What is an Emergency?
The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (CCA) defines an emergency as "an event or situation which threatens serious damage to human welfare in a place in the UK, the environment of a place in the UK, or war or terror which threatens serious damage to the security of the UK."
What is a 'Major Incident'?
The emergency services and emergency planning community use the term 'Major Incident' to describe an emergency that requires special arrangements to be made by one or more of the emergency services, and usually includes the involvement of large numbers of people (either directly or indirectly). Other agencies such as Local Authorities, the National Health Service of the Environment Agency, the Military or voluntary agencies may be involved in the response or recovery.
A major incident may require:
- The initial treatment, rescue and transportation of a large number of people.
- The involvement, either directly or indirectly, of large numbers of people.
- The handling of a large number of enquiries likely to be generated both from the public and the news media, usually made to the police.
- The need for large scale combined resources of the Police, Fire and Rescue Service and Ambulance Service.
- The mobilisation and organisation of the emergency services and partner organisations, for example, a Local Authority, to facilitate arrangements made necessary by the threat of death, serious injury or homelessness to a large number of people.
For specific health purposes, a major incident may be defined as: "any occurrence which presents a serious threat to the health of the community, disruption to the service, or causes (or is likely to cause) such members or types of casualties as to require special arrangements to be implemented by hospitals, ambulance services or health authorities."
What is the Emergency Planning Section?
The primary role of the Emergency Planning Section is to co-ordinate the statutory duties of the Council of the Isles of Scilly under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (CCA) and other related legislation. The CCA defines Local Authorities as Category 1 Responders. These duties are achieved in cooperation with the other designated Category 1 and 2 Responders on the islands and on the mainland (including the emergency services, facilities and transport service organisations, government departments and other local authorities) and all other organisations with responsibilities under the Act in relation to:
- Risk assessment.
- Planning for and responding to emergencies.
- Business Continuity Management (including promotion of general Business Continuity advice to local businesses and the voluntary sector).
- Warning and informing the public in the event of an emergency.
- Providing information to the local community about risk assessment processes and emergency plans.
The following responsibilities arise from these duties:
- Preparing and maintaining the Council of the Isles of Scilly Emergency Procedures Guide and the Business Continuity Plan.
- Preparing and maintaining any necessary local plans, including Isles of Scilly-specific sections of the Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Resilience Forum ( LRF) plans.
- Assisting in the development of multi-agency plans.
- Regularly liaising with the emergency 'blue lights' services and other Category 1 or 2 Responders and voluntary organisations, including: Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT), Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), Maritime Management Organisation (MMO), Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, Environment Agency, Met Office and Royal National Lifeboat Institution, among others.
- Training Council of the Isles of Scilly staff and the necessary voluntary organisations to assist in the event of a major incident. This includes training for the provision of humanitarian assistance during emergencies. We also arrange for Directors and Heads of Services to receive training in managing the Council's response to and recovery from an emergency.
- Planning and overseeing regular multi-agency exercises in order to verify the content of emergency plans and facilitate cooperation between agencies.
- Providing generalized advice to local businesses and voluntary organisations with regard to Business Continuity best practice.
- Co-ordinating the provision of emergency humanitarian assistance, if required.