Further report on todays Multi – Agency Introduction to Civil Contingencies Course attended by team members David Crawford and Mark Scott

Further to our already published report, see below, today’s date, the following is a personal account of todays Multi – Agency Introduction to Civil Contingencies Course, from experienced team member David Crawford, who jointly attended with our Equipment Officer – Medical Mark Scott.

“Today Mark Scott, our Equipment Officer – Medical, and experienced Call-out member David Crawford attended a one-day Multi-Agency Introduction to Civil Contingencies Course at the Royal Bolton Hospital.

It was attended by about 25 delegates from GMFRS, NWAS, GMP, Bolton Council, Red Cross and Bolton MRT. The day was led by Jimmy Tunny, Emergency Planning Manager with Bolton NHS Foundation Trust and Cath Nally from Bolton Council.

On arrival, we were split onto four tables named Fire, Police, Health or Local Authority. A competitive element was introduced with scores being allocated for various exercises during the day. Mark was in the Health group and David the Local Authority. Following an ice-breaker quiz, a series of interesting talks were delivered by speakers from each of the statutory agencies represented, identifying their varied responsibilities under the 2004 Civil Contingencies Act, and the Command and Control Structures which apply during a major incident. After a break, we learnt about evacuation procedures during a major incident and the capabilities of GMFRS for identifying and dealing with hazardous chemicals.

After lunch, a group exercise involving the making of a jigsaw brought out the competitive instincts in all the teams. This was followed by the more serious topic of terrorism, with an illuminating talk from Kitty Kaur from the GMP Counter Terrorism Unit and a film illustrating how to respond if you find yourself in an armed terrorist incident.

A Group Exercise re-ignited the competitive element, before an afternoon break. Unfortunately, Mike Dewar, a USAR and Fire Investigation Dog Handler with GMFRS, was unable to attend to deliver a planned talk after the break, but Mark and I are already familiar with his work.

The final presentation was on Recovery Management following a major incident, which can go on for many years.

The day finished with a quiz to test our learning from the day, with plenty of banter and friendly dispute. In the end, with all the points totalled up, only three points separated the four teams with the Police table (though multi-agency membership) wining by the narrowest of margins.

David and Mark would like to thank Jimmy Tunny of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust and Cath McNally of Bolton MBC for their hard work, as well as all the other speakers and facilitators. It was an informative and stimulating day, and encouraging to know that in the event of a major incident the agencies are well-prepared.”