Command Units

We have eight Command Units across London which provide command support at incidents

What is a Command Unit?

Command Units are specially designed vehicles which contain a large working area, computers and communications equipment.

Each Command Unit is staffed by a minimum of two Sub Officers who will provide command support at an incident. They wear red and white chequered tabards that read ‘Command Support’.

Command Unit

When is a Command Unit needed?

A Command Unit is sent to an incident where three or more fire engines are present, or in some other circumstances where extra command support is required, for example if there are persons reported at a fire, or if there are hazardous materials.

At incidents where six or more fire engines are present at least one extra Command Unit will be sent.

Team leader and incident commander working together

What does a Command Unit do?

Command Unit Sub Officers provide four main areas of support:


The Command Unit Sub Officers give dedicated support to Incident Commanders, including on using the various functions of the Command Unit. At many incidents the Sub Officers will also be the first point of contact with other agencies.


The Command Unit Sub Officers monitor radio communications from the incident ground and Control Room. They also draft and send messages – making sure everyone is informed of the latest developments and incident progress. The Command Unit acts as a hub with other agencies, including other emergency services and local authorities.


The Command Unit is the hub of an incident, and is where officers and staff from other agencies will gather. The Command Unit Sub Officers will help in preparing and carrying out relief plans, and predicting what resources might be needed.

Planning support and information management

The Command Unit Sub Officers will record and provide information to support the Incident Commander. This might include presenting information in different ways, for example providing topographic maps, timelines, or decision logs.

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