2. Local Resilience Forum

Emergencies demand a combined and coordinated response linking expertise and resources from many organisations.

Response organisations

Police (Thames Valley Police)

For most emergencies, the police assume the overall coordinating role for operations. They process casualty information, via a casualty bureau, providing a central contact for those seeking or providing information about anyone who might have been involved in the emergency; they identify people involved in the emergency and act on behalf of the coroner in identifying and arranging for the removal of the dead.

Fire and Rescue Service

Likely to be the first emergency service at the scene of an emergency, Fire and Rescue’s role is to rescue people trapped in a fire, wreckage or debris and make sure that the emergency doesn't escalate.

Health community

Designated hospitals maintain a major incident plan providing for additional staff and the suspension of routine appointments. The Ambulance service is responsible for the treatment and care of the injured, their delivery to  hospitals and overall co-ordination of all on scene medical resources. These health establishments are supported by Public Health England (PHE), the national organisation which promotes protecting people’s health, reducing the impact of infectious diseases, chemical hazards, poisons and radiation hazards.

During an emergency, elements of these organisations will work closely with the local authorities and other responding agencies to resolve the crisis.

Central government

The first response to any emergency should always be at the local level. Central government can also have a role to play. This may be an active role where local services seek specialist advice or assistance (eg overseas nuclear accidents). At other times the government role may be limited to dealing with parliamentary, media and public enquiries. A specific government department would be nominated to take the lead.

Command and control of an emergency

Strategic command

Senior representatives from local authorities and the other organisations involved will establish a strategic level of management with the police. For local authorities, representation will usually be at chief or senior officer level or equivalent.

Tactical command

Tactical command reports to Strategic command and will be the central point of contact for support services, including local authority and other organisations to ensure close liaison near to the scene. The local authority officer sent to Tactical command would be of appropriate seniority to take part in the policy/decision making process.

Operational command

Operational commands (of which there may be more than one) report to Tactical command.  If requested a local authority liaison officer (LALO) will be sent (usually by the district council) to represent us and coordinate requests for practical assistance at or near the incident.

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Last updated: 12 March 2019

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