- 29th June 2018
- Posted by: Sophie Smith
- Category: Blog
Sara Lane, Senior Analyst, attended the Major Incidents and Emergency Response Conference last week and wanted to tell you all the interesting things she learnt.
As a member of JBA’s Flood Resilience team my work involves advising on flood emergency planning and incident response, so I attended the annual Major Incidents and Emergency Response Conference on 19 June to expand my knowledge.
Conference speakers discussed evolving threats, best practice in emergency planning and ways forward to strengthen multi-agency responses. Providing delegates with practical and first-hand advice the event gave the latest thinking on responding efficiently to major incidents.
Included amongst the 14 speakers were:
- Heather Shepherd – Flood Recovery Specialist (National Flood Forum)
- Carl Daniels – Deputy Senior Responsible Officer (Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Principles)
- Katherine Richardson – Deputy Director, Resilience and Emergencies (Department for Communities and Local Government)
- Tony Thompson – Emergency Planning Consultant and Former Chair of the Emergency Planning Society.
Talks covered the perspective of the Central Government and emergency responders on resilience and emergencies, how to assist victims before, during and after events, as well as how they can assist responders. What was clear was that regardless of the threat (be it countering terrorism or the impacts of a major flood), the effectiveness of communication and collaboration within and between agencies is crucial. This was discussed, alongside how new and innovative technology can be embraced to increase interoperability (the manner in which different responding agencies work together) and improve the effective management of emergencies.
Case studies, such as that on the future role of orange-light services (i.e. emergency responders which are not Category 1 or 2 responders, such as the Highways Agency) and an insight into how a World War 2 bomb was successfully disarmed in Birmingham, provided examples of good practice as well as lessons learned to all delegates.
What should you take away?
Following such an interesting conference, it’s a challenge to summarise the most important messages of the day. However, here are the three key messages I’m taking from the conference…
- It’s important that responders work collaboratively with each other as well as the public to mitigate the impacts and risks of emergencies, and to increase national resilience.
- Practical measures, such as technical improvements to existing IT systems (e.g. the Environment Agency’s flood warning service) are required to assist emergency responders and members of the public to prepare and face emergencies.
- The value of recovery management should not be underestimated when considering how best to respond and manage an incident; planning for recovery in advance will allow you to offer the maximum support to victims.
Want to know more?
We offer a range of services to assist both responders and the public to prepare for flood emergencies. This includes the development of emergency flood plans for communities, businesses and Category 1 and 2 responders, and testing these through realistic and challenging flood exercises.
To find out more, please email Sara Lane or Phil Emonson – our Lead for Flood Resilience. You can also visit our Flood Emergency Planning web page to find out more about our work in flood resilience and emergency preparedness.