Control measure knowledge

Effective management of tool operatives and maintaining crew discipline within the inner cordon will improve the effectiveness of simultaneous activity. Incident commanders should consider establishing a marshalling point for personnel to report to following completion of their task.

A safe working area should be established immediately around the tool operation wherever possible. Only essential personnel should be in the area (approx. 2 to 5 metres from the tool). Other responders and casualties should be warned immediately before the operation of tools by the use of terms such as 'cutting', 'spreading' or 'impact' to alert them to the potential for noise and movement caused by the tool's action.

At extrications a safety officer's role will involve overseeing the actions of emergency responders using tools and ensuring their safety. This wider view allows improved awareness of the impact of the tool operations, the item being operated on and those directly surrounding it.

See National Operational Guidance: Incident Command - Establish appropriate cordon controls and National Operational Guidance: Incident Command - Incident ground safety management

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Provide information and training to operational personnel on the safe operation of rescue tools in a range of extrication situations

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Consider positioning a safety officer to monitor rescue tool operation
  • Co-ordinate the simultaneous activities of extrication teams and tool operators
  • Restrict entry to the passenger cell until hazards have been assessed and controlled

All personnel should:
  • Establish a safe area around the tool operation wherever possible
  • Use action words to warn others when operating rescue tools
  • Manage hydraulic hoses carefully within limitations and avoiding kinking
  • Reveal hidden areas to aid identification of components that could damage tools or cause uncontrolled release