Control measure knowledge

ARCHIVED - The preferred option for fire and rescue services is to avoid or isolate animals during incidents. However, there will be incidents when the fire and rescue service has to consider helping to rescue or evacuate animals involved.

Techniques employed when evacuating animals from a place of danger to a place of safety may take many forms and be entirely dependent on the nature of the danger, the species involved and the number of animals. Specialist advice should be sought from animal rescue or behaviour specialists, either within the fire and rescue service or from other organisations.

The primary consideration needs to be the safety of the public and of personnel on the incident ground. When engaging other organisations and animal owners with rescuing or evacuating animals, it is essential to remember that the behavioural characteristics of animals are likely to be very different from those exhibited in non-emergency situations. This means that all personnel in the vicinity of the animals need to be clearly briefed and closely supervised.

Effective communication and liaison between the fire and rescue service and animal owners or responsible persons is important for ensuring that any incident involving animals is dealt with safely and effectively.

Small animals can usually be dealt with by using animal cages and responders should consider having a supply of them. Dogs may require muzzling before being transported and large animals may require specialist equipment to move them.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Establish joint working arrangements with animal facilities in their area

  • Provide familiarisation information for fire and rescue service personnel

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Brief personnel on the animal-related hazards or animal evacuation techniques

  • Evacuate animals along appropriate routes to holding areas away from the incident