Selected SOP Summaries

Quick LinksAcetylene Cylinders | Asbestos | Commercial & Office Premises | Chimney Fires | Dwellings | Farms | Firefighting in Buildings | Highrise Buildings | RTC's | Silos | Wild Fires

Acetylene Cylinders

Risk Assessment

  • Main hazards and risks involving heated cylinders, explosion and fire.
  • Main control measures consist of cooling of cylinders and initiating inner cordon/hazard zone, taking into consideration surrounding buildings and topography.
  • Ensure control measures are in place before committing operational personnel.
  • Acetylene cylinders that have been heated, or are suspected of being affected by heat, must not be approached or moved under any circumstances.
  • Acetylene cylinders must not be submerged in dams.
  • Use Thermal Imaging Camera (TIC) and also specialist advice from hazmat officer and competent person to assist in maintaining incident safety.

Initial Actions

  • Incident commander to complete full dynamic risk assessment.
  • Gather information, location and quantities of cylinders, involvement with fire, life risk involved.
  • Position resources appropriately and initiate cordons suitably.
  • Communicate hazards and risks to all personnel and inform operations control.
  • Brief crews on tactical plan.
  • Apply cooling medium onto any cylinder affected by heat or flame as soon as practically possible.
  • Minimum number of personnel should be tasked to set up cooling spray in accordance with DRA.
  • Consider evacuation of surrounding property.

As The Incident Develops

  • Liaise with police for possible evacuation of surrounding properties and traffic management.
  • After continuous cooling of the cylinder for a minimum period of one hour the wetting test should be conducted. A TIC will assist in this process in identifying if the cylinder has cooled sufficiently. If a TIC is not already available request via operational control.
  • If the cylinder fails the wetting test, then it should be cooled for a further one hour before repeating the test.
  • When the cylinder passes the wetting test, the hazard zone may be reduced.
  • Advise competent person via operational control at earliest opportunity of cylinder involvement and inform them that the wetting test has been successful and arrange for uplift. This should also be recorded in the log and the analytical risk assessment.
  • Cylinders that have been involved in the heat or flames must not be moved until they have been deemed safe by the incident commander in consultation with the competent person.
  • Ensure there are effective communications with all persons and update operational control.
  • Consider welfare and reliefs of personnel.

Post Incident

  • Confirm site safety and security.
  • Liaise with competent person to confirm timescales for uplift of cylinders.
  • If leaving the incident prior to uplift of cylinders, provide all relevant information to competent person/agency.
  • Ensure competent person acknowledges this information in the handover process.
  • All handover information and decisions made should be recorded appropriately and should also be included in the ARA.
  • If any of the above cannot be achieved then fire service attendance must be maintained until responsibility is handed over.
  • Debrief crews where appropriate.

Other Considerations

Wetting Test

  • Continually cool cylinders for a minimum period of one hour.
  • Interrupt cooling.
  • Observe cylinder surface for steaming or rapid drying out of the cylinder surface.
  • Monitor the cylinder with a TIC and record temperature. This should be logged in the ARA and operational control informed.
  • Leave cylinder for 15 minutes.
  • Apply a momentary spray of water to the cylinder.
  • Observe cylinder surface for steaming or rapid drying out.
  • Monitor the cylinder with a TIC and record temperature.
  • If the cylinder surface remains wet and the TIC shows no increase in temperature, the cylinder will be deemed to have passed the wetting test. Continue to monitor for a further one hour carrying out awaiting test every 15 minutes.
  • The cylinder surface does not remain wet, the full vetting test should recommence.

Asbestos

Risk Assessment

  • Warning signs indicate asbestos present.
  • Asbestos suspected/confirmed: Inform operations control and all operational personnel.
  • Consider restricted zone within cordons, with limited numbers of personnel within zone.
  • Full PPE and BA for personnel within zone.
  • Consider the siting of appliances, BA entry control and other oncoming resources.
  • Assess the effect of weather conditions, wind, etc.
  • Initiate ARA as soon as reasonably practicable.

