Control measure knowledge

Personnel should employ a hierarchical approach to creating space, using the easiest and/or quickest methods as a priority such as creating space through the adjustment of internal features like seats, steering controls and removal of any luggage.

Using larger tools such as hydraulic rescue equipment may not be the most appropriate solution. Opportunities may exist to use spanners, torque wrenches and smaller tools that may support simultaneous activity better.

Alternative extrication paths for the casualty should be identified to ensure they can be safely removed, whilst considering their injuries and the overall threat to their life. The use of tools to create or maintain space should not impede the plan of action and extrication route.

Tackling high strength components used in construction may introduce high energy dispersal throughout the item. Formulating a space creation plan to suit the needs of the rescuers and casualties should be considered, which involves tackling components that can be displaced and/or removed using low energy strategies. Refer to the Extrication sections for new or heavy vehicle construction.

Other agencies may need to attend the incident, such as medics, environment agencies, vehicle recovery companies, Highways Agency, police collision investigation team, and so on. They may need access to the incident to perform their respective roles.

Where a vehicle or craft has come in to contact with street lighting, agencies such as electricity providers may need to be contacted to isolate the power. If a tree is resting on a vehicle, specialist resources may need to be contacted to aid with the extrication.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Ensure that personnel have a good understanding of space creation techniques in a range of rescue environments

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Identify and request assistance from other agencies where specialist response is required
  • Brief agencies working in the inner cordon on hazards and control measures
  • Implement appropriate space creation techniques in line with the casualty extrication plan
  • Consider prioritising rescuer access and egress when developing the space creation plan
  • Consider internal contents and furniture when developing the space creation plan
  • Be aware that the size, shape and integrity of the structure may change during space creation
  • Consider the integrity of the surrounding structures and environment before, during and after space creation