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Control measure
Prompt call information

Control measure knowledge

Emergency call management (ECM) is based on a set of generic emergency call prompts. These will build on the knowledge and skill of fire control room operators enabling them to assess incidents and elicit specific information appropriate to the type of calls, which will assist with mobilising. This may also improve the safety of firefighters and the public, as the fire and rescue service begins to assess and manage risk during the management of an emergency call.

The ECM protocol in brief, offers a generic system for the successful management of emergency calls based on the principle that an emergency call can be dealt with in three distinct stages:

  • Stage One: primary questions, which aid the mobilising decision
  • Stage Two: assessment questions that help build a picture of the incident, aid mobilising decisions, and assist the safety of responders and the caller
  • Stage Three: pre-arrival advice designed to assist the safety of the caller and the public at the scene

ECM provides a framework for managing an immediate and developing risk against a set of generic incident types, by evaluating the nature of the call and determining the appropriate resources required.

Fire control room operators will normally use call prompts when dealing with calls from members of the public, though it is recognised that on occasions more than one generic emergency call prompt may be needed.

The perception of risk may vary between individuals and groups; it is influenced by attitudes, personal experiences and knowledge. When risk based decisions are made, it is important to take account of known or acquired information and professional judgement within the framework of fire and rescue service policy, standards and guidance.

Fire and rescue services have a statutory duty to respond to emergencies other than fires. It is important that fire control room operators have the right training and guidance for their role in the ECM process. Further guidance has also been gleaned from past incidents - although this has been invaluable to fire control room operators there is a need to expand the questioning to reflect current incident types.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Consider adopting methods of prompting fire control room operators with standardised information to assist them in identifying the information they need to mobilise the correct resources

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Follow service procedures for obtaining information from callers
  • Recognise occasions when more than one generic emergency call prompt may be needed