Emergency services / responders

Because of the nature of their work, personnel within the emergency response services may be at risk from exposure to BBV. In particular, the following groups fall within this 'at risk' category:


Those sections of the service at risk of BBV exposure are:

  • All Operational Police Officers. Within this group there are those who are placed at greater risk due to their specialist roles eg Custody and Coroners Officers;
  • Special Constables; and
  • Support Staff who are exposed to blood and body fluids as part of their work eg Scenes of Crime Officers

Relevant local advice for employees is produced by many UK police forces, usually by occupational health professionals. During the preparation of this guidance occupational health providers serving the police services cited the Thames Valley guidance as a point of reference. Others noted that this on-line document – and others - might require updating in line with new medical recommendations. Examples of Police related documents can be found at:

Devon & Cornwall Constabulary - Force Policy & Procedure Guideline Infectious Diseases. Reference Number D61 (2007).


Fire fighter search teams, and those responding to road traffic accidents and other situations likely to involve trauma injury, can potentially be exposed to blood and body fluids. Some localised guidance has been generated by certain city and/or regional fire services. The examples provided below were not produced as national advice documents, but do offer useful information that is relevant for this sector:

The Highlands & Islands Fire & Rescue Service (Scotland) publishes infection control guidance and risk assessment advice for its employees. Further information is available from:

Highlands & Islands Fire & Rescue Service Headquarters
16 Harbour Road,
Longman West,
Tel: 01463 227000
Fax: 01463 236979
Email: [email protected]


In 2008 The Ambulance Service Network was formed where bulletins are available. In addition related enquiries should be directed at the local ambulance services (Trusts).

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Updated 2023-03-24