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Developed and maintained
by the NFCC

Control measure
National Resilience: Urban search and rescue post-incident response

Control measure knowledge


At large-scale urban search and rescue (USAR) incidents, equipment will be managed by the USAR logistics management team. However, prior to demobilisation, specialist responders should ensure that all USAR equipment is checked and re-stowed onto the appropriate modules. Items used, lost or damaged should be identified and reported.

The prime contractor may be sited at the incident or the repatriation site to replenish, repair or replace equipment as part of the long-term maintenance contract.

If equipment needs to remain at the scene of the incident, for example due to continuing operations, contamination or ongoing investigative work, USAR units may need to return to their own fire and rescue service without it. In this situation the fire and rescue service may require the assistance of the NRAT operations recovery support cell (ORSC).

The ORSC, in consultation with the NRAT, USAR-hosting fire and rescue service and, if necessary, the USAR capability lead, will agree any necessary temporary inventory changes caused by equipment being left at the incident. Any resultant reduction in the ability to respond to further incidents should be communicated to the NRFC.

Equipment recovery

Equipment and modules that have been left at an incident must be returned to the USAR-hosting fire and rescue service in a clean and serviceable condition, accompanied by a certificate of cleanliness and a completed inventory check sheet noting any discrepancies.

Criminal investigations

The police service may:

  • Impound fire and rescue service assets as part of their incident investigation
  • Gather material evidence from fire and rescue service personnel
  • Take statements from fire and rescue service personnel

Post-incident activity

Other issues that should be considered post-incident include:

  • Record keeping and document management
  • Critical incident stress management (defusing) of crews in line with individual fire and rescue service welfare procedures
  • Debriefing, subject to police guidance

Other issues may be addressed by a recovery working group if established for the incident.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Keep a record of any USAR resources that are affected by equipment shortages, where it may impact on the ability for them to respond to further incidents

Tactical actions

Specialist responders should:
  • Carry out a full inventory check of all USAR units

  • Restock USAR units for redeployment

  • Release National Resilience (NR) equipment to the police for investigation purposes if required

  • Provide evidence and statements to the police if required