OTAR Part 140 requires that during flight operations, sufficient trained personnel shall be detailed and be readily available to ride the rescue and fire fighting vehicles and to operate the equipment at maximum capacity. (ref. ICAO Annex 14 Volume 1, 9.2.42).
The determination of the minimum staffing required for the category of operation (see section 2) is a fundamental requirement to ensure the RFFS is capable of meeting and discharging its responsibilities both within the initial response and as determined in the emergency plan.
Experience has shown that there is a real risk of an RFFS being over committed above the capacity of its resources within emergency plans. Over commitment imposes a risk that valuable resources may be diverted from the vital initial response to secondary or subsidiary tasks.
Depending on organisation and resourcing, examples of over commitment could include (examples only):
- Accident site traffic management;
- Setting up triage centres;
- Marking out hazard zone boundaries
These tasks do not form part of the critical initial response.
This OTAC, provides advice that helps RFFS providers define their manning requirements and consequent training needs (OTAC 140-7 provides guidance regarding training).