Team member Phil Horner attends Multi-Agency Introduction to Civil Contingencies course

This morning, Team Call Out list member Phil Horner attended at the kind invitation of Bolton Council, a day long course regarding Multi Agency Introduction to Civil Contingencies.

This is the seventh time the team has attended this course, the first being 15th June 2010, when our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE attended, followed by the 23rd November 2010 course when our Team Training Officer at the time, Elaine Gilliland and Team Vehicles Officer at the time Chris Greenhalgh attended, Thursday 13th September 2012, when our Catering and Base Officer at the time Chris Tennant attended, Thursday 11th April 2013, when our Team Treasurer Martin Banks attended, Thursday 10th October 2013, when Paul Copley and Nick Berry attended, and Thursday 3rd April 2014 when Steve O’Hara attended.

Held at the excellent venue of the Education Centre at Royal Bolton Hospital, Bolton, the course attracted many participants from the statutory and voluntary emergency sector and agencies, including very knowledgeable 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.

The following personal account of the day has been made by Phil Horner

Civil Contingencies Course

The course began with us being split into different groups and allocated tables to work from, my group consisted of Phil Nelson from GMFRS Bolton Fire Station, Phillipa a senior manager from Royal Bolton Hospital, Sue Unsworth from Bolton Council and Julie Swift from Greater Manchester Police.

Once we were are all settled the day began with a small exercise to break the ice, each table was given six problems to solve in 3 minutes.

We thought we’d done exceptionally well as a group and answered the questions with plenty of time to spare, until we noticed that there were further questions on the other side of the paper – needless to say we didn’t come top!

There followed a series of lectures with reference to civil contingencies the background to it and when it was first introduced, the command and control structure and the roles and responsibilities of all the emergency services.

After that we had a break for coffee and i departed for a crafty cigarette without being caught on hospital grounds.

The course was going very well and lots of information gained, until I was approached and asked to give a short presentation about Bolton Mountain Rescue Team.

To say I was surprised was an understatement – there’s nothing like a bit of notice to focus the mind! I didn’t catch much information for the next 10 minutes as I was franticly scribbling down notes about what we do and how we do it.

Following a presentation from GMFRS about DIM (Detection, information monitoring equipment) it was my turn to tell everyone what we do as a mountain rescue team with no mountains to rescue, and that we already work closely with a number of the other emergency services in the Bolton and surrounding areas.

Following lunch we had a brilliant lecture from the GMP Counter Terrorism Unit then another group exercise in which my table came first.

We were ecstatic about our achievement but the sad fact is my grandson would probably have done the jig saw quicker and with a lot less noise.

After a quick break we had a great presentation from GMFRS about Urban Search and Rescue and the types of dogs they use and how they use them. I still think ours are better!

The final presentation of the day was about recovery management and then a general summary of all the day’s lectures followed by a small awards ceremony for the best team.

Surprisingly my table wasn’t high up in the awards but we did get a mini chocolate each.

All in all it was a very good course and extremely well organised. If any other Bolton MRT gets the chance to attend it’s well worthwhile, but make sure you take BMRT sticky labels and some flyers just in case!!

The team would like to thank the Civil Contingencies Unit of Bolton Council for yet again very kindly providing us with a placement on this valuable and topical course.

Please also see website ‘News’ items dated 15th June 2010, 23rd November 2010, 13th September 2012, 11th April 2013, 21st April 2013, 10th October 2013 and 3rd April 2014.