LRF Emergency Planning
Under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 there is a collective duty to undertake emergency planning, share information and conduct risk assessment which results in the production of multi-agency and single agency plans. It is impossible to create a plan for every risk or eventuality , but plans and guidance documents have been produced by the Wiltshire & Swindon LRF to mitigate against the significant risks that we face. The purpose of plans and guidance is to enable us to respond to and recover from emergencies and major incidents.
The LRF is divided into sub-groups which take responsibility for different work streams. Each sub-group is required to produce plans and guidance relevant to their work streams. For example, the LHRP Working Group (which serves as the LRF Health Sub Group) is responsible for producing the Joint Pandemic Influenza Plan and the Severe Weather Sub-Group is responsible for producing the Severe Weather Plan and Flood Supporting Information.
The plans are produced to a common standard and are prepared utilising Government guidance and good practice identified from a range of different sources. Each sub-group consists of professionals from different agencies, and their experience, specialism and expertise is used in producing our local plans.
All plans are given distinct ownership and are subject to regular review as part of the LRF’s ongoing work plan, so that they can be updated to incorporate changes in legislation, working practice and real time experience.
All plans have to be validated to ensure that they are fit for purpose, and this is done by way of exercising them, either in ‘live’ play, through a tabletop exercise or a multi-agency walk through. The LRF undertakes a whole variety of exercising with different organisations involved. Some of these exercises are ‘sensitive’ in nature and cannot be publicly shared. However, the LRF is keen to reassure our public that we undertake regular multi-agency exercises and a selection of these can be found in the LRF knowledge base. You will note that there is no entry for 2018 - the LRF was fully committed in dealing with ‘live’ incidents including the Snow Event (so called ‘Beast from the East’) and the novichok attacks in Salisbury and Amesbury.
Some plans are available to view via individual agency websites. However, some plans are not available for public viewing as they contain operational guidance and detail which is of a sensitive nature.
All partner agencies have ready access to a whole raft of LRF plans. Some of these plans are generic and some are very specific to dealing with an identified risk. The most widely used plans are the Emergency Multi-Agency Procedures (EMAP) which brings together a command, control and contamination structure in the event of a major incident or emergency and Operation Link which enables partners to rapidly communicate with each other in the event of a major incident or emergency.