The Foundation for Breathing Apparatus has been published. It describes in detail the principles underpinning the planning, use, command and control of BA and sets out the responsibilities of relevant personnel when BA is implemented as a control measure. It replaces the DCLG/CFRA publication, Operational Guidance – Breathing Apparatus (2014).

Developed in association with a range of partners including the Fire Brigades Union, the Foundation will assist fire and rescue services with:

  • Developing safe systems of work
  • Managing BA operations
  • Defining specific roles and responsibilities in relation to BA
  • Intraoperability at large or cross-border incidents where more than one fire and rescue service is in attendance
  • Interoperability at incidents where other emergency responders are in attendance

Although the Foundation for Breathing Apparatus does not fundamentally change procedures contained in Operational Guidance – Breathing Apparatus (2014), the following summary of inclusions are worthy of note:

  • Headings have been re-titled for ease of use as follows: Introduction to each section, Roles and Responsibilities and Operational Practice
  • Content has been reinforced with appropriate wording to meet the requirements of recent BA incident reports
  • BA procedures and specific roles and responsibilities have been clarified
  • Links have been added to relative guidance added, i.e. Incident Command, Fires and Firefighting, Fires in Buildings, Hazardous Materials and Performing Rescues
  • Repetitive text has been removed


A new BA training specification is also published and accompanies the Foundation. It will help training providers produce suitable and sufficient theoretical and practical BA training packages that interact with National Operational Guidance as well as other training specifications such as Incident command, Fires and firefighting and Performing rescues.

This training specification presents a framework for the acquisition and maintenance of competence for BA wearers. It also focusses on personnel responsible for the command, control and supervision of BA at operational incidents and personnel responsible for the development and training of others in BA knowledge, skills and understanding.