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by the NFCC

Control measure

Specialist resource: Unstable surfaces and landslides

Control measure knowledge

HM Coastguard (HMCG) and voluntary organisations can provide details of specialist mud rescue services in coastal areas. HMCG rescue teams and some local voluntary rescue associations may have considerable knowledge of the area and the capability to operate on local mud flats.

Incidents involving unstable surfaces may require actions that are beyond the capabilities of the initial response. Incident commanders should be aware of the restrictions that available equipment and training place on their ability to take action. In such circumstances, technical rescue teams should be requested to attend the incident.

Aerial appliances can provide a safe working platform to access unstable surfaces and perform tasks, although their use may cause additional hazards from vibration. Careful siting of aerial appliances will be required for working near unstable surfaces and ground conditions should be reviewed regularly.

Watercraft such as rescue sleds, boats and rescue platforms can, in some circumstances, provide a safe means of access.

Technical rescue teams may be able to provide additional support to create safe working platforms provide assistance with shoring, provide specialist equipment or alternative means of access.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Identify areas where unstable ground may be present and make this information available to personnel

  • Provide access to agencies to assist at incidents involving unstable surfaces where appropriate

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Request appropriate specialist resources for rescues from unstable surfaces and landslides

  • Consider the use of specialist equipment at incidents involving unstable ground or landslides