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by the NFCC

Control measure

Deploy adequate personnel and resources: Rescues from confined spaces or complex environments

Control measure knowledge

This control measure relates only to the rescue of casualties. It should therefore be read in conjunction with the control measures provided in Height, structures and confined spaces guidance:

To carry out the rescue of a casualty, specialist resources may be required. For further information refer to Incident command – Specialist resources.

The aim should be to extricate the casualty as safely and as quickly as possible, to prevent deterioration in their condition. It may be necessary to assess and treat their condition in situ, or to provide casualty care to prevent conditions such as hypothermia.

Consideration may also need to be given to the impact of the atmosphere in the environment on the casualty. For further information refer to Personal protective equipment: Rescues.

Urban search and rescue (USAR) can provide resources that may assist in rescuing a casualty, including:

  • Confined space lighting
  • Enhanced supervision
  • Confined space entry control procedures
  • Entry or egress equipment
  • Atmospheric monitoring
  • Ventilation fans and ducting (positive and negative pressure)
  • Escape breathing sets
  • Confined space communications
  • Air movement monitoring (smoke sticks and anemometers)

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Maintain a register of specialists from the fire and rescue service or other organisations who are competent to work in confined spaces

  • Have systems in place to request USAR advice and resources from the National Resilience Fire Control

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Deploy adequate personnel and resources to rescue a casualty from a confined space or complex environment

  • Consider requesting specialist advice or assistance to rescue a casualty from a confined space or complex environment