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Fire and rescue service roles and responsibilities in pollution

Intervention planning

One aspect of response and incident reduction planning is to consider protecting the natural environment as well as public safety. The protection of plants and animals by the FRS as part of a risk management plan although not a duty is an expectation for more information see protecting the environment.

Fire and rescue service (FRS) risk management plans should consider the environment, the impacts of incidents and non-emergency operations of an FRS. For further information, see Produce a risk management plan.

FRSs should consider the hazards identified in their local community risk registers and the National Risk Assessment when preparing Environmental Protection Strategy for their Risk Management Plan. This information will also support FRSs when formulating emergency response plans for specific premises.

Benefits of planning

FRS managers must consider environmental protection activities during the planning process to minimise the impact of incidents on the environment. Benefits include:

  • Protecting public drinking water supplies, and public safety
  • Minimising impacts on plants and animals which need a clean uncontaminated environment
  • Protecting other uses of water such as the watering of livestock and irrigation of crops and commercial and recreational uses such as fishing and bathing
  • Using a pollution intervention or response plan that can be shown to have helped mitigate or prevent pollution as part of the defence described in water resource protection legislation for both site operators and the FRS

For these reasons, the FRS should allow for pollution prevention activities within its annual planning process.