Emergencies may be caused by extremes of nature, exotic diseases, acts of war or terrorism or failure of essential services or technology. The emergency may occur overseas but impact on the UK environment or affect UK residents or nationals living abroad and make it necessary for them to be evacuated to the UK.
Responsibilities of the Unit
- Provide support and an essential link with all category I and II responders including 'blue light' Services, the Local Authority Emergency Planning Officers, Manchester International Airport, City Airport Manchester (formerly Barton) and Woodford Aerodrome.
- Ensure the Fire and Rescue Authority complies with all legal requirements stated in the Civil Contingencies Act 2004.
- Production, exercising and amending off-site plans to ensure the Fire and Rescue Authority complies with;
- Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations (Amendment 2005) (COMAH)
- Pipelines Safety Regulations 1996 (PSR)
- Radiation Emergency Preparedness and Public Information Regulations 2001 (REPPIR).
- Review the Brigade's contingency planning process to ensure the accuracy and currency of Incident Response Plans.
- Continuous monitoring, reviewing and updating of operational procedures in relation to Conventional, Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CCBRN) Terrorism.
- Assist boroughs in the contingency planning and execution of high profile sporting events and festivals being conducted in Greater Manchester.
- Monitor, provide training and support the Brigade's Hazardous Materials & Environmental Protection Officers (HMEPO) and support to Control during complex incidents.
- Maintain relationships with the Technical Support Team in relation to the ongoing support to the Brigade for hazardous materials incidents.
- Provide training and support to the Brigade's HMEPO/DIM (Detection, Identification and Monitoring) Officers.
- Manage the implementation of New Dimension assets provided through Communities and Local Government (CLG).
- Monitor and provide support and training to the Brigade's Inter Agency Liasion Officers.
The Civil Contingency Act (CCA) 2004
The CCA was introduced following the events of the fuel crisis, the severe flooding in the autumn and winter of 2000, and the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in 2001.
The Act is separated into two substantive parts:
- Part 1: focuses on local arrangements for civil protection, establishing a statutory framework of roles and responsibilities for local responders which sets out the range of possible incidents for which local responders must prepare when fulfilling their civil protection duties.
- Part 2: focuses on emergency powers, establishing a modern framework for the use of special legislative measures that might be necessary to deal with the effects of the most serious emergencies. This part of the act sets out the situations in which it may be possible to use emergency powers if the appropriate safeguards are met.
The CCA places a duty on all responders (including non-blue lights) to plan, train and share information for risks within their area.
The Act is a piece of enabling legislation with supporting regulations and divides emergency responding organisations into two categories, Category 1 and Category 2. All Fire and Rescue Services have been placed into Cat. 1; this can be summarised as Cat. 1 Core Responders and Cat. 2 Co-operating Responders.