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Defining dynamic risk analysis in an emergency

By contrast the dynamic risk assessment process (DRA) recognises that the incident manager does not always have the time to write down the assessment. Nevertheless he or she still must go through the 3 stage process.

As we shall see later, one of the reasons why a risk assessment is recorded is to facilitate post-incident scrutiny including and especially possible legal defence. As such, as soon as the emergency manager is able to do so, some form of written analysis should be recorded at the earliest opportunity. In many cases now, we see dynamic risk assessment being voice recorded and supported by personal video recordings.

The UK Fire and Rescue Service has issued extensive guidance on carrying out a DRA. here we see the commander analysing the risk in the same way as a ARA but the only requirement for recording is for a message to be sent to the control room indicating which ‘mode’ I.e. tactics the commander is using as a result of their DRA. In essence to operate inside the risk zone is to be in offensive mode, outside the risk zone is to be defensive mode and if it’s a mixture of the two then we are transitional.

In the modern world, the assessment and decisions made by the emergency manager are likely to be scrutinised by a variety of sources and the main reason for recording actions is the need to meet the demands of scrutiny. Scrutiny can take place during the emergency (often by media or political sources) and post incident in the form of debriefs, reviews, investigation and inquiry, with the latter often being under the auspices of a legal examination. A recorded process also encourages the leader to be more systematic and therefore potentially more thorough in their approach. However, as we shall see later in the course, this premise can be challenged on the basis that systematic approaches do not always bring better results.

The need for ever more accurate recording of assessments and decisions continues apace, leading to the advent of voice and video recording to support the traditional note and record taking.

Further reading

The following web pages give some further information on the expectations for recorded risk analysis the law has for the risk analysis phase of a dynamic time critical incident.

Proving the Offence (HSE)

Queensland (Australia) State Guidance Work Safety and Health (Definitions)

Your task

[RAD THE UKFRC operational guidance]

Picture the following scenario:

A road traffic collision has occurred on a small rural road involving two medium sized vehicles, approximately 15 miles from the nearest emergency medical centre. Two persons are trapped, one in each car one has severe head injuries, the other has pains in their neck and chest. The fire, ambulance and police services are all in attendance.

What risks can you identify from this scenario?

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This article is from the free online course:

Managing Risk in an Emergency Context

Coventry University

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