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Control measure

Emergency call management

Control measure knowledge

Emergency call management (ECM) is based on a set of generic emergency call prompts. These prompts enable fire control personnel to assess incidents and elicit information appropriate to the call; this informs and assists with mobilising resources.

Efficient ECM may also improve the safety of personnel and the public, as it is possible for the fire and rescue service to start to assess and manage risk while managing an emergency call.

The ECM protocol provides a generic system for the successful management of emergency calls based on the principle that an emergency call can be dealt with in three distinct stages:

  • Stage One: primary questions, which aid the mobilising decision
  • Stage Two: assessment questions that help build a picture of the incident, aid mobilising decisions, and assist the safety of responders and the caller
  • Stage Three: pre-arrival advice designed to assist the safety of the caller and the public at the scene

ECM provides a framework for managing an immediate and developing risk against a set of generic incident types, by evaluating the nature of the call and determining the appropriate resources required.

Fire control room personnel will normally use call prompts when dealing with calls from members of the public, though it is recognised that on occasions more than one generic emergency call prompt may be needed.

The perception of risk may vary between individuals and groups; it is influenced by attitudes, personal experiences and knowledge. When risk based decisions are made, it is important to take account of known or acquired information and professional judgement within the framework of fire and rescue service policy and standards.

It is important that fire control personnel have the right training and information to support their role in the ECM process. When fire and rescue services are in the process of identifying learning from operational incidents, it is essential that they consider the part played by fire control personnel.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Consider providing fire control personnel with emergency call prompts for gathering information

  • Include the role of fire control personnel in debriefing, operational assurance and when identifying learning from operational incidents

Tactical actions

Fire control personnel should:
  • Obtain information from callers using emergency call prompts, or other methods

  • Use known or acquired information and professional judgement when making risk-based decisions