Initial Actions

  • Incident commander to complete full DRA.
  • Gather information - Involvement, location and type of asbestos.
  • Inform operational control that asbestos confirmed/suspected.
  • Initiate asbestos procedures.
  • Asbestos suspected - Detection, Identification and Monitoring (DIM) officer and DIM vehicle to attend.
  • Position resources accordingly and initiate restricted zone.
  • Communicate hazards and risks to all personnel.
  • Brief crews on tactical plan.

As The Incident Develops

  • If asbestos suspected, a sample of the suspected material should be bagged as per procedure for incident ground analysis, where this is possible.
  • Set up decontamination area.
  • Ensure effective communication with all on-site personnel.
  • Continually update operational control.
  • Once the incident is under control, suspend all activity that may give rise to asbestos dust production.
  • Materials containing asbestos must only be turned over when absolutely necessary and consider water spray for dust management.
  • Maintain asbestos procedures.

Post Incident

  • Carry out decontamination of personnel and equipment.
  • Bag all contaminated clothing.
  • Return to home station and obtain spare PPE.
  • Confirm the final status of the incident and handover to responsible person/agency.
  • Debrief crews where appropriate and consider structured debrief.
  • Carry out fibre check and utilise asbestos hoover where required.

Other Considerations

  • On return to station, personnel who have been within restricted zone must carefully shower to remove any trace of dust.
  • Particular attention should be paid to eyebrows ears hands and forearms.
  • To avoid inhalation of asbestos fibres, personnel must not eat drink or smoke until the action detailed above has been carried out.
  • Where personnel have been suspected of being exposed to asbestos without BA, the appropriate forms must be completed and forwarded to service delivery area headquarters.
  • Copy of form to be available for individuals records if requested.
  • Details of such exposure to be recorded on individual medical records.

Commercial & Office Premises

Risk Assessment

  • Identify non-structural hazards e.g. sandwich panels, timber frames, composite I beams large span areas, and large Open Plan workplaces, suspended ceilings and voids.
  • Consider the height of the building and the requirements to secure any fire lifts.
  • Be aware of unusual patterns of fire spread and behaviour.
  • Be aware of complex internal and external access/egress arrangements and layout.
  • Be aware of premises security.
  • Consider additional hazards e.g. chemical or unsafe fire loading. Is specialist advice required for these additional hazards?
  • Potential for CBRN (E) incidents.

Initial Actions

  • Consult any relevant operational intelligence both en route and at the scene.
  • Is it "persons reported" and has a role called taking place?
  • Proceed to pre-determined rendezvous point if available.
  • Consider the type of structural fire protection – passive or active.
  • Secure means of access/egress.
  • Ensure adequate water supplies.
  • Before entering buildings have charged hose lines ready as safety jets.
  • Consider evacuating nearby properties.
  • Establish and maintain cordons.

As The Incident Develops

  • Is isolation of utilities necessary/appropriate and where can this be achieved from.
  • Be aware of signs of structural collapse.
  • Appoint safety officers and ensure an ARA is completed, where appropriate and regularly reviewed.
  • Appoint search coordinators.
  • Consider tactical ventilation and insure vents are covered by a jet.
  • Ensure adequate lighting and workspace.
  • Liaise with police and other on-site agencies.

Post Incident

  • Confirm site safety.
  • Confirm the final status of the incident and handover to responsible person/agency.
  • All handover and decisions should be recorded.
  • Debrief crews where appropriate and consider structured debrief.

Other Considerations

  • Consider relief crews and welfare arrangements at protracted incidents.
  • Consider the use of command support unit.
  • Personnel must observe strict hygiene precautions and I prohibited from eating, drinking and smoking unless a clearly defined clean area is set aside for this purpose.
  • Consider the assistance of partner support agencies when dealing with large numbers of people/casualties, such as Red Cross and WRVS.
  • Consider the possibility of a terrorist related incident and any specialist appliances that would be required.

