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by the NFCC

Control measure

Specialist resources and advisers

Control measure knowledge

A number and variety of specialist resources can be made available to the fire and rescue service during emergency situations.

When planning a firefighting strategy, fire and rescues services should consider the potential contribution of specialist crews, not only in extinguishing the fire, but also in improving safety and efficiency on the fire ground. Examples may include animal rescue units for controlling the movement of animals at a fire involving livestock accommodation, or a technical rescue team shoring up an unstable structure to improve access on the fireground. These considerations should form part of the pre-planning stage when crews are familiarising themselves with the risks on their fireground.

Fire and rescue services should arrange and maintain specialist capabilities according to the identified risks within the area of the service. Specialist resources may include:

  • Inter-agency liaison
  • Aerial fire appliances
  • Water supply and management (including high volume pumps)
  • Bulk foam
  • Bulk dry powder
  • Cutting extinguisher firefighting
  • Marine firefighting
  • Water rescue and flooding (including under water search and recovery)
  • Wildland firefighting
  • Technical rescue (including USAR teams)
  • Extended duration breathing apparatus (BA)
  • Animal rescue
  • Fire safety and investigation
  • Hazardous materials (including hazardous material advisers and incident response units)
  • Rope rescue and line working

All operational and control staff should be familiar with the capabilities, limitations and expected time of arrival of the specialist crews in their service area, and have a working knowledge of those in surrounding services that may be called on for cross-border assistance.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Ensure information about available fire and rescue service specialist resources is made available to relevant personnel

  • Make arrangements with neighbouring fire and rescue services and partner agencies on the shared use, procurement and/or availability of specialist resources
  • Where necessary, include recommended specialist resources in site specific risk information (SSRI)
  • Where possible, invite specialist crews to accompany them on visits to sites with special risks to plan their own specialist operations should an incident occur

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Consider requesting aerial or special appliances to reduce risk and demand on resources

  • Consider requesting tactical advisers and personnel to establish functional roles