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Introduction to scenarios

A scenario is a compilation of tactical actions from National Operational Guidance relevant to a specific, or a number of similar incident types. Scenarios are structured to support the decision making process of incident commanders. They are not intended to be a step-by-step instruction manual, replace local procedures or provide all the underpinning knowledge required by incident commanders. Scenarios are aimed at supporting incident commanders regardless of their duty system, development and experience.

Headings

The scenario headings are structured around the Decision Control Process and draw on elements from the Joint Decision Model and National Operational Guidance. This approach embeds the use of the Decision Control Process and JESIP in training and operations.

Tactical actions

Tactical actions provide prompts for incident commanders to consider activities, hazards and control measures from National Operational Guidance. A tactical action should be written in plain English, using active voice and feature the key information at the beginning. They should include enough information to be clear and unambiguous about the intended meaning. In order to avoid overloading incident commanders with too much information, the aim is to keep each list of tactical actions around 5-9 points in line with an average person’s working memory.

Functionality

A scenarios are not intended to be viewed as a linear document and information can be accessed independently through any of the headings. All of the tactical actions are hyperlinked to the knowledge about that activity, hazard or control measure in the National Operational Guidance.  Click on the icon to open the supporting information.

All incident actions

The 'all incident actions' document draws tactical actions from Operations, Incident Command and Environmental Protection. This content underpins the subsequent incident type scenarios by identifying activities, hazards and control measures that are common to most, if not all, operational incidents. This content is not intended to be an aide-memoire for resolving an incident, but aims to identify areas of guidance with which all incident commanders should be familiar.  All incident actions can be included in an incident specific scenario using the toggle button at the top of the scenario.

Incident type list

The list of scenario topics that will be covered is derived from the National Incident Type List and combines incident types where similar hazards are likely to be present. This approach keeps down the number of different incident types that commanders and firefighters need to study and train for.

Learning

Scenarios are based on good practice and developed in consultation with every fire and rescue service in the UK. As lessons are learned from operational incidents guidance will be updated and any changes will be reflected in scenarios.

Right information – Right person - Right time

Incident information

The incident information section contains tactical actions from National Operational Guidance that prompt incident commanders to identify information and sources; these should support the initial and continual assessment of the situation to develop accurate awareness. Though this list is not exhaustive, they should consider:

  • What is the current situation?
  • What has led to the current situation?
  • How might the situation develop?

At any incident, no single responder agency can appreciate all the relevant dimensions of an emergency straight away. A deeper and wider understanding will only come from meaningful communication between the emergency services and other responder agencies.

  • Further incident information

    • The further incident information section contains prompts that may not be critical in the initial stages of an incident but may be relevant and should be considered.

Resource Information

The resource information section contains tactical actions that suggest resources which may should be considered to deal with an incident type, including:

  • People
  • equipment
  • specialist skills
  • other agencies
  • Further resource information

    • The further resource information section contains prompts that may not be critical in the initial stages of an incident but may be relevant and should be considered.

Risk information

The risk information section identifies hazards that are likely to be present at an incident and suggests tactical actions that could be implemented to reduce risk to fire service personnel, other responders and the public. These are not tactical actions that prompt incident commanders to resolve the incident.

Commanders jointly assess risk to achieve a common understanding of threats and hazards, and the likelihood of them being realised. This informs decisions on deployments and the required risk control measures.

The list is not likely to be exhaustive and does not absolve the incident commander from their responsibility to carry our information gathering, identify hazards and use dynamic/analytical risk assessment to select an optimum safe system of work.

  • Hazards

    • Under each hazard are tactical actions from National Operational Guidance that suggest controls measures to mitigate risk.

Powers, policies and procedures

The powers, policies and procedures section contains advice from National Operational Guidance to incident commanders on legal duties and powers that they may have in relation to an incident type.

Power, policies and procedures may affect how individual agencies operate and co-operate to achieve the agreed aims and objectives.  In a joint response, a common understanding of any relevant powers, policies, capabilities and procedures is essential so that the activities of one responder agency complement rather than compromise the approach of other responder agencies.

  • Further powers, policies and procedures

    • The further powers policies and procedures section contains prompts that may not be critical in the initial stages of an incident but may be relevant and should be considered.

Why? Expectations? Benefit vs Risk?

Objectives

The plan section should contain tactical actions from NOG that support commanders to identify objectives and develop an incident plan based on their understanding of the current situation and the desired outcome.

The objectives section should suggest incident objectives and goals; these are likely to be consistent across a range of incidents, such as maintain firefighter safety and promote community recovery.

For an effective integrated multi-agency, operational response plan, objectives and priorities must be agreed jointly. Each agency will then prioritise their plans and activity.

  • Further objectives

    • The further objectives section contains prompts that may not be risk critical in the initial stages of an incident but may be relevant and should be considered.

Tactical priorities

The tactical priorities section should contain actions that suggest what the priorities of the incident commander might be at an incident type.
  • Further tactical priorities

    • The further tactical priorities section contains prompts that may not be critical in the initial stages of an incident but may be relevant and should be considered

Operational tactics

The operational tactics section suggests actions that might be taken to achieve a desired outcome from the current situation.
There will almost always be more than one way to achieve the desired end state. Commanders should work together to evaluate the range of options and contingencies rigorously.

  • Further operational tactics

    • The further operational tactics section contains prompts that may not be critical in the initial stages of an incident but may be relevant and should be considered.

Communication

The communication section suggests actions to be taken to establish effective communication channels to ensure that decisions are shared and understood, and that situation updates are conveyed to the right people both on the incident ground and remote locations.

Once commanders have made decisions and decided on actions, information must be relayed in a structured way that can be easily understood by those who will carry out actions or support activities.

  • Further communication

    • The further communication section contains prompts that may not be critical in the initial stages of an incident but may be relevant and should be considered.

Control

The control section contains actions that suggest how the activities are implemented to achieve the desired outcomes.  These will generally relate to the incident command system, roles and responsibilities and safety organisation on the incident ground.

The commander should be actively monitoring the situation, including information on progress being achieved against that expected. This ensures that their awareness remains an accurate reflection of the actual situation.

  • Further control

    • The further control information section contains prompts that may not be critical in the initial stages of an incident but may be relevant and should be considered.

Incident closure and handover

The incident closure and handover section contains prompts to actions that should be carried out in order to bring an incident to a safe conclusion before leaving the scene, such as debriefs and investigations.

  • Further incident closure and handover

    • The further incident closure and handover section contains prompts that may not be critical in the initial stages of an incident but may be relevant and should be considered.

Additional information

The additional information section will contain any further supporting information relevant to the incident type including diagrams.