Chimney Fires

Risk Assessment

  • Brickwork of the chimney stacks may often be faulty, owing to age and lack of repairs.
  • Be aware of overhanging branches, overhead cables, falling masonry and exploding chimney pots.
  • Firefighting activities may disturb materials such as asbestos and man-made mineral fibres which pose a respiratory or skin contact risk.
  • Be aware of domestic back boiler explosion.
  • Ensure working at height equipment is used, where available when working on roofs.
  • Consider the risk of blowback.
  • Be aware of hazardous substances and materials.
  • Consider ground conditions and access and egress; including for aerial appliances.
  • Be aware of nesting insects/birds and vermin.
  • Consider false chimneys.
  • At a protracted incident an ARA shall be carried out.

Initial Actions

  • The incident commanders DRA will dictate the appropriate level of PPE required i.e. eye and respiratory protection and breathing apparatus.
  • Identify the affected chimney and then establish an inner cordon to control entry into the incident area and reduce the risk from any falling objects or projectile hazards.
  • Assess roof and chimney stack conditions.
  • Establish safe access to roof. This may involve aerial appliance, ladders and safe working at height equipment.
  • Identify the most appropriate firefighting tactics to be employed i.e. firefighting from the grate, the roof or intermediate.
  • Take weather conditions into account.
  • Establish if hazardous substances are involved.
  • Ensure salvage options considered early.

As The Incident Develops

  • Observe for flying brands and fire spread externally.
  • Ensure adequate lighting in work areas.
  • Provide adequate working space.
  • Provide internal protection for example salvage sheets, vent sheets for protecting building contents and flooring.
  • Use minimum amount of extinguishing media.
  • Check for fire spread through rooms, cupboards and voids.
  • Establish communications between all work areas.
  • Consider use of TIC.
  • Consider and maintain the integrity of the external part of the building.

Post Incident

  • Replace all items moved and restore property to as near its original state.
  • Fire can spread externally from a chimney fire due to flying sparks and Embers.
  • Inform occupants of the possible dangers from particles of burning soot falling into the room.
  • Recommend to the occupants to use a fireguard and ensure chimney is swept. Do not re-light fire for 24 hours.
  • Consider if conditions for thermal inversion/downdraught may exist and pass on information relating to the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning to the occupier.
  • Provide home fire safety advice, ensure working smoke alarms are present and recommend chimney is swept if required.
  • Aggressive cutting away should be employed where any doubt exists to smouldering fires in voids, use thermal imaging camera.
  • Debrief crews where appropriate and consider structured debrief.

Dwellings

Risk Assessment

  • Consider the type of building construction and if structural damage has occurred to building for example collapse of upper floors due to I beam construction.
  • Consider if the contents of the building present a hazard for example illegal drug laboratories or excessive fire loading through hoarding.
  • Be aware of insecure/uneven footing and potential for falling through floors.
  • Be aware of hanging and falling debris.
  • Be aware of broken glass, blades, sharp objects, discarded hypodermic syringes and the potential for booby-traps.
  • Be aware of threatening behaviour of occupants.
  • Are they damaged/non-isolated utilities?
  • Consider biohazard for example vermin presence or faeces.
  • Consider hazmat risks for example medical/discarded gas cylinders or asbestos.
  • Are there common roof voids which may lead to rapid fire spread?
  • Be aware of confined spaces and basements.
  • Take into account the environmental conditions, temperature, wind speed and precipitation.
  • Plan route to and from fire/rescue which minimises exposure.

Initial Actions

  • Are there signs of flashover/backdraft? If yes, withhold personnel until appropriate compartment firefighting tactics can be deployed.
  • Identify service isolation points. Isolate gas supply if in use and consider isolation of electricity if appropriate.
  • Is it "persons reported"? Assess the need for and number of rescues.
  • Establish water supply and before entering the building have a charged hose line ready as a safety jet.
  • Where required ensure ambulance service resources are requested and en route.
  • Where available, consider use of TIC for search and rescue and location of fire location and spread.
  • Request police for outer cordon/traffic management/crowd control.

