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February 2013

www.emergencyservicestimes.com

Volume 14 | 1


ESTCONTENTS | 1

IN EVERY ISSUE 25

79

21

Comment 5 News 6 Events 18 People 40 Profile 42 Company 22, 24, 71, 72 Profiles 74 Products Efficiency Savings 84

IN THIS ISSUE ESS2013

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Information regarding The Emergency Services Show 2013, which has moved to the NEC and takes place from 25-26 September. The show welcomed over 5200 visitors in 2012, an increase in attendance of 18 percent year on year. Currently shortlisted for Best Trade Show at this year’s Exhibition News Awards, organisers believe visitors to this year’s show will be delighted with the content and calibre of exhibitors, demonstrations and additional show features.

Thermal Imaging

45

Interoperability 42

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33

Following the launch of JESIP (the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme) at the National Interoperability Summit in November, JESIP Engagement Manager Joy Flanagan provides an update on the programme, while Fiona Barton QC believes JESIP provides the perfect platform for emergency services to adopt national frameworks.

Severe Weather

53

27

Used predominantly by the fire and rescue service, thermal imaging cameras (TICs) look set to play a major role in the future of policing. This feature takes a look at the current trend for supply partnerships, the highly sophisticated kit that is currently in the marketplace, plus an article from Mike O’Mahoney and Mick Cotgrave from Merseyside FRS and James Morton from Hampshire FRS discuss why TICs have become ‘a key element of a safe system of work’.

45

CFOA National Resilience lead Jon Hall provides answers as to how the UK would deal with a disaster on the scale of Hurricane Sandy, which devastated the east coast of the US last October. The Environment Agency looks at how flood risk management has progressed since the 1953 East Coast floods and the RNLI reflects on its busiest ever year.

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4 | ESTA-Z

Companies Company Name

Page No

AA SORT...................................................................70 Allbatteries UK Ltd .................................................25 Anoto..........................................................................14 Argo Vehicles Ltd.....................................................14 Arqiva.........................................................................14 Association of Air Ambulances...............................22 Association of Ambulance Chief Executives .........35 Association of Chief Police Officers .......................35 Avon Fire and Rescue Service...............................7, 8 Babcock International................................................7 Balcan Engineering ..................................................62 Bay Search & Rescue..................................................8 Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team...............................20 Bluelite Graphics Ltd.................................................7 Bristol Uniforms.................................................21, 80 British Red Cross..................................................8, 55 Broadwood International.........................................61

Company Name

Page No

Company Name

Page No

Company Name

Page No

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service.........................................6, 7, 40, 52

ISG Infrasys...............................................................24

Royal Life Saving Society UK ................................46

Isle of Wight NHS Trust ..........................................12

Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents........6

The Dog Unit..............................................................7

Jaguar .........................................................................21

RUD Chains Ltd.......................................................49

Dr Martens ................................................................81

Kent Fire and Rescue Service .................................14

Ruth Lee Ltd.............................................................82

Draeger Safety UK Ltd........................................6, 77

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service.......................41

Safequip .....................................................................49

e2v...............................................................................21

Land Rover................................................................21

Scott Safety..........................................................30, 81

East Midlands Ambulance Service.........................10

Leatherman ...............................................................80

Scottish Environmental Protection Agency..........57

East of England Ambulance Service...............6, 8, 40

Ledco Ltd..................................................................74

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service ........................7, 41

Emergency Services Research Unit........................71

Lincolnshire Police ....................................................6

Sniffer Dogs UK and International..........................6

The Emergency Services Show ..............................20

London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority ................................................7

South Central Ambulance Service..........................40

Environment Agency.................12, 29, 48, 49, 51, 57 Environmental Defence Systems Ltd ....................59 Evac+Chair International .......................................10 Excelerate Technology........................................21, 42 FCS.............................................................................14 The Fire Service College..........................................17 Fortek Computers.......................................................8

London Fire Brigade................................................35 London Resilience Forum.......................................35 London’s Air Ambulance ........................................40 Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service......41 Maritime and Coastguard Agency ..........................61 Mercedes-Benz UK ..................................................21 Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service.................10, 27

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.....................41 South Western Ambulance Service.....................8, 10 South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service........12, 40 SP Services...........................................................21, 62 Specialist Vehicle Trading........................................69 Staffordshire Police ..................................................40 Strathclyde Fire and Rescue....................................41 Suffolk Police ............................................................41

Frequentis..................................................................10

Met Office......................................................49, 51, 57

G4S ...............................................................................6

Metropolitan Police..............................................6, 41

Getac UK ...................................................................80

MFC Survival............................................................70

Gloucestershire Constabulary .................................40

Monitor........................................................................8

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service...............82

Multitone...................................................................12

Goliath Footwear Ltd...............................................10

National Flood Forum .............................................66

Great Western Ambulance Service ...........................8

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service ......................12, 61

