Control measure knowledge

The use of specialist personal protective equipment (PPE) when dealing with animals may be beneficial as:

  • Regular firefighting PPE may not provide the protection required if an animal tries to defend itself
  • Additional protection may be required, due to the working environment or the nature of the animal’s entrapment
  • Zoonoses or biohazards may contaminate clothing or PPE, which could then be transferred

Specialist PPE should allow for decontamination at the incident ground, or containment of the specialist PPE for later decontamination or disposal.

Specialist PPE for incidents involving animals includes:

  • Bite and scratch resistant gloves
  • Animal incident helmets
  • Body, face and eye protection
  • Additional outer clothing, such as overalls, environmental protection suits or dry suits
  • Riot shields

Personnel should be aware that some PPE may cause distress in animals, for example if it is smoke-contaminated.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Consider providing specialist PPE for incidents involving animals

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Ensure fire and rescue service personnel wear appropriate PPE

  • Ensure that the PPE worn does not add to the distress of the animal

  • Implement appropriate hygiene procedures for personnel

  • Consider decontamination of PPE