As The Incident Develops

  • Ensure a thorough search is carried out and confirm all persons accounted for.
  • Appoint safety officers and ensure an ARA is completed.
  • Appoint search coordinators, where appropriate.
  • Aerial appliances, ladders or working at height equipment must be used when working at height.
  • Consider the need for scene preservation for fire investigation purposes.
  • Liaise with other agencies for example ambulance, police, local authority, housing provider, utility network providers and or building control.
  • Consider the need for decontamination if hazmat or contact with body fluids has been identified and occurred.
  • Consider possible signs of collapse for example unstable walls, cracks in building and spalling stonework.
  • Consider potential hazards when cutting away.

Post Incident

  • Confirm site safety.
  • Carry out decontamination of personnel and equipment.
  • Inform environmental protection agency of environmental contamination.
  • Confirm the final status of the incident and handover to responsible person/agency. All handover and decisions should be recorded.
  • Debrief crews where appropriate and consider structured debrief.
  • Where appropriate, carry out community safety engagement in the immediate vicinity of the incident.

Other Considerations

  • Consider relief crews and welfare arrangements.
  • If there are serious casualties/fatalities consider the need for critical incident debrief/procedures.
  • Consider if there is a requirement for domestic fire case review.
  • Can support agencies assist for example Red Cross.
  • Consider requesting media officer if incident is likely to attract media coverage.

Farms

Risk Assessment

  • Consider the nature and construction of farm buildings, power supplies, machinery and animals involved.
  • Be aware of the storage of chemicals, which may have limited or no identification markings.
  • Consider the presence of asbestos and its inherent hazards.

Initial Actions

  • Adopt a silent approach to avoid startling or panicking animals.
  • Consider wind direction and safe route to incident.
  • Identify and secure water supplies.
  • Gather information for example type and location of incident, building construction and if life risk involved human or animal.
  • Ensure all personnel wear appropriate PPE.
  • Inform crews of identified hazards and risks and brief crews on tactical plan.
  • Consider additional resources if required.

As The Incident Develops

  • Look and listen for signs of building collapse and the instability of stored materials.
  • Establish cordons and appoint safety officers.
  • Consider the effect of water run-off.
  • Consider the welfare of personnel.

Post Incident

  • Decontaminate PPE and equipment and consider specialist decontamination advice where appropriate.
  • Confirm the final status of the incident and handover to responsible person/agency.
  • Debrief crews where appropriate and consider a structured debrief.

Other Considerations

  • Prior to the removal of livestock, specialist advice must be sought.
  • Consider adopting a defensive tactical approach if there are no human/animal life risks or until sufficient resources are available.

Firefighting in Buildings

Risk Assessment

  • Consider building construction, age, intended use and current use to identify non-structural and design hazards for example sandwich panels, timber frames, solar panels, composite I beams.
  • Consider additional hazards for example chemical, biological, hypodermic needles, cannabis factories, booby-traps, unusual fire loading. Is specialist advice required for these additional hazards?
  • Plan route to and from fire/rescue to minimise exposure.

Initial Actions

  • Consult any relevant operational intelligence both en route and at the scene.
  • Is it "persons reported"?
  • Consider the type of structural fire protection – passive or active?
  • Identify any signs of escalation and additional resources required.
  • Are there signs of flashover and backdraft? If yes, withhold personnel until appropriate compartment firefighting tactics can be deployed.
  • Consider firefighting tactics and determine if it is necessary for personnel to enter the building.
  • Secure means of access/egress.
  • If timber frame building under construction is involved consider external firefighting.
  • Before entering buildings have charged hose lines ready as a safety jet.
  • Consider evacuating nearby properties.
  • Establish and maintain cordons.
  • Look for signs and symptoms of structural collapse.
  • Consider the use of a thermal image camera.
  • Identify service isolation points. Isolate gas supply is in use and consider isolation of electricity if appropriate.

