Implement degradation plans during periods of multiple incidents

Control Measure Knowledge

This control measure should be read in conjunction with Prioritise critical fire control functions during periods of multiple calls and multiple incidents

Fire and rescue services may have degradation plans for several eventualities. This control measure focuses on the positive impact a degradation plan may have during a period of multiple incidents.

Degradation plans

Periods of multiple incidents will have different impacts on different fire and rescue services. A degradation plan provides a consistent, structured approach for fire control commanders to follow during a period of multiple incidents and reduces the likelihood of the demands of multiple incidents exceeding the available operational resources.

A degradation plan may have several stages, depending on how an event impacts fire and rescue services. Multiple incidents and multiple calls are likely to affect the number of operational resources available and the capacity of fire control. Various stages of a degradation plan may require different responses or actions by the fire control commander, including:

  • Moving available operational resources to pre-determined, strategic locations
  • Reducing pre-determined attendances to incidents
  • Not attending lower-priority incidents
  • Implementing batch mobilising
  • Directing fire control personnel to prioritise performing critical functions only

Reduced attendance

Reducing the number of resources sent to incidents is one method of reducing the likelihood of demand exceeding availability. A degradation plan may help fire control commanders reduce attendance at lower-priority incidents while maintaining the full pre-determined attendance (PDA) to higher-priority incidents, for example those involving people at risk.

Reduced attendance may be achieved by:

  • Setting pre-determined levels, for example sending one fire appliance instead of two to a particular incident type when overall resource availability is at a certain level
  • Dynamically reducing PDAs, considering the information available at the time

Maintaining operational cover

A degradation plan helps fire control commanders be consistent in the allocation of resources to maintain operational cover during periods of multiple incidents. This may be referred to as making ‘standby’ or ‘cover’ moves. To help the fire control commander choose strategic locations, degradation plans may include operational resource availability, time of day, risk and historical incident data.

If a degradation plan has been implemented, it is important that this is communicated to fire control personnel, including any buddy or consortium fire control personnel, so that they can implement the associated changes to mobilising procedures, such as reduced attendance.

Visual information displays in fire control that display information such as the current degradation plan level, are an effective method to support verbal communication to fire control personnel. This would be particularly beneficial to fire control personnel engaged on emergency calls by providing a visual reminder for them. More information can be found in Control measure – Build situational awareness during periods of multiple calls and multiple incidents.

Strategic Actions

Tactical Actions