The introduction of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 placed new responsibilities on Local Authorities. Richmond Council is obliged to:
Emergency Planning is therefore a key local authority function which manages the response to a major emergency. It is a partnership of many agencies including the following
Most emergency arrangements also recognise the vital role of the local community in helping itself recover from the adverse effects of an emergency.
Although we live in a very safe society, it is always sensible to prepare for the unexpected. Many people and organisations have insurance policies to protect them against the unfortunate events that can and do happen ‘any time, anywhere’, like floods, fires, chemical releases, transport accidents, illness and deliberate acts of violence. Emergency plans are a sensible preparation for any contingency.
People and organisations work better in a crisis if they know what they are expected to do and how they can do it.
Planning and training prepares people to respond to an emergency and gives them an insight as to how others will fit into the overall response.
Staff and resources must be co-ordinated effectively to enable an appropriate and rapid response to the emergency.
The principal aims of emergency plans are:
During an emergency each organisation contributes the skills that they use in their everyday work to the overall response. At the same time they ensure that their normal services are maintained at an appropriate level.
The council is continually assessing the risks that may affect the borough and developing and maintaining plans to ensure that procedures are in place to control and mitigate their impact.
A programme of training and exercises for our staff and partner agencies is also in place so that integrated and effective working can be put into practice when needed.
The council also works closely with partner agencies and stakeholders to share information and ensure our plans and procedures fit together to provide a co-ordinated and integrated response to emergency incidents.
The council has a 24-hour Emergency Duty Officer system in place to ensure an urgent response is given to major incidents.