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Developed and maintained by the NFCC

Control measure

Appoint safety officers

Control measure knowledge

Appoint a safety officer as soon as reasonably practical and use safety observers in all sectors. Safety officers should monitor the working practices of the firefighters. They should be fully briefed about their role and liaise with the incident commander. They should initiate a tactical withdrawal or emergency evacuation if the need arises, for example, if stacks or piles of waste show signs of collapse.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Provide equipment that enables command team members to be readily identified on the incident ground

  • Have procedures for the effective control of communications at incidents of all sizes. These procedures should be scalable to allow for incidents that develop in size and complexity and take into account that other agencies will also be communicating at the incident.
  • Identify personnel who are competent to carry out the command support role

  • Have systems and methods in place to support the recording and communication of the tactical mode during an incident

  • Consider the need to provide specific training for personnel who provide command support arrangements and for those who may fulfil the role of command support officer.
  • Provide systems that enable the recording of decisions made and actions taken at an incident

  • Have procedures to allow defined areas on the incident ground to be identified and understood by all personnel. This is generally referred to as sectorisation.
  • Have policies for limiting access of personnel to the hazardous areas of an incident ground and for briefing and identification of those involved. This policy should include any equipment and procedural guidance necessary to implement it safely.
  • Establish joint working protocols with neighbouring fire and rescue services and other agencies to ensure the policy can be safely implemented and effectively controlled.
  • Have arrangements in place to provide the necessary vehicles and equipment for command support functions

Tactical actions

There are no tactical actions associated with this control measure.