Skip to main content

Developed and maintained
by the NFCC

Control measure

Personal protective equipment (PPE): Rescues

Control measure knowledge

Personnel working in the hazard area should wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), which may include:

  • Medical gloves
  • Debris gloves
  • Electrical gloves if there is a risk of live electricity
  • Eye protection
  • Helmet visors, for use when using tools
  • High-visibility jackets or markings, appropriate to the task and environment
  • Protection against hydraulic injection injuries

Respiration of particles and dermal irritation

To avoid the respiration of particles or dermal irritation through contact with dust or fibres, in particular resin-coated fibrous material, consideration should be given to:

  • Damping down any dust on-scene or created during the cutting process
  • Using alternative access strategies to reduce the need to cut materials
  • Using alternative tool strategies to reduce the production of dust

If there is a presence of dust, fibres or respirable particles, emergency responders and casualties should use appropriate PPE and respiratory protective equipment (RPE).

Used or contaminated PPE and RPE should be cleaned or disposed of as appropriate.

Personal protective equipment for casualties

When casualties are located, or while they are being rescued, a risk assessment may identify the need to protect them from environmental or external hazards. Hazards such as smoke and fire gases, bodies of water or irrespirable atmospheres, should be considered.

It may be necessary to use specialist PPE, including RPE, to provide casualties with some level of protection.

Examples of PPE include:

  • Floatation device
  • Eye or ear protection
  • Barrier membranes, such as plastic covers, as protection from dust or fibres produced when cutting materials
  • Hard and soft protection when rescue tools are being used nearby

Examples of RPE include:

  • Smoke hoods
  • Evacuation vests
  • Evacuation air supply device

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Ensure that suitable personal protective equipment is provided to personnel who may be involved in search, rescue and treatment of casualties

  • Consider making electrical gloves available for personnel to use at incidents involving live electricity supply

  • Consider providing appropriate PPE and RPE to protect emergency responders and casualties from hazards found during rescue operations

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Ensure all personnel wear PPE according to service risk assessment and procedures for rescue incidents

  • Consider the appropriate use of electrical gloves, in line with service procedures

  • Consider the use of appropriate PPE or RPE to protect the casualty while they are being rescued