Climate Change: managing the operational impact on fires and other weather-related emergencies
List of Recommendations
1. The Service should consider whether there is potential to amend the guidance in the Water Rescue and Flooding SOP, so that the application of the ‘cannot enter the water’ rule is explained and qualified, with a view to including more definitive guidance for personnel at incidents where there is a very low water, low risk, environment.
2. The ability to retrieve important information on specific hazards at water related incidents can aid with the tactics adopted, inform the crews and incident commander of hazards to assist in their risk assessment process and is ultimately a commitment to firefighter safety. The SFRS holds good information but the provision is inconsistent across the Service. The SFRS should progress consistently the completion of water incident response plans and make them available on the OI system.
3. The SFRS should firm up its guidance and requirements for the recording of maintenance training, carried out by level 3 and 4 personnel in line with its national policy standards on water and flood rescue training to improve accountability and monitoring.
4. The SFRS should review its approach to planning for wide-area flooding, both generally and also where appropriate on a site-specific basis, and take steps to assess or develop plans, and determine how information can be shared with operational personnel to assist with planning, procedures and incident command at potential flooding events.
5. The SFRS should reinvigorate the operation of the Wildfire SFRS National Users Group (SNUG), and look to communicate the implementation plan and encourage two way engagement to assist in participative development of the Wildfire Strategy.
6. The SFRS wildfire SNUG should add crew welfare to its agenda as a commitment to explore practical improvements to welfare arrangements.
7. To realise the full potential of the community asset register (CAR), the SFRS should review arrangements in place and consider the feasibility of improving awareness and utilisation of assets, both internally and with Category 1 partners. (The CAR has been the subject of separate recommendation in two of our other HMFSI inspection reports.6
8. In order to try to fully understand the impact of weather-related incidents, facilitate analysis, and realise the impact on the Service of wide area flooding incidents and wildfires, the SFRS should improve its data capturing, statistical analysis and reporting capability.