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Incident information

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Gather information from available sources to gain accurate situational awareness and understanding

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Question the responsible person, other responders and witnesses to understand incident factors and history

  • Control measure - Guidance
    Confirm and communicate the involvement, num​ber and severity of any casualties (persons or animals)
  • Control measure - Guidance

    Ensure that a scene survey is carried out at the earliest opportunity

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Access any operational or site specific risk information (SSRI) and confirm accuracy

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Debrief crews that have withdrawn from a working area during an incident to gain operational intelligence

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Maintain situational awareness and identify changes during the incident through active monitoring and regular briefings

  • Further incident information

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Use local knowledge, topography and map reading skills to aid navigation to an incident

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure that tracks and pathways are suitable for fire service vehicles

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the least damaging routes to incidents and where possible, stay on marked paths and tracks

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider Step 1-2-3 Plus: Safety Triggers for Emergency Personnel

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Access past, present and future weather information from sources such as the Met Office

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ascertain the availability of pre-arranged evacuation strategies and policies

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider pollution prevention information contained within site specific risk plans

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Seek advice from landowners and other bodies on susceptible areas of the environment

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Review situational awareness following an emergency evacuation or tactical withdrawal

Resource information

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Request sufficient resources to implement initial actions, the incident plan and support contingency plan

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider requesting the attendance of a competent person, subject matter expert or tactical adviser

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider resources that may be available from neighbouring fire and rescue services and partner agencies

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Inform and/or seek advice from environment agencies and/or sewage undertakers where necessary

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider whether appliances, personnel, equipment and other resources can be released from the incident

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Regularly update fire control on the availability status of appliances and other resources

  • Further resource information

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify best access route, rendezvous point (RVP) and marshalling area and communicate to all responders

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Consider requesting facilities for the welfare of crews deployed at protracted incidents
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the availability of pollution control equipment and/or pollution containment facilities on site

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Make use of specialist fire and rescue service or on-site environmental protection equipment

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the appointment of a HMA (or equivalent) to oversee environmental protection activities

Risk information

  • Working environment

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify bodies of water, unstable ground and risks of falling from height in working environment

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the effect of weather conditions and time of day on the working environment

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure that all personnel are briefed on the current hazards, risks, control measures and tactical mode

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Establish and maintain safe means of access to and egress from scene of operations at all times

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Establish, identify and communicate safe traffic routes, establish clear zones and equipment points

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Provide lighting to illuminate hazards to personnel in poorly lit environments

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure that all personnel wear the level of PPE identified by service risk assessments, procedures and training

  • Weather conditions

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Monitor personnel for signs and symptoms of fatigue, dehydration, heat or cold stress
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider task rotation when  personnel are carrying out  manual handling tasks

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider relief and welfare arrangements to reduce the effects of stress and fatigue on themselves and others

    • Control measure - Guidance Instigate appropriate medical interventions if personnel show signs and symptoms of physiological stress
  • Noise

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider isolating sources of noise

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Keep the number of people exposed to the hazard at a minimum and reduce time of exposure through personnel rotation

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure personnel wear appropriate hearing protectors

  • Heavy and bulky objects

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider using machinery or other equipment to assist with manual handling risk

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Request additional or specialist resources to assist with manual handling tasks

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the task, individual capabilities, load and environment (TILE) when carrying out risk assessments for manual handling

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure personnel adopt the provided safe system of manual handling

  • Moving vehicles

    • Control measure - Guidance Be vigilant and co-operate with service procedures relating to vehicle movements
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Position appliances to fend-off vehicles and use warning signs, lights and cones

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider taking steps to minimise the risk of collisions 

  • Animals

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Avoid, contain or control animals if neccessary

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Request support with managing animals from owners, keepers, police, vets or welfare organisations

  • Hazardous materials

    • Control measure - Guidance Identify whether the incident should be reclassified as a hazardous materials response
    • Control measure - Guidance Remove unaffected chemicals from the hazard area if safe to do so
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Comply with service protocols when handling substances that are hazardous to health

    • Control measure - Guidance Ensure open wounds, cuts and grazes are covered by a waterproof dressing
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Comply with hygiene arrangements and don't eat, drink or smoke

  • Body fluids

    • Control measure - Guidance Avoid contact with body fluids where possible
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Isolate or cover body fluids following casualty removal

