The safety of all fire fighters attending an operational incident rests with the Chief Fire Officer on behalf of the relevant Fire Authority in the UK. Section 7(2)(d) of the Fire Services Act 2004 requires the Fire Authority to assess and pre-plan for operational incidents within their area of responsibility.The depth of pre-planning should be determined by the perceived risk of the premises in question and the fire service response should be based on this information. The officer-in-charge of the first appliance attending an incident must ensure as far as is reasonably practicable that safe systems of work are implemented on the fire ground and must undertake a dynamic risk assessment and record the decisions made based on this assessment.
There is a significant amount of information available to the fire service relating to risks within their authority area which can assist in this pre-planning process. Any new premises should be provided with fire safety information in accordance with Regulation 38 of the Building Regulations and should include fire plans of the building detailing all the fire safety provisions provided within the premises. In addition a fire risk assessment of the premises should be available including any significant findings following the assessment. With all relevant information the fire service can then formulate a structured operational response plan.
The CADTRACKER has been developed to assist and encapsulate all operational pre-planning information resulting in an enhanced tactical fire fighting response with fire fighter safety at its core. 'Pan and zoom' touch screen computer control of plans on a wall mounted secure external box (also internally or anywhere appropriate) can be easily manipulated to show any data a fire service responder could need. A backdrop screen can easily be added for risk assessment if required.
The most valuable tool however is the tracking system that tracks all fire service personnel equipped with the CADTRACKER inertial navigational beacons on to the touch screen building plans. Usefully, the CADTRACKER equipment will also 'drop down' from GPS 'denied' sensoring to GPS sensoring when outside of a building. Without doubt, this is a giant leap forward for fire fighter safety from the days of entering a building filled with smoke on a guide line.