Request National Resilience resources for detection, identification and monitoring

Control Measure Knowledge

The use of detection, identification and monitoring (DIM) equipment may be beneficial, or even essential, when dealing with some incidents. This may require deliberate reconnaissance; initial responders may not have the capacity, equipment, knowledge and skills to carry this out safely and effectively.

Some fire and rescue services have access to their own scientific support. However, if the incident is a suspected or confirmed CBRN(e) event, scientific support should only be requested through police channels.

National Resilience (NR) responders have access to DIM equipment. The process includes:

  • Detection – to detect the presence of a hazardous material
  • Identification (or classification) – to identify which hazardous material (or type of material) is present
  • Monitoring – to monitor, on a continuous or periodic basis, either qualitatively or quantitatively, the presence or absence of hazardous material

NR DIM advisers will use their equipment to detect, analyse and identify potentially hazardous materials. The resulting information can be used to inform the multi-agency decision-making process.

DIM resources include:

  • DIM equipment and vehicles – includes scientific analysis equipment, specialist personal protective equipment (PPE) and decontamination equipment
  • DIM advisers – provide a tactical adviser role to the hazardous material adviser or incident commander; they do not carry out a command role
  • DIM operators – an optional support role where an individual is trained in the operation and use of some DIM equipment; they may deploy into the hazard area with a DIM adviser to assist with the collecting of samples and carrying out analysis
  • DIM support team – suitably-trained personnel to support the DIM adviser, especially when deploying into the hazard area

The DIM team will work with other agencies in order to:

  • Maintain the forensic integrity of the incident
  • Provide analysis outcomes to inform decisions on necessary clinical measures
  • Contribute to the provision of scientific and technical advice
  • Reduce the risks to emergency responders, members of the public and the environment
  • Reduce the time taken to successfully resolve an incident to minimise social and economic impacts, with consideration for business continuity

Requesting National Resilience response

If the fire and rescue service incident commander believes the NR MD capability is required, they should immediately provide the following information to the National Resilience Fire Control (NRFC):

  • The initial location of the rendezvous point (RVP)
  • The nature of the incident

The contact to the NRFC will prompt the mobilisation of National Resilience resources from one or more ‘hosting’ fire and rescue services.

The NRFC should provide an estimated time of arrival; this information will assist the incident commander in determining what level of initial operational response (IOR) is required.

As the incident develops, further information may become available. The incident commander should capture this information using the M/ETHANE model, and provide an update to the NRFC. If a strategic holding area (SHA) or multi-agency strategic holding area (MASHA) is established, this information should also be provided to the NRFC. For further information, refer to Multi-agency strategic holding areas: a guide.

The NR DIM capability is designed to support the requesting fire and rescue service’s incident commander in an advisory capacity at hazardous materials incidents, including CBRN(e) events, within the framework of the incident command system. The DIM capability is also used to support mass decontamination or to support decontamination of body bags.

If the police have declared a CBRN(e) event, an initial 200 metre cordon, for members of the public and unprotected emergency responders, should be implemented as a default measure.

Strategic Actions

Tactical Actions