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Developed and maintained
by the NFCC

Control measure

Make a safe and controlled approach to the incident

Control measure knowledge

To make safe decisions about the speed, the route and the location to attend, drivers should be provided with accurate and timely information about the incident or event. Personnel should understand how their fire and rescue service classifies emergency incidents versus non-emergency events, and respond appropriately.

If travel to the incident is delayed or aborted, or if there any safety concerns about the routes being taken by fire and rescue service vehicles, the fire control room should be notified. They can take appropriate action to send alternative resources to the incident, or ensure that resources use alternative routes.

Incident commanders should determine the safest routes for attending vehicles and the availability of holding areas. This information should be communicated to the fire control room so that attending resources are able to make a safe approach.

The incident may impact on making a safe and controlled approach to the incident, for example smoke may obscure the driver's vision. Therefore, the potential for incident spread, changes in cordons or a change of wind direction, should be taken into account when identifying suitable approach routes and holding areas.

Use of blue lights and audible warning devices

In addition to standard vehicle lighting, blue lights and audible warning devices should be used appropriately to improve road safety when driving to an incident. Fire and rescue services should determine the appropriate use of blue lights and audible warning devices for emergency incidents and non-emergency events, and drivers should comply with their service’s guidelines policies or procedures.

It may be necessary for all emergency responders to avoid the use of flashing lights and audible warning devices when attending certain types of incidents or events, for example if there are animals present.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Have arrangements in place to ensure that the fire control room is promptly notified if travel to the incident is delayed, aborted or unsafe

  • Ensure personnel understand the classification of emergency incidents and non-emergency events, and the appropriate response for each

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Use an appropriate response, based on the type of the incident or event

  • Approach the vicinity of the incident cautiously and at slow speed, to minimise the risk of collisions

  • Ensure fire and rescue service vehicles use appropriate blue lights, audible warning devices and lighting

  • Consider the impact of weather when determining the safest access routes

  • Identify the safest access route, rendezvous points (RVPs) and marshalling areas, and communicate to all responders and the fire control room

  • Notify the fire control room if there could be a failed, delayed or unsafe response