Multi Agency Introduction to Civil Contingencies Course attended today by our Team Training Officer Elaine Gilliland and Team Vehicles Officer Chris Greenhalgh

Today our Team Training Officer Elaine Gilliland and Team Vehicles Officer Chris Greenhalgh attended at the kind invitation of Bolton Council a day long course regarding Multi Agency Introduction to Civil Contingencies. This is the second time the team has attended this course, the first being 15th June this year when our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE attended.

Held at the excellent venue of the Bolton Council Castle Hill Training Centre, Castleton Street, Bolton, the course attracted many participants including the course facilitators and session presenters.

The course objectives included;

  • To understand the context and implications of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 and the statutory duties it places on Category 1 and 2 responders.
  • To become familiar with the role of all agencies involved in planning, preparing for and responding to emergencies.
  • To share knowledge and understanding with other local agencies.
  • To learn from previous experiences of responding to emergencies.

Our Team Training Officer Elaine Gilliland and Team Vehicles Officer Chris Greenhalgh both reported that they found the day very informative and very interesting, of particular worthy note being the wide variety of agencies taking part and the excellence of the presenters and presentations.

The team would like to thank the Civil Contingencies Unit of Bolton Council for inviting us to send two representatives today to this course.

There follows below an account by team member Chris Greenhalgh of the course.

The morning started as all mornings should with a brew in the canteen before we all went into the lecture room to be split up into groups. Each group had at least one representative from each agency (or group of agencys) within it ie. Greater Manchester Police, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, North West Ambulance Service (Greater Manchester area) , NHS Trust Bolton, Local Authority and other Voluntary Agency’s. We were pleased to see an ex team member also attending; Gerry Ryan who works as an A&E Nurse at Royal Bolton Hospital.

We were given a warm welcome, an outline for the day and a good introduction by Mark Nutter who works for Bolton Council Civil Contingencies Unit. Following this we had a short ’icebreaker’ quiz to take part in within our groups. One group scored ’fairly low’ but purposely of course to allow us to demonstrate a good level of improvement throughout the day. We then had a short break and a representative from each agency then each gave a presentation to us about the roles and responsibilities of their agency in the event of a major incident or terrorist attack. Command and Control by Mark Nutter, Greater Manchester Police by Inspector Paul Murphy, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service by Station Commander Brian Wiggans, North West Ambulance Service by their HART Manager Simon West, Royal Bolton Hospital and other agencies by Jimmy Tunn, Primary Care Trust and Health Protection Agency by Stephen Kirkley, Local Authority by Cath Nally, (Bolton Council Civil Contingencies Unit) and Evacuation by Paul Murphy and Cath Nally.

We then had a break for lunch which gave us a good oppurtunity to have a chat with our collegues in partner agencies and the speakers. Following this Brian Wiggans (GMFRS) gave us an insight into the events surrounding the Manchester bomb in 1996 and our guest speaker Dr Nick Gent gave us a very detailed case study on Alexander Litvienenko. Alexander Litvienenko was an ex KGB agent who was poisoned by radioactive Polonium in 2006. Dr Gent played a key role in this investigation. After a short break we went on to a lecture about Recovery Coordination by Mark Nutter and a presentation about Counter Terrorism by Kate Marsh who is a Security Advisor working for Greater Manchester Police Counter Terrorism Unit.

To round of the day we had a team quiz to test what we had learned during the day, an evaluation and a chance to ask questions.

I found this course very informative and enjoyable and came away with a much better knowledge of Civil Contingencies and the roles of all the agencies in the event of a major incident.

Chris and Elaine would like the thank Gail of Bolton Council Civil Contingencies Unit for arranging this well organised course and all the speakers for their well presented lectures.

Please also see website ’news’ article dated Tuesday June 15th 2010.