As The Incident Develops

  • Continually reassess strategy and tactics and deploy appropriate personnel to achieve objectives.
  • If breathing apparatus is in use, consider stage two procedures for protracted or complex incidents such as basement/underground structure incidents.
  • The use of monitors or lash off branches in hazardous areas.
  • Appoint safety officers and ensure an ARA is completed.
  • Appoint search coordinators.
  • Consider tactical ventilation, ensure vents are covered by a jet.
  • Aerial appliances, ladders or ropes and harnesses must be used when working at height.
  • Ensure adequate water supplies.
  • Ensure adequate lighting and workspace.
  • Liaise with police and other on-site agencies.
  • Personnel should be aware of the possibility of secondary hazards for example discarded hypodermic needles.

Post Incident

  • Confirm site safety.
  • Carry out decontamination of personnel and equipment.
  • Inform environmental protection agency of environmental contamination.
  • Confirm the final status of the incident and handover to responsible person/agency.
  • All handover and decisions should be recorded.
  • Debrief crews where appropriate and consider structured debrief.
  • Where appropriate, carry out community safety engagement in the immediate vicinity of the incident.

Other Considerations

  • Consider relief crews and welfare arrangements.
  • Consider the use of command support unit.
  • Consider the possibility of a terrorist related incident.
  • Personal awareness of hygiene and protection when dealing with casualties or animals.
  • Personnel must observe strict hygiene precautions and are prohibited from eating drinking and smoking unless a clearly defined clean area is set aside for this purpose.

Highrise Buildings

Risk Assessment

  • The incident commander should consider weather conditions/wind direction.
  • Consider building construction and age.
  • Consider additional hazards for example chemical, biological, hypodermic needles, cannabis factories, booby-traps, unusual fire loading. Is specialist advice required for these additional hazards?
  • Consider oncoming resources.
  • Plan route to and from fire/rescue.
  • BA crews must consider the risk posed by overhead hazards such as hanging wires and overhead cabling.

Initial Actions

  • Consult any relevant operational intelligence both en route and at the scene.
  • Liaise with concierge where available.
  • Consult high-rise guidance plate where available.
  • Establish control of lifts.
  • Establish sectors including forward control point/bridgehead.
  • Establish and maintain water supplies.
  • Is it "persons reported"?
  • Consider the type and location of risers/inlets.
  • Identify any signs of escalation and additional resources required.
  • Are there signs of flashover/backdraft? If yes, with hold personnel until appropriate compartment firefighting tactics can be deployed.
  • Secure means of access/egress.
  • Establish and maintain cordons.
  • Consider the use of a TIC.
  • Identify service isolation points. Isolate gas supply if in use and consider isolation of electricity if appropriate.

As The Incident Develops

  • Consider deploying personnel to the floors above the fire to examine for possible fire spread and to carry out any rescues due to smoke logging.
  • Continually reassess strategy and tactics and deploy appropriate personnel to achieve objectives.
  • When BA is in use, consider stage two procedures for high-rise structure incidents.
  • Appoint safety officers and ensure an ARA is completed.
  • Appoint search coordinators.
  • Ventilation must always be strictly controlled within the fire area to prevent serious fire growth and spread.
  • Ensure adequate lighting and workspace.

Post Incident

  • Confirm site safety.
  • All handover and decisions should be recorded.
  • Debrief crews where appropriate and consider a structured debrief.
  • Where appropriate, carry out community safety engagement in the immediate vicinity of the incident.

Other Considerations

  • Consider relief crews and welfare arrangements at protracted incidents.
  • Consider the use of a command support unit.
  • Personal awareness of hygiene and protection when dealing with casualties and animals.
  • Personnel must observe strict hygiene precautions and are prohibited from eating, drinking and smoking unless a clearly defined clean area is set aside for this purpose.

RTC's

Risk Assessment

  • Main risks and hazards: moving traffic, pedestrians, vehicle types, construction and fuel involved, contents/cargo, vehicle on fire, body fluids, equipment in use, on-site conditions, weather and time of day
  • Ensure control measures are put in place before committing crews into risk area for example vehicle stabilisation, sharps protection and hosereel.
  • Consider attendance of other agencies.
  • Consider specialist appliances and equipment.

