CBRN incidents – Guidelines for emergency responders


King’s College London and Public Health England have just published two crisis communication tools that may be of interest to some members. The first one is designed as public information/education material containing information about CBRN threats, emergency response procedures and response organisations. The second one provides guidance to emergency response professionals about public behaviour, information needs and communication preferences during a CBRN incident.

The tools are the more practical output of the social science research in the context of a 3 1/2 year-EU-FP7-project about “Preparedness and resilience against CBRN terrorist attacks” (http://www.practice-fp7-security.eu/). The tools are based on extensive empirical research, including feedback from members of the public before, during and after a live simulation exercise involving about 300 emergency professionals and public volunteers.

The tools (along with other research reports from Work Package 8 (D8.8-D8.15)) can be downloaded here (http://www.practice-fp7-security.eu/cms,article,4,downloads.html). The direct links are: Public info (http://goo.gl/qdQHYs) and Professional Guidance (http://goo.gl/beiKtU).

SFRS leads new concept in tackling Unwanted Fire Alarm Signals (UFAS)


As part of our new procedure in targeting high instances of unwanted fire alarm signals (UFAS), SFRS has released our own assessment methodology for safeguarding against increased organisational risk, resulting from any decision to reduce appliance attendances to premises with an unacceptable rate of UFAS.

The Appliance Reduction Decision Matrix (ARDM) is the first of its kind to be developed anywhere in the UK for this purpose and provides for a holistic analysis of operational risk intelligence.

It is the culmination of months of partnership working between colleagues from Fire Safety Enforcement and building risk analysts from the insurance industry. Being simple to use, it provides SFRS with a verification model that ensures foreseeable risks have been considered prior to any reduction of appliances.

ACO Lewis Ramsay, Director of Prevention and Protection, said: “This ground breaking assessment tool has been developed to assist Local Senior Officers (LSOs) in determining whether any reduction of appliances is appropriate taking account of the risks presented within a wide variety of premises.

“Using the matrix ensures that a standardised and consistent approach can be applied across Scotland and automatically defaults to a non-reduction of appliances where the risk to people or certain identified premises is great.

“Through this approach, Scotland is leading the way in ensuring that our communities are safe from fire whilst ensuring a balance is maintained against the financial burden and increased road risk from unnecessary blue light journeys.”