The hazards associated with water-related incidents dictate that personnel working near, in or on water and in hazard control zones should be suitably trained, equipped and briefed to effectively carry out all reasonably foreseeable tasks following a suitable risk assessment.
The capabilities of personnel should be understood in the context of the approved rescue techniques trained for and adopted by the fire and rescue service. Teams should not operate in a way that they are not equipped or trained for.
To determine capability and distinguish roles and responsibilities on the incident ground it is important that, wherever possible, all teams and personnel from respective responding agencies are identifiable. The incident and attending personnel can be managed more effectively and efficiently if responders are easily identifiable using standard and agreed methods.
The following is a nationally accepted method of identifying resources at water incidents:
- Water safety and rescue (first responder): Yellow water rescue helmet
- Water safety and rescue (technician): Red water rescue helmet
- Rescue boat operator: Red water rescue helmet
- Team leader: White water rescue helmet
Arrangements should be established to rescue responders committed to the risk area if required. Resources requested should reflect any emergency arrangements established. Establishing a predetermined attendance for water rescue emergencies may be necessary to ensure a swift and appropriate response to incidents of this nature.
Fire and rescue services may not have sub-surface rescue capability and additional resources may be required to perform a sub-surface recovery. Some sub-surface search resources may be available and should be mobilised when required.