    • Control measure - Guidance Wear body fluid gloves and cover broken skin with waterproof dressing
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Instigate decontamination procedures following exposure of personnel and equipment to body fluids

  • Distressing or traumatic scenes

    • Control measure - Guidance Minimise number of personnel exposed to traumatic scenes where possible
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Handover responsibility for traumatic incidents to an appropriate agency where the fire service does not have primacy

    • Control measure - Guidance Erect screens to restrict the view of traumatic scenes
  • Violence and aggression

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider adopting defensive tactics if people are displaying unpredictable, aggressive, violent or illegal behaviour 

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Request police support at incidents involving violence and aggression towards crews

Powers, policies and procedures

  • Control measure - Guidance
    Consider the legal exemptions in relation to environmental protection i.e.
    • A discharge is made in an emergency to avoid danger to human health
    • All reasonably practicable steps were taken to minimise pollution
    • The relevant environment agency is informed of the incident as soon as possible
  • Control measure - Guidance
    Enter premises or a place, by force if necessary, without the consent of the owner or occupier of the premises: 
    • if they reasonably believe an emergency to have occurred
    • if they reasonably believe a fire to have broken out or to be about to break out
    • for the purpose of extinguishing or preventing the fire or protecting life or property
    • NB Does not apply to Crown property (including ministry of defence) and diplomatic or consular premises
    • NB The Master of the ship (or delegated officer) of a merchant vessel must give permission to board
  • Restrict the access of persons to premises or a place if they reasonably believe an emergency to have occurred

  • Further powers, policies and procedures

    • Close a highway, stop and regulate traffic:
      • if a road traffic accident has occurred
      • for the purpose of rescuing people or protecting them from serious harm
      • if they reasonably believe a fire to have broken out or to be about to break out
      • for the purpose of extinguishing or preventing the fire or protecting life or property
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider applying operational discretion where outcomes would justify unusual, unorthodox or innovative action

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Outcomes which would justify applying operational discretion include:
      • Saving human life
      • Taking decisive action to prevent an incident escalating
      • Incidents where taking no action may lead others to put themselves in danger
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Return to operational procedures when the objective has been achieved

Why? Expectations? Benefit vs Risk?

Objectives

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Maintain the safety of all personnel, other responders and the public

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Save life and reduce harm

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Minimise the impact of the incident and fire service actions on any identified environmental risk

  • Control measure - Guidance
    Promote community recovery and restore normal operations
  • Further objectives

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the JESIP principles at all incidents involving multi-agency operations

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider taking action to prevent a serious escalation of the incident

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Protect Critical National Infrastructure and/or local critical infrastructure

Tactical priorities

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Carry out a dynamic risk assessment, identify hazards, evaluate risk and implement safe systems of work

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Declare the tactical mode and communicate to all personnel and fire control

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Instigate the completion of an analytical risk assessment and record significant findings

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Establish emergency arrangements appropriate to the size and complexity of the incident

  • Further tactical priorities

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Apply the firefighter safety maxim and safe person principles at operational incidents

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify and communicate the hazard area and establish a safe working area as soon as is practicable

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Anticipate the likely development of the incident and evaluate the potential consequences of a range of actions

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Develop and communicate an incident plan considering contingencies arrangements

    • Control measure - Guidance Consider the competence of individuals and teams when allocating tasks
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Regularly review and update incident plan in response to active monitoring of against expected outcomes

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Review the tactical mode following active monitoring and briefings with sector commanders

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Periodically review the analytical risk assessment using situational awareness from active monitoring

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Use the Joint Decision Model to co-ordinate an effective response at multi-agency incidents

    • Identify the need to evacuate and develop a strategy in liaison with partner agencies

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Communicate emergency evacuation signal and muster point arrangements to all personnel

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Secure the scene to ensure evidence is preserved for internal and external investigations

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Carry out an environmental risk assessment and monitor the impact of tactics on the identified risk

Operational tactics

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Gain access to premises causing minimal damage considering the urgency of the situation

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Establish and resource a casualty care point

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Determine whether people should be advised to evacuate, shelter in place or 'stay put'

  • Control measure - Guidance

    When evacuation is necessary, identify the number of people affected and develop a plan 

  • Further operational tactics

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Consider the potential effects of incident development when positioning appliances
    • Control measure - Guidance Identify the number of casualties requiring medical attention and instigate a triage process
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Instigate and communicate hygiene arrangements, facilities and consider decontamination

