As no two incidents are the same, it is imperative that incident commanders are able to correctly identify the resources currently available to take immediate action. They should also consider requesting additional resources that are needed to deliver a full incident plan.
Incident commanders should begin assessing the need for additional resources as soon as they are mobilised to an incident. Their assessment, which may give indications of required resources, should be based on:
- The number of calls received
- Information received by fire control rooms
- Predetermined attendance
- Visual indications en route
- Knowledge gained on visits and through pre-planning
- Site-Specific Risk Information (SSRI)
At large-scale incidents, fire and rescue services and the incident commander may need to consider additional resources that may be required as part of a protracted deployment. These may include fuel supplies for emergency fire vehicles and equipment, particularly for firefighting pumps that may remain in position for days or even weeks at a time.
Incident commanders should be aware of the type, number and disposition of emergency fire vehicles and personnel in their own and in nearby service areas, and should have a working knowledge of the responsibilities and capabilities of other Category 1 and Category 2 organisations they may call on for assistance.
Incident commanders should have a thorough knowledge of the capabilities of available resources to ensure they select the correct resource for the incident. They should also be aware of those that could be requested to help minimise the number of responding resources and personnel needed to deal with that particular incident. Their knowledge of the risks in their response area will be supported by regular visits and deployment planning, enabling incident commanders to assess the additional resources required at an incident.
Suitable arrangements should be put in place for the arrival and positioning of the additional resources, which may include establishing a strategic holding area (SHA) or multi-agency strategic holding area (MASHA).