Name Acronym Description
4x4 Response

A voluntary sector organisation that provides 4x4 vehicles and drivers to support emergency responders and voluntary organisations.

Access Control Point ACP

Controlled point through which essential non-emergency service personnel may gain access through the outer cordon

Accord européean relatif au transport international des marchandises Dangereuses par Route ADR

European agreements concerning the international carriage of dangerous goods by road.

Aerial fuels

Any fuel found at a height of more than 3.5 metres above the ground surface

Aeronautical rescue co- ordination centre ARCC

Royal Air Force facility at Kinloss responsible for the co-ordination of all airborne assets deployed in a rescue operation

Air Accidents Investigation Branch AAIB

An independent organisation embedded within the Department for Transport and responsible for the investigation of civil aircraft accidents and serious incidents within the UK.

Air management

The safe, effective and efficient management of available BA air supplies, by the individual BA wearer, the BA team leader and the person responsible for BA entry control, to ensure air/work evaluation and management to achieve BA wearer welfare and safety and operational objectives. This will necessarily involve managing the wear to meet any turn-around pressure, specified exit pressure and report to BA entry control point pressure criteria. This will more than likely include (for example) appropriate selection of BA wearers at the entry control point; the use of appropriate air consumption rate/s and duration tables; the use of telemetry; appropriate tasking and briefing of BA team/s; use of an appropriate turn-around pressure (where required); regular gauge readings by both the BA wearer and the team leader; and regular/ dynamic communications between the BA team and the entry control point, etc.

Aircraft Co-ordinator AirCO

Person who supervises the involvement of multiple aircraft in search and rescue operations

Aircraft post-crash management incident officer APCMIO

The primary police point of contact for liaison on military support requirements associated with the control and cordon of the site


The controlled area of an airport only accessible through security gates, that requires all fire and rescue service vehicles to be escorted by leader vehicles unless drivers have the required airside permit to drive license issued by the airport operator.


An airstair is a set of steps built into an aircraft so that passengers may get on or off the aircraft


The common, secure digital radio system used by the emergency services and others in the resilience and security community. The system is based on the TETRA standards set.

All lane running ALR

The permanent conversion of the hard shoulder to a running lane on a motorway, whilst retaining the ability to dynamically control traffic.

Alpha (a) radiation a-radiation

Type of radiation involving the emission of an alpha particle from the nucleus of a radioactive atom. Can only travel a few centimetres in air.

Anaerobic digestion

Renewable energy process involving a collection of processes by which micro-organisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen to produce fuel (methane).


An acute allergic reaction to an antigen (e.g. a bee sting) to which the body has become hypersensitive

Animal welfare charities

This includes: 

  • RSPCA – Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 

  • SSPCA – Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 

  • USPCA – Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 

Aqueous film-forming foam AFFF

Low-expansion foams such as AFFF are low-viscosity, mobile, and able to quickly cover large areas.

Areas of nature conservation ANC

Areas of nature conservation (ANC) are important sites designated and protected for being the best examples of their characteristic wildlife and geology.

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty AONB

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, these are areas of land that have been identified for special protection to preserve their character and qualities because of their identified national importance. Refer to

Areas of Special Scientific Interest ASSI

Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) are important sites designated and protected for being the best examples of their characteristic wildlife and geology in Northern Ireland.

Association of Lowland Search and Rescue ASLAR

Charitable organisation dedicated to assisting the emergency services in looking for missing persons and to coordinate adequate arrangements for search and rescue in the lowland areas of the UK

ATEX directive ATEX

The ATEX directive consists of two EU directives describing what equipment and work environment is allowed in an environment with an explosive atmosphere. ATEX derives its name from the French title of the 94/9/EC directive: Appareils destinés à être utilisés en ATmosphères EXplosives. 

Auto-ignition temperature

Minimum temperature required to initiate or cause self-sustained combustion of material in the absence of any external source of ignition. 

Auxiliary power units APU

Usually a small engine carried on board an aircraft to provide an independent power source for such services as electrics, hydraulics, pneumatics, ventilation and air conditioning.