Initial Actions

  • Consider dual approach if on motorway.
  • Brief crews en route.
  • Adopt fend off, coning and signs and use police for traffic management and consider road closures.
  • Where appropriate PPE including high viz jackets, eye protection and respiratory protection.
  • Carry out Innercircle survey to identify special risks, hazardous materials or dual fuel.
  • Ensure hosereel is deployed and consider compressed air foam system.
  • Brief crews on extrication planning process (immediate release, emergency plan and full plan).
  • Set up tool staging area, debris dump and casualty care area.
  • Identify number of casualties involved and prioritise rescues.
  • Implement team approach, scene safety, casualty care, extrication team, stabilisation, glass management and extraction.
  • Consider specialist appliances such as heavy rescue vehicle, major incident unit.
  • Liaise with other agencies including police and ambulance service.

As The Incident Develops

  • Identify suitable rendezvous point for oncoming resources.
  • Identify water supplies.
  • Ensure there is effective command and control and liaise with other agencies, consider sectorisation, cordons, spans of control and communications.
  • Consider weather conditions, casualty care and casualty clearance area.
  • Minimum number of personnel within area action circle.
  • Rotate crews on tools.
  • Shield casualty and consider their dignity.
  • Consider environmental issues.
  • Carry out further 360° of site, check surrounding area.

Post Incident

  • Ensure scene preservation and liaise with police.
  • Ensure area/vehicles are safe and confirm safety of all crews.
  • All contaminated PPE and equipment must be decontaminated.
  • Confirm the final status of the incident and handover to responsible person/agency.
  • Debrief crews where appropriate and consider structured debrief.

Other Considerations

  • For all incidents consider police accident signs and coning. Consideration must be given to the layout of the roadway between placing signs (bends steps and hills).
  • Hazmat incident follow procedures as per standard operating procedure.
  • Be careful with wire safety ropes on central reservations.
  • Ensure safe distances for handheld and appliance radios.
  • To preserve evidence use common approach path.

Silos

Risk Assessment

  • The incident type and is there a risk to life.
  • Minimum number of personnel should be committed into the risk area.
  • Consider atmospheric monitoring within the silo and ventilate if safe to do so.
  • If there is life risk and silo entry is required, consideration should be given to appointing a dedicated entry control point/safety officer.
  • Ensure effective communications are established. Only use handheld radios if intrinsically safe. It should be noted that the construction type may impede radio signals.
  • Access to the silo may be aided by an aerial appliance where hardstanding is available.

Initial Actions

  • Actively seek information from on-site responsible person.
  • Consider the need for rescues and the number of casualties.
  • Consider the height of the sale and the available access points.
  • Ensure sufficient resources are available i.e. resources immediately available, resources required and how quickly additional support may be obtained. No rescues or tasks should be undertaken without implementing safe systems of work.
  • Isolate the power to the silo and take control of any manual devices for example augers.
  • Consider the nature and extent of the hazard and the risks associated with proposed operations.
  • Consider appropriate PPE including chemical protection suits and BA. Where appropriate, safe working at height equipment must be used to provide safe systems of work.
  • Use technical rope rescue teams for all rope rescue activities and consider the request for mines rescue and/or police.

As The Incident Develops

Firefighting

  • Appoint a safety officer and complete an analytical risk assessment, consider establishing a functional safety sector.
  • Consider the use of safe working at height and specialist technical rope rescue resources to establish safe systems of work.
  • Consider the use of a TIC to identify any pockets of burning or hot spots within the silo adjacent to the silo walls.
  • Identify the most appropriate firefighting medium.
  • Provide a working line of delivery hose with a hand controlled branch and an additional wind of hose with a hand control branch as a safety measure.
  • Consider the potential for a dust explosion.
  • Consider the possibility of flashover and/or backdraft.
  • Where all persons are accounted for and the incident is solely a fire incident, the incident commander will make a tactical decision to fight the fire externally or let it burn out. No personnel will enter the silo under any circumstances.
  • Consider welfare and relief of personnel.
  • Consider the provision of additional lighting if required.
  • Liaise with other services and partner agencies and log all command decisions.

