Control measure knowledge

Once the need for a tool is identified, it is important for the operator to select the most appropriate tool for the task. Most manufacturers offer an extensive range of tools, from small tools designed for use in confined compartments to heavy duty tools designed for use on Large Goods Vehicles (LGV).

Selecting the smallest tool appropriate for the task can help to avoid manual handling injury to the operator and reduce the need to rotate crews, speeding up the extrication while avoiding unnecessary imposition on the casualty. See National Operational Guidance: Operations.

Manufacturers offer guidance on best practice in using their tools, which is cascaded to crews during regular training. This guidance should normally include connecting the equipment, use, possible techniques, advantages, limitations and ongoing maintenance requirements to ensure that the tools are operationally ready.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Ensure personnel have access to a range of rescue tools suitable for the environments likely to be encountered by rescuers
  • Ensure that all operators are aware of the limitations and manufacturer's guidance on the use of rescue tools
  • Have a schedule of inspection and maintenance for rescue tools

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Select the appropriate rescue tool considering the condition of the casualty, extrication plan and materials
  • Monitor rescue tool performance for indicators of unidentified materials