Teamwork

Control Measure Knowledge

A team may be defined as two or more people with clearly-defined roles temporarily working together interdependently towards a common goal that exceeds individual or organisational goals.

Fire control commanders take on a leadership role to create their command structure and team and to exercise their leadership skills. To support teamwork during incidents, fire control commanders and fire control personnel should be considered part of the operational team or wider multi-agency team and should receive appropriate updates and briefings promptly.

Fire control commanders will need to use their teamwork skills to lead fire control personnel based on their priorities and the demands of fire control activity. These include:

  • Communicating effectively to establish and maintain trust between themselves and other team members
  • Co-operating with operational incident command team members and the team members of other agencies
  • Co-ordinating the actions of their team and with those of teams on the incident ground and in other agencies
  • Supporting others to perform their role or task

Effective teamwork is essential for the safe resolution of incidents; it is also essential for effective intraoperability or interoperability. Fire control commanders should know and understand how different elements of team working can affect team performance. They should recognise that effective teamwork enables the consistent application of service and JESIP policies and procedures.

Teamwork engages team members, gains their commitment and can contribute to lower levels of stress. It also facilitates intraoperability between fire and rescue services, and interoperability between other emergency services and emergency responders.

Fire control commanders should understand the responsibilities of the roles they may assign to personnel, such as radio operator or emergency call taker. To support teamwork and communication with the incident ground, they should also understand operational command and specialist roles, such as tactical advisers and fire investigators.

Fire control commanders should be aware of the stages of team formation. The fire control commander will usually know their team members, however there may be occasions when they are required to form a team with unfamiliar people. In that case, fire control commanders should communicate with individuals to understand their levels of experience, knowledge and skills to avoid effective team management being compromised.

Teamwork in the wider context of the relationship between fire control and incident grounds should also be considered. Working relationships and practices will be strengthened through the engagement, commitment and trust of all team members and the understanding of their roles.

Fire control commanders may also be required to form part of a multi-agency team during complex or major incidents, or during spate conditions, particularly during the early stages of an incident until a fire control manager or operational commander can assume the role. During this phase the fire control commander may be required to form or join a team using technologies such as radio talk groups or conference call facilities. JESIP Control Room Supporting Principles describe the elements of interoperability between control rooms, and fire control personnel should be familiar with the principles.

Fire control commanders should understand the roles, responsibilities and capabilities of other emergency services and agencies that respond to incidents, such as local authorities. It is likely that a fire control commander will not know the other members of a multi-agency team or be familiar with their experience, knowledge and skills. However, it is essential that fire control commanders use effective teamwork and communication techniques to foster a positive working relationship.

Fire control commanders should recognise the importance of trust between themselves, their team members and the wider operational team or multi-agency team members, especially when team members are unknown to them. Establishing trust in team members’ ability to perform their respective roles is paramount in such circumstances.

Fire control commanders should recognise how effective communication and co-operation benefit teamwork. They should understand the impact trust has on co-operation, co-ordination and communication and the effect that these have on shared situational awareness and decision-making.

All fire control personnel should be prepared to function effectively as team members and to perform an appropriate role within the command structure.

Strategic Actions

Tactical Actions