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service........12

North East Ambulance Service.................................8

Greater Manchester Police.......................................41

North Fire PLC ..................................................21, 29

Thames Valley Police ...............................................41

Hampshire Constabulary.....................................7, 12

Northamptonshire Police ........................................40

Thomas Jacks Ltd.....................................................29

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.......................27

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service ............71

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service ..........12, 76

Health and Safety Executive....................................46

Nottinghamshire Police ...........................................10

UK Power Networks ................................................51

Health Protection Agency ...................................7, 41

PageOne Communications ................................14, 81

University of Derby Buxton....................................40

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service.......................................................30

Peli Products (UK) Ltd......................................69, 81

Vibram .......................................................................80

Perry McGee’s National Tracking School..............72

Victoria Country Fire Authority.............................42

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service ....................10, 82

Highways Agency .....................................................15

Physio Control ..........................................................21

Vimpex Limited........................................................24

Cumbria Constabulary .........................................6, 14

Home Office ................................................................6

Police Service of Northern Ireland.........................14

Wessex 4x4 Response................................................55

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service.............................8

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service.....................20

Primetech UK Ltd ...................................6, 14, 21, 82

West Midlands Ambulance Service..................10, 40

Cyalume Technologies..............................................79

Ikanos Consulting.....................................................80

Ramora UK .................................................................7

West Midlands Fire Service...........................8, 41, 84

Department for Transport........................................15

Independent Ambulance Association ....................40

Rescue 3 Europe........................................................66

West Midlands Police...............................................84

Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Northern Ireland ..................................................57

Institute of Civil Protection and Emergency Management .......................................6

Rigiflex Boats UK.....................................................70

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service..........12, 41

RNLI..............................................................10, 52, 61

West Yorkshire Police...............................................41

Devon and Cornwall Police .....................................46

Intergraph..................................................................10

Royal College of Nursing.........................................10

WL Gore & Associates.............................................81

Company Name

Company Name

Company Name

Bullard GmbH ..........................................................30 Cabinet Office ...........................................................42 Capita Plc.....................................................................8 CEGA Air Ambulance .............................................14 CFOA National Resilience ................................42, 61 CFOA Services Ltd ..................................................35 Chief Fire Officers’ Association..................35, 40, 61 Citroen .........................................................................8 Civil Contingencies Secretariat.........................35, 46 Cleveland Police..........................................................8 College of Emergency Medicine Scotland ...............6 College of Policing......................................................7 Constructing West Midlands...................................84 Cool Logistics............................................................14

Sunrise Software .........................................................8 Surrey Fire and Rescue Service...............................82 Tactical Ventilation Solutions Limited ..................25 Tayside Fire and Rescue.......................................7, 41 telent...........................................................................10 Tetra Tab ....................................................................10 Thames Ambulance Service ....................................40

Advertisers Company Name

Page No

Page No

Page No

Page No

AA SORT ..................................................................54

Getac UK Ltd ...........................................................73

Primetech UK Ltd .............................................15, 16

Tim Welsh Enterprises ............................................37

Argo Vehicles Ltd.....................................................58

Goliath Footwear Ltd (YDS Boots) .................17, 19

Rescue 3.....................................................................83

TOYOBO CO LTD..................................................63

Babcock International..............................................34

Haagen Fire Training Products ..............................68

Rigiflex Boats UK Ltd.............................................56

Balcan Engineering Ltd ..........................................47

ISG Infrasys.......................................................FC, 23

RSG Engineering Limited ......................................73

British APCO 2013...................................................64

Land Rover .............................................................2, 3

RUD Chains Ltd ......................................................50

University of Wolverhampton ................................83

British Red Cross......................................................58

Ledco Ltd..................................................................74

Ruth Lee Ltd ............................................................56

Vauxhall Special Vehicles ........................................13

Bullard GmbH..........................................................32

Life Connections 2013 ..........................................IBC

Safequip .....................................................................54

Vimpex Limited................................................FC, 23

Cyalume Technologies .............................................77

Lyon Equipment Limited .......................................28

Scott Safety................................................................31

Draeger Safety UK Ltd............................................11

MFC Survival Ltd....................................................54

SP Services (UK) Ltd..........................................OBC

Environmental Defence Systems Ltd....................44

MTF Training Consultants .....................................50

Specialist Vehicle Trading .......................................56

Excelerate Technology Ltd................................38, 39

North Fire PLC ........................................................26

Strongs Plastic Products..........................................60

The Fire Service College .........................................21

Peli Products (UK) Ltd ...........................................50

Tactical Ventilation Solutions Limited..................58

Workwear and Corporate Clothing Show..............78

GenQuip ....................................................................68

Pickup Systems Ltd .................................................67

Thomas Jacks Ltd ....................................................28

Zodiac Milpro UK.....................................................Ω

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University of Leicester.............................................79

VW Commercial ....................................................IFC World Congress of Disaster and Emergency Medicine .............................................9

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ESTCOMMENT | 5

ISSN 1472-1090 Date: February 2013

Editor: David J. Holden MEng(Hons) Twitter: @999editor davidholden@brodenmedia.com Advertisement Manager: David Brown davidbrown@brodenmedia.com Advertisement Sales: Carol Fox carolfox@brodenmedia.com Office & Events Manager: Lesley Stevenson lesleystevenson@brodenmedia.com Marketing Manager: Emma Nicholls emmanicholls@brodenmedia.com

