There is a long and sometimes checkered history of how FRS have advised people who are trapped or have 'stayed put' in High Rise Buildings.
In the vast majority of instances advice was taken and a good outcome acheived, but there are examples of where, no matter how well intentioned, the advice given has lead to an unfortunate outcome..
Most notable in the UK has been the fire at Lakanal House. when occupants were advised by the Service control room and by Firefighters on scene to remain in their flats (on the assumption that the existing fire precatutions would afford them at least an hours protection).
It is also interesting to review the questioning at the Inquest into the 6 death at the above fire to try to understand the history of 'gneric' Fire survival guidance and how this is then interpreted into buildings that are perceived as having fire protective compartmentation (typical of high risae accomidation)
The fire at Lakanal House remains under investigation and as further information is released to the public this site will further report how FSG calls were managed and any potential lessons learnt.
The concept strategy of FSG is based on information received via 999 calls to FRS control rooms, stating location and situation of occupants still in the building. They may be above, below or on the same level as an incident. In a tower block, this can surmount to a very large number of distress calls.
The first objective is to obtain information as to the occupant's exact location within the building and their immediate situation in relation to smoke exposure.
The second objective is for FRS control to offer direct Fire Survival Guidance to each caller based on documented procedure. This procedure must tie in with the buildings approved Fire Evacuation Plan (FEP) which itself will identify weather the building supports a 'stay-put' (defend-in-place) strategy. A good level of compartmentation will protect occupants from Smoke and Fire spread, for 60 mins.
The third objective is to triage calls into a prioritised list and forward these on a priority basis as updates every few minutes, or as necessary, to the Search Sector Commander (SSC) via the fire ground and IC. The SSC will further prioritise these calls to implement evacuation or rescue as appropriate.
It may be that during an incident, the FRS receive multiple calls but only one or two of these are 'urgent', i.e.; there is smoke exposure to a level that appears life threatening to the controller. It is this 'prioritisation' process that will prevent information overload to the search sector/IC and will enable resource deployments to be optimised to those most vulnerable.