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Closing an incident too early

Hazard Knowledge

All operations carried out on the incident ground should aim to achieve the operational objectives specific to the incident type, using prescribed techniques and procedures in accordance with the tactical plan. They should achieve the strategic aims of the level of command in operation. Decision making at incidents will either be the responsibility of the incident commander, at smaller type incidents, or as part of a joint decision in conjunction with other agencies in attendance, incorporating all of the applicable policies and procedures.

At all incidents the incident commander must focus on safety and effectively resolving the incident. They must work at a tactical level, in conjunction with other services and agencies as necessary, to ensure a return to a normal or steady state as soon as practicably possible. Nonetheless, if the incident commander fails to undertake an accurate and appropriate assessment of the situation, an inaccurate dynamic and analytical risk assessment may be drafted. This may lead to an inappropriate operational plan being executed, failing to recognise the vision of what a normal or steady state looks like. Such actions may ultimately lead to the fire and rescue service resources leaving the incident too early, with hazards remaining unaddressed.

Fire and rescue services need to be aware that attendance at an incident may have been requested by other emergency agencies. On such occasions, while the role of the fire and rescue service will not be of 'primacy' for the incident as a whole, this does not mean the incident commander should not ensure the correct incident command protocols are applied throughout the incident.