.