Rescues

  • Appoint a safety officer and complete an analytical risk assessment, consider establishing a functional safety sector.
  • Consider the use of safe working at height and specialist technical role rescue resources to establish safe systems of work.
  • Consider welfare and relief of personnel.
  • Consider the provision of additional lighting if required.
  • Liaise with other services and partner agencies and log all command decisions.

Post Incident

  • Liaise with the responsible person to confirm handover of the incident and ensure responsible person receives the owner/occupier hazard and control measure information sheet as per the analytical risk assessment procedure.
  • All handover information and decisions should be recorded appropriately and the contemporaneous log updated accordingly.
  • Debrief crews and consider structured debrief involving partner agencies.
  • Staff should be supported and monitored to identify whether they are experiencing any adverse effects and to check whether they would benefit from accessing counselling and support services.
  • Any safety events, personal injuries, exposure to hazardous substances or near misses shall be recorded, investigated and reported using the health and safety management system.
  • Ensure all equipment is recovered and all PPE should be decontaminated as necessary.

Wild Fires

Risk Assessment

  • Consider risk to personnel from working long periods in high temperatures.
  • Ensure crews are fully hydrated throughout the incident.
  • Personnel must not be left to work alone.
  • Be aware of the dangers associated from cliffs, extreme steep slopes and uneven ground which can increase the risk of slips, trips and falls.
  • Be aware of the risk of inhalation of fumes, disorientation and concealment of other related hazards.
  • Be aware of the risk of electrical flashover from conductor to earth/ground or adjacent structures/trees and fire service equipment.
  • Speed and spread of fire may range from a near explosive forest conflagration to a slow smouldering deep seated peat fire.
  • Consider vehicle movement regarding terrain, gradients, visibility and direction of escape routes.
  • Be aware of the hazards associated with embarking and disembarking from helicopters.
  • Identify and communicate escape routes that lead to a place of safety.

Initial Actions

  • Identify priority areas at risk and implement an appropriate fire plan.
  • Determine if there is a risk to life and surrounding properties.
  • Consider best access/egress routes.
  • Consult with land owner.
  • Consider location and access ability to water supplies.
  • Identify rendezvous/marshalling points.
  • Consider hours of daylight available.
  • Approximate the size, speed and direction of the wildfire.
  • Implement LACES safety protocol (Lookouts, Awareness, Communications, Escape routes, Safety zones).
  • Determine suppression tactics using Wildfire Prediction Systems (WPS - Wind, Slope, Aspect).
  • Identify natural fire breaks.
  • Consider which factors are affecting fire behaviour (wind, temperature, humidity).
  • Obtain reliable weather forecast at regular intervals (fire met via operations control).
  • Ensure appropriate PPE is worn.

As The Incident Develops

  • Consider ongoing risk to crews and vehicles such as overhead cables and slopes.
  • Is there a requirement to evacuate premises.
  • Consider smoke on roadways/railways.
  • Compile information for situational awareness briefing using "SMEAC" Situation, Mission, Execution, Administration, Command and Control.
  • Ensure LACES protocol is still effective.

Post Incident

  • Check health, safety and welfare of all personnel.
  • Ensure all operational equipment is accounted for and returned to appliances, stations and other organisations where appropriate.
  • Note details of fire investigation (police and other agency investigation).
  • Consider environmental issues that may have arisen.
  • Confirm the final status of the incident and handover to responsible person/agency.
  • Debrief crews where appropriate and consider structured debrief.

Other Considerations

  • Consult landowner/farmer/gamekeeper regarding specialist vehicles.
  • Consider the use of forestry commission and other specialist equipment.
  • Consider the requirement for high volume pump/water bowser/portable reservoirs.
  • Consider the use of command support unit.
  • Consult with partner agencies where appropriate.
  • Rotation of tasks, crews and regular hydration is vital.
  • Consider the use of Skywatch civil air patrol where appropriate.
  • Consider the use of helicopters.