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Implement an appropriate protection plan when an identified nature conservation site is at risk

Communication

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Establish and maintain an incident ground communication plan considering other agencies and remote resources

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Ensure that all personnel are briefed on the current hazards, risks, control measures and tactical mode

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Communicate the incident situation to other responders via fire control using the M\ETHANE message protocol

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Provide a structured brief when handing over and taking over command

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Communicate findings of analytical risk assessment to all personnel and other agencies

  • Further communication

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify best access route, rendezvous point (RVP) and marshalling area and communicate to all responders

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Communicate any change in the tactical mode of a sector of the incident to all personnel

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Communicate objectives, priorities and tactics to be adopted in resolving the incident

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Deliver clear, concise and timely briefings to crews, command support functions and other agencies

    • Control measure - Guidance Ensure all personnel are aware of the incident command structure and communication strategy
    • Control measure - Guidance Establish a media liaison point and brief a nominated media liaison officer
    • Control measure - Guidance Use plain English to communicate information where a lack of common understanding exists
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Regularly pass information to fire control regarding incident progress

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Communicate emergency evacuation signal and muster point arrangements to all personnel

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure that all appropriate environmental agencies are informed of the incident when required

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Use the most effective methods for communicating with people who are either directly or indirectly involved in the incident 

Control

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Establish an incident command structure appropriate to the likely size and complexity of the incident

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Ensure that appropriate inner and outer cordons are established, identified and communicated following an assessment of risk to crews, other agencies and the public

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Control access to the inner cordon using methods proportionate to the size and complexity of the incident

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Appoint competent safety officers to monitor specific hazards or activities

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Instigate a tactical withdrawal of personnel when the mode changes from offensive to defensive

  • Further control

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Be prepared to adopt a leadership role at multi-agency incidents

    • Control measure - Guidance Establish a scene access control point to log all persons operating within the inner cordon when appropriate
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the use of command support systems and equipment where required

    • Control measure - Guidance Monitor the performance of personnel and where necessary modify plans to available competencies
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Keep contemporaneous records and/or decision logs to capture key events, critical decisions and rationale

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Instigate a safety sector at large or complex incidents under the control of a safety sector commander

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Implement exclusion zones where intolerable risks to safety are identified

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Request the police to establish a traffic cordon where necessary

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Request an air exclusion zone through the appropriate authority if required

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Maintain effective command and control in an emergency situation and review incident priorities, tactics and resources

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Carry out a roll call of fire service and all other personnel at the scene following an emergency evacuation

Incident closure and handover

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Ensure that effective supervision of operational activity is maintained until the conclusion of the incident

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Instigate and co-operate with post incident investigations where necessary

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Ensure that hazards and risk controls are identified when handing over safety to the responsible person

  • Control measure - Guidance Take measures to secure premises where no responsible person can be identified
  • Control measure - Guidance Conduct a structured debrief at a level appropriate to the size of the incident
  • Control measure - Guidance Consider community recovery protocols and arrange appropriate assistance prior to leaving the incident
  • Further incident closure and handover 17438

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider whether appliances, personnel, equipment and other resources can be released from the incident

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Conduct an inventory check and ensure equipment receives appropriate after use inspection and testing

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider decontamination of personnel, PPE and equipment prior to redeployment

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the condition and serviceability of PPE when assessing operational readiness for redeployment

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Secure the scene to ensure evidence is preserved for internal and external investigations

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Gather relevant information for the incident recording system

    • Control measure - Guidance Conduct a structured debrief at a level appropriate to the size of the incident
    • Control measure - Guidance Record and share significant findings from incident debriefs
    • Control measure - Guidance

      When appropriate instigate a review of existing guidance following the use of operational discretion

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure differences in information are resolved and systems updated following the closure of an incident

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Compile and secure all incident command paperwork (e.g. analytical risk assessment and decision logs)

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure that waste products created by the fire and rescue service are disposed of legally and responsibly

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Follow service protocols for post incident health surveillance and monitoring

Additional information

  • Firefighter Safety Maxim

     

    "At every incident, the greater the potential benefit of fire and rescue actions, the greater the risk that is accepted by commanders and firefighters. Activities that present a high risk to safety are limited to those that have the potential to save life or to prevent rapid and significant escalation of the incident."

     

     

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    Decision Control Process
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    Joint Decision Model