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Civil Unrest Response: Personnel

Follow this guidance to prepare personnel for civil unrest incidents:


  • Wear civilian clothes when reporting to and returning from duty.
  • Remove badges from uniforms and consider wearing casual uniforms.
  • Keep personnel IDs, keys, wallet, etc., on your person or otherwise secured.


  • Carry a radio and lights.
  • If issued by department, wear ballistic protection in accordance with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 3000, Standard for an Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response (ASHER) Program.
  • Secure items such as scissors and stethoscopes on your person.
  • Minimize carried equipment, such as harnesses, extra tools, pocket contents, etc.
  • Always carry a radio (be sure to regularly charge/swap batteries).
  • Require personnel to wear full protective equipment while riding in apparatus. This may include eye protection, turnout or rescue gear, gloves, etc.


  • Review civil unrest-specific organizational and jurisdictional protocols and guidelines.
  • Establish a family communication plan to share information with responder families.
  • Provide emotional support for personnel and their families.


  • Per NFPA 1500, Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety, Health, and Wellness Program, fire and EMS personnel should not be used for crowd control operations.
  • Work in pairs or teams.
  • Chief and company officers must maintain accountability of apparatus and staff.
  • Develop communications code words for secure communications of emergency actions (building or area evacuation, apparatus/station abandonment, etc.).
  • Designate rally points should apparatus or stations need to be abandoned and pass on to members. These may change due to situational changes.