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Control measure

Situational awareness: Animal incidents

Control measure knowledge

Gathering information about the animal involved in the incident will help to inform the quantity and type of fire and rescue service resources required. Information sources include:

  • The caller contacting the fire and rescue service – this could be a member of the public, an animal welfare charity or another organisation
  • The animal itself, as identification markers may help to identify the owner
  • The owner of the animal, who may or may not be at the scene of the incident

Caller information

Information gathered from the caller should include:

  • The environment that the animal is in – whether it is at height, in an enclosed space, in a structure, in transit, on ice, or on unstable ground
  • For an animal in water – whether the water is still or moving, above or below knee deep, inland or coastal
  • If the animal is trapped, the nature of entrapment or entanglement
  • The number of animals involved
  • The species of animal
  • The size of the animal – whether it is larger or heavier than an adult human
  • The condition of the animal – whether it is conscious, aggressive or injured

The information gathered should also include:

  • Whether the owner of the animal is at the scene of the incident, or if not, whether they are contactable
  • Whether any members of the public are involved with the incident, for example, attempting to rescue the animal

Animal identification

Identification markers on or with the animal could include:

  • Microchips
  • Collar tags
  • Branding
  • Tattoos
  • Ear tags
  • Pet passports or other documents

Owner information

Information gathered from the owner should include:

  • Pre-existing medical conditions of the animal
  • The age of the animal
  • The animal’s usual behaviour, although this may not reflect its behaviour when distressed
  • Restraint methods the animal is used to

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Ensure their fire control room prompts call information about animal-related incidents and passes this to responding fire and rescue service personnel

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Attempt to identify the owner of the animal

  • Liaise with the owner of the animal, or the person with temporary responsibility for the animal, to gather information about it