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Control measure

Provide survival guidance

Control measure knowledge

Fire and rescue services may find it beneficial to develop a suite of survival guidance that can be provided to persons at risk. Survival guidance should be developed for the most common incident types, and hazards that are prevalent in the service’s area, as identified in risk management planning.

It is essential that a joint strategy for survival guidance is developed by the fire control room and the on-scene incident commander. Based on how the incident is developing, or on information gathered by the fire control room, the survival guidance may need to be revised. It is therefore essential that all parties exchange current information and use this to determine any changes in the survival guidance that should be provided to persons at risk.

The location of people and the information they are providing can be used by the on-scene incident commander to build a joint understanding of risk and help when developing a tactical plan. Relevant information should be passed to the incident ground; it may be appropriate to appoint a single point of contact to co-ordinate survival guidance. For more information refer to Performing rescues – Search.

It may be necessary to co-ordinate with other services or agencies that are receiving calls, based on arrangements that are in place to deal with high volumes of calls during periods of spate or spike conditions. Although advice offered to callers should be tailored to their circumstances, it should be based on a consistent approach. Fire control rooms should co-ordinate with any other control rooms that may be providing survival guidance, to ensure the information provided is suitable and up to date.

Survival guidance should be based on the incident type:

Fires in buildings (including tall buildings)

For example, provide appropriate guidance on current evacuation strategy including evacuate versus stay put, and the use of refuge areas.

https://www.local.gov.uk/sites/default/files/documents/fire-safety-purpose-built-04b.pdf

Flooding

For example, isolate utilities, move valuables to upper floor, retrieve essential medication, get out of a vehicle in flood water.

https://www.rospa.com/resources/hubs/flood/

Building or structure collapse

For example, try to stay still, try to leave, try to make a noise to attract attention, shelter under furniture

Hazardous materials

For example, move uphill/upstream/upwind, stay inside building or vehicle, close windows and doors and turn off ventilation, stay away from casualties, do not drink mains water

Terrorist activity

For example, ‘Stay Safe’ (Run, hide, tell)

https://www.npcc.police.uk/NPCCBusinessAreas/WeaponAttacksStaySafe.aspx

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Develop a suite of survival guidance, based on common incident types and hazards that are prevalent in the service’s area, as identified in risk management planning

  • Have in place arrangements to share survival guidance between agencies that may receive calls during spate or spike conditions

  • Have arrangements in place to co-ordinate and update survival guidance

Tactical actions

Fire control personnel should:
  • Develop a joint strategy with the on-scene incident commander about the survival guidance to be provided to persons at risk

  • Provide survival guidance to persons at risk in line with the joint strategy

  • Gather information from callers that may influence the survival guidance strategy, and provide updates to the on-scene incident commander

Incident commanders should:
  • Develop a joint strategy with the fire control room about the survival guidance to be provided to persons at risk

  • Be aware of the survival guidance currently being provided by the fire control room to persons at risk

  • Revise the survival guidance strategy throughout the incident in consultation with the fire control room

  • Consider appointing a single point of contact to co-ordinate survival guidance