Share situational awareness with operational personnel during periods of multiple calls and multiple incidents

Control Measure Knowledge

During periods of multiple calls and incidents, fire control personnel will manage and respond to several sources of information from operational personnel in relation to incidents they are dealing with. Fire control personnel should share situational awareness with operational personnel at the earliest opportunity when experiencing periods of multiple calls and incidents.

When a large volume of repeat calls is being received for a single incident, or several separate incidents located close together, sharing this information with the initial incident commander attending the incident will help to build their understanding of the incident prior to arrival. Repeat calls may indicate that an incident is large or growing rapidly or that there are many people affected; either of these factors may influence the incident commander’s decision-making.

Sharing of situational awareness may be achieved through several methods, including:

  • Telephone conversation
  • Broadcasting on fire and rescue service operational talkgroups
  • Electronic messaging systems to mobile or station-based devices, including the use of pre-defined message templates
  • Operational personnel remotely accessing and reading incident logs

Sharing situational awareness during periods of multiple incidents allows operational personnel to understand the situation and respond accordingly, for example they may be able to:

  • Release operational resources from incidents as promptly as possible, when appropriate to do so
  • Minimise non-essential contact with fire control personnel
  • Postpone planned events or training exercises to make personnel available for operational cover

Electronic methods of communication

The use of technology to support effective communication can significantly reduce time spent on some verbal exchanges between operational and fire control personnel while improving the accuracy of information exchanged.

Operational personnel equipped with suitable and compatible technology may be able to send incident-related information directly to the mobilising system for fire control personnel to receive. Types of information may include:

  • Indication of their status (for example, available at incident)
  • Bodies of text (for example, informative or stop messages)
  • Coded messages
  • Images
  • Video
  • Sound (for example, voice messages)

Mobilising systems may enable fire control personnel to send electronic messages to devices used by operational personnel, such as mobile data terminals (MDTs), minimising time spent by working between different communication platforms or computers.

Confirmation that messages have been received and acknowledged, using electronic notifications, will help fire control personnel to know the message has been received and provide an audit trail in the relevant mobilising system logs.

Some systems may also allow fire control personnel to create and save pre-defined templates, which can be customised depending on the circumstances. Information shared may include:

  • Whether a degradation plan has been enacted
  • Whether incident queuing or batch mobilising is in effect
  • The geographical areas that are affected
  • Instructions to reduce non-essential communication with fire control personnel
  • Directions to use specific talkgroups

Sending information electronically using pre-defined templates reduces the potential for misunderstanding. If recipients need to refer to the information, it is available to them visually, removing the need for it to be repeated.

Effective methods to draw attention to incoming messages, such as system generated and repetitive visual and audible indicators, will help prevent messages from being missed.

Strategic Actions

Tactical Actions