Bolton’s Multi Agency Flood Response Plan.

Today experienced call out list member and MPSRO Water Officer Fred Taylor represented the team at a flood awareness training event organised by Cath Nally, Civil Contingencies Offficer for Bolton Metro, to launch Bolton’s Multi Agency Flood Response Plan.

Held at the Friends Meeting House, Silverwell Street, Bolton, this event attracted representatives from the Local Authority, the Statutory and Voluntary Emergency Services and the Voluntary Aid Services, including Bolton Councils Civil Contingencies Unit and other Bolton MBC Departments, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, North West Ambulance Service, Greater Manchester Police, Bolton Mountain Rescue Team, British Red Cross, WRVS, NHS Trust, RAYNET and the Environment Agency.

The overall aim of the event was to discuss emergency response arrangements in the event of a flood occuring in the Bolton MBC Local Authority area, and how the Emergency and Voluntary Aid Services would respond and cope to such an eventuality.

Amongst the many objectives was the need to raise everyones knowledge as to the flood risks possible in Bolton, an explaination of the multi agency response to such events, roles and responsibilities and making all aware of the dangers of working in flood waters.

Many Mountain Rescue Teams in the UK regularly deploy to assist in flood events, where our specialist resources and equipment can be of considerable assistance, recent examples include MRTs operating in the Carlisle Floods, the Gloucester and Tewkesbury Floods, Boscastle and the Sheffield town centre floods.

All Bolton MRT members are given regular training in working alongside and in still and fast flowing water, with each individual member equipped with a personally issued PFD (Lifejacket) We also have our integral Canoe and Kayak Unit within the team, plus of course our four wheel drive Ambulances, and specialist catering and shelter tent equipment.

There follows Fred Taylors account of the individual presentations at todays event –

We met at the Friends Meeting House, Silverwell Street, Bolton, there were representatives from the Council, Environmental Agency, Police, Fire & Rescue, Raynet, NHS and Health & Safety.

Peter Molyneux (Bolton Metro) opened the meeting with Aims and Objectives and also Domestics.

Then it was Simon Heckles from the Environmental Agency who explained the types of floods and the areas that could be affected and with what type of flood. Simon explained what role the agency would have in prevention, monitoring and course of action if a flood happened. He also informed us how a flood alert was generated by Met Office monitoring systems etc. Simon showed us flood risk areas in the Bolton and surrounding areas and the type of flood that would effect this area.

Next it was Robert wood from Bolton Council who talked about The Bolton Picture, what the council had prepared and what areas where at risk. He told us about the funding and the plan.

Cath Nally gave the next session and went more into the Bolton Multi-Agency Flood Responce Plan in more detail as to what rolls each group of resource personnel were required to do.

After break it was Lucy Kennon from Bolton Council went into the involvement by the Local Authority. Lucy mentioned the Plan again.

Next, Brian Wiggans GMPF&R covered the resources that the Fire & Rescue had at their disposal and how they were deployed. He also covered the Health & Safety side of working in flooded areas:
Contamination. Hypothermia, Drowning, Damage to property, Roads, Communications etc. He emphasised this by Power Point presentation of incidents which were discused in detail and the problems encountered.

Bob Cartwright from GMP was next and explained the Police involvement. The main one was a logging system as in the Tsunami incident when they had a logging system for the causalities and the deceased, some with no ID on them. Bob also said they would control the road system, road closures etc.

Lucy closed the meeting by covering in detail how each agency would be deployed including voluntary agencies and then we had an Open Forum with Q & A.