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Developed and maintained
by the NFCC

Control measure
Review passenger or cargo information

Control measure knowledge

If possible, passenger lists should be reviewed to determine the number of people involved. This will not be possible for some modes of transport, such as local buses or trains with a transient and variable number of passengers. In the case of public transport, details of drivers and crew should be included.

If a list of passengers is available, this should be used to reconcile the number of casualties:

  • Who have self-extricated from the mode of transport
  • Located in a search of the mode of transport or surrounding area
  • Who were taken to hospital before the fire and rescue service arrived

If applicable, cargo and load manifests should be checked for any potential hazards to casualties and emergency responders.

In the absence of passenger lists, the driver may be able to provide information about the number of passengers at the time of the incident. For commercial modes of transport, the operating company may be able to provide passenger or cargo information. This may be available to them through closed-circuit television (CCTV) on-board the mode of transport or at the boarding point, to which they may have remote access.

Seating and standing capacities

Confirming the seating and standing capacities of the mode of transport may provide an estimate of the number of people involved. This information is usually displayed inside the mode of transport. However, the mode of transport may not have been full at the time of the incident, or could have been carrying more passengers than permitted.

The method used when searching in larger modes of transport should allow for subsequent teams to assist or continue with the search. The use of seat counting and simple laminated charts depicting seat layouts can be useful in identifying casualties, and as a reference point for subsequent teams.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Have arrangements in place to obtain passenger or cargo information from transport operating companies

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Gather and appropriately use information about passengers and cargo in the mode of transport

  • Consider gathering information contained in CCTV systems about passengers and cargo

  • Consider counting the seats, or referring to the displayed passenger capacity, to estimate the number of casualties; include drivers and crew for public transport