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Developed and maintained
by the NFCC

Control measure
Breathing apparatus entry control

Control measure knowledge

The breathing apparatus (BA) entry control point is the designated position at which BA deployment and command and control is managed. Disciplined adherence to BA entry control procedures, briefings and instructions is critical to the safety and effectiveness of BA operations and BA teams.

The incident commander should determine the need for additional resources to manage the BA entry control points and associated functions.

All personnel and other emergency responders should be made aware of the BA entry control procedures in use at the incident, particularly those in a position of command.

The level of BA entry control in use should be communicated to fire control rooms to enable monitoring officers to gather relevant information.

BA entry control operatives

When establishing BA entry control arrangements, incident commanders should nominate and appoint a competent BA entry control operative for each BA entry control board, considering:

  • The level of control implemented
  • The number of deployments required
  • The nature of the incident and the complexity of the role

Stage 1 BA entry control

Stage 1 BA entry control procedures are used to monitor the safety of BA wearers at incidents if the number of BA wearers is small and BA operations are limited and not complex.

Stage 2 BA entry control

Stage 2 BA entry control procedures apply when a greater level of control is required to manage and monitor the safety of BA wearers in complex BA operations, or if the criteria for Stage 1 have been exceeded.

BA entry control point supervision

The incident commander or sector commander need to maintain an appropriate level of supervision as the risks and demands of a BA-related incident increase. For BA entry control points, this may be achieved through appointing a BA entry control point supervisor.

BA sectors

BA sectors are functional sectors implemented to help manage and co-ordinate resources. If a BA sector is established, its location should be communicated to personnel and other relevant emergency responders.

Returning to the entry control point

BA wearers should return to their originating entry control point if they are able to. However, on an exceptional basis that results in BA wearers being unable to return to that originating entry control point and having to leave the hazard area by an alternative exit route, the BA team leader should inform the originating entry control point operative of this. The BA team should return to the originating entry control point to collect their tallies and provide a debrief.

Exceptions for being unable to return to the originating entry control point could include:

  • Development of the incident, such as the originating entry control point becoming inaccessible
  • Air management issues
  • Performing rescues
  • Welfare issues

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Enable communication between the incident ground and the fire control room, to support joint understanding of the level of BA entry control in use

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Determine and implement the appropriate level of BA entry control, and monitor during BA operations

  • Appoint a competent BA entry control operative for each BA entry control board

  • Determine the need for additional resources to manage the BA entry control points and associated functions

  • Make all personnel, other emergency responders and the fire control room aware of the level of BA entry control in use

  • Consider appointing a BA entry control point supervisor

  • Consider establishing a BA sector; if established, communicate its location to personnel and other relevant emergency responders