Specialist advice

Control Measure Knowledge

Many types of incident or situation are reported to fire control. As it is impossible for the fire control commander to have an in-depth knowledge of all types of incident, they may need advice from another team member, fire control manager, operational personnel, subject matter expert (SME) or tactical adviser. It is therefore essential that fire control commanders can recognise such situations and select the most appropriate solutions.

The type and complexity of the incident or situation will determine the quantity and quality of specialist advice required and how urgently it is needed. Fire and rescue services need to provide fire control personnel with accurate and current information.

Subject matter expert

An SME is a person who is an authority in a particular area or topic. Fire control commanders should ensure that, whenever possible, the individual is an expert in the relevant field.

Subject matter adviser

A subject matter adviser (SMA) is a member of the fire and rescue service who regularly works with National Resilience capabilities. An SMA will provide detailed tactical capability advice to an incident commander.

Tactical adviser

Fire control commanders can request the support of a tactical adviser; they are trained and recognised specialists with expertise in local or National Resilience capabilities. They are available to provide advice and support to any incident irrespective of location. However, their role is usually in their host fire and rescue service or control room.

tactical adviser has in-depth knowledge from a business and organisational perspective, which can significantly enhance performance when shared with others.

Tactical advisers are currently available from the following fields:

  • National Inter-agency Liaison Officer (NILO)
  • Urban search and rescue (USAR)
  • High volume pumps (HVP)
  • Flood response
  • Hazardous materials
  • Chemical, Biological, Radioactive, Nuclear (explosive) (CBRN(e))
  • Radiation protection
  • Marine
  • Wildfires
  • Waste fires
  • Communications
  • Fire investigation

When consulting a tactical adviser or other qualified person, the fire control commander should ensure that their decision-making rationale and any following actions and information is recorded in the incident log.

When nominating individuals for specialist training, fire and rescue services should consider nominating fire control managers in fields that may enhance the resilience of the fire and rescue service and the service that their fire control function provides, such as NILO and Communications Tactical Adviser roles. This will enhance their resilience and increase the support they can provide to operational incident commanders and other agencies during major incidents and periods of joint organisational working.

Strategic Actions

Tactical Actions