Co-ordinated multi-agency responses to incidents

Control Measure Knowledge

A co-ordinated response

A co-ordinated response by fire and rescue services to multi-agency incidents always begins with fire control personnel. When contact between fire control personnel and other agencies is first made, they can support a co-ordinated and effective multi-agency response by discussing their response arrangements, including:

  • The reason for the agency’s attendance if it is not already apparent
  • The resources being mobilised, which may prompt further discussion (such as why police armed response resources are attending, if it is not already apparent)
  • Any known hazards and risks
  • Where operational personnel and resources should locate themselves, if not directly at the location of the incident, for example, at a:
    • Rendezvous point
    • Forward command point
    • Multi-agency strategic holding area
  • Whether operational personnel and responders from other agencies should take a specific route, which may provide a safe route and safe approach, avoiding:
    • Hazard, such as an area contaminated by hazardous materials
    • Incidents at risk of escalation if interrupted, such as police-led negotiations
    • Closed roads and exclusion zones, including where another agency has implemented a cordon
    • Other unrelated ongoing incidents and events
  • What command structures they have in place in response to the incident
  • Whether the incident requires:
    • A response from other agencies, such as local authorities or environmental agencies
    • Multi-agency communication methods to be established, such as interoperable talkgroups
    • A co-ordinated approach to the management of media enquiries, including statements to the press or social media releases

Fire control personnel may benefit from using a commonly understood information structure, such as M/ETHANE, as a prompt to consistently guide them through the key points when exchanging incident-related information with other agencies.

Other prompts are also likely to help fire control personnel to share all necessary information with other agencies methodically. They may include:

  • Alerts on the mobilising system, linked to specific incident types
  • Action plans or lists on the mobilising system, linked to specific incident types
  • Aide memoirs, easily accessible by fire control personnel

Strategic Actions

Tactical Actions