Working together, saving lives Words: DCC Craig Denholm, Senior Responsible Officer for JESIP Thankfully, major and complex incidents do not happen very often. But when they do we need to ensure that we have the most efficient, effective and, most importantly, a joined-up response that is possible. How the emergency services operate together has come under some intense public scrutiny following the findings from a number of recent major incident reviews. The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games brought about a very high profile opportunity to test how they could better work together. All of the training, preparation and hard work paid off as the country staged an event, which provided one of the largest national security challenges the UK has seen for many years. The emergency services and other multi-agency partners put in a huge amount of hard work, dedication, time and attention, working in collaboration with resounding success.

Circulation: Christine Knoll admin@hpcpublishing.com

Joint Managing Directors: David Brown David Holden Published by

Robert Denholm House, Bletchingley Road Nutfield, Surrey RH1 4HW Tel: 01737 824010 Fax: 01737 824011 e-mail: davidbrown@brodenmedia.com www: brodenmedia.com Distribution: EMERGENCY SERVICES TIMES is free of charge to officers and managers who are buyers or specifiers actively involved in the procurement of equipment or services within the emergency response industry and based in the UK and Irish Republic. All other categories of reader are invited to subscribe at £130.00 to UK addresses and £165.00 overseas. Single copy price £25.00 including post and packing. The articles within Emergency Services Times are copyright and are the property of the publisher Broden Media Limited and cannot be reproduced in any media form without permission of the publisher. Application should be made in writing. Reprints of articles and advertisements are available, allow 28 days for delivery. PDF pages are available by email at £20.00 (+VAT) per page (€32.50, $33). Prices on application to the publisher. Printed by Manor Creative Tel: 01323 514400 Studio work by Keystrokes, Shoreham by Sea, West Sussex Tel: 01273 453300 keystrokes@btconnect.com

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“The most important task will, of course, be the delivery and implementation of guidance, training and exercising to ensure that interoperability is embedded within the Police, Fire and Rescue and Ambulance Services for years to come.” Ref: Letter from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP, The Rt Hon Francis Maude MP, The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Brandon Lewis MP to JESIP Strategic Leads 13 February 2013 In the summer of 2012 the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme (JESIP) was initiated. It is a programme that aims to collate best practice from current interoperability projects and collaborations taking place across the UK right now. It looks to ensure we can reflect and learn lessons from past incidents while finding ways to ensure our emergency services can operate better together when dealing with major or complex incidents. Sponsorship of the programme has come directly from the Home Office. It also has wider ministerial support and has full sign-up from the three professional associations. Ambitious programme With the programme team now in place, JESIP is set to embark on an ambitious programme of work over the next 20 months. It is without doubt, a very ambitious programme. Not least because of the different cultures that exist between and within the emergency services. Disparate governance models for each emergency service still exist and all this amidst some of the

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deepest public sector cuts the UK has ever seen. However, as the core values for all emergency services are to save lives and reduce injuries, it is widely accepted that it is imperative lessons must be learnt from past incidents and, where improvements are needed, we must act. JESIP is not about the merging or blending of emergency services. It will recognise and respect the differences of each emergency service and it will look to ensure that we do all we can to address the challenges that have been laid at our door. Some may have concerns about what can be delivered in such a short time and what the programme aims to deliver. Nevertheless, it has already been identified that in many instances, some of the very issues we are seeking to address nationally have already been solved at a local or regional level. This programme is about being clear in regard to the issues we need to solve. It is about harnessing the good work already taking place while breaking down any barriers preventing change that will ultimately achieve true interoperability. JESIP launch JESIP was launched at the first Interoperability Summit in November 2012, held in parallel to The Emergency Services Show 2012. For those who didn’t make the summit, you can read an overview of the programme, summarising the workstreams and what they will deliver as well as introducing the team, on page 35. We know there are many people and organisations that will be affected by the work of JESIP. We have had to move quickly and that may mean we have some catching up to do in terms of communicating and liaising with many of the programme’s stakeholders. We will be addressing this over the coming weeks and months with regular updates here in Emergency Services Times. We also aim to inform all stakeholders with information distributed via the professional bodies as well as through our own website. With only 20 months to go, the pressure is on and we aim to make every month count! www.jesip.org.uk

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Cumbria Constabulary’s Dog Section has received nine new Streamlight Stinger LED torches thanks to a kind donation from the charity Sniffer Dogs UK and International (SDUKI). The charity, which is the brainchild of Maggie Gwynne from Hampshire, in 2011 donated funding for a new police dog, Leo, for the force and he is now an integral part of the team. www.sduki.com www.cumbria.police.uk

Draeger Safety UK Ltd has received the first Home Office approval for a drug detection kit, which will be used by police forces across the UK. The Dräger DrugTest 5000 will be used in police stations to detect cannabis. A positive saliva test with the new device means officers will no longer have to call a doctor before asking for a blood sample if they suspect a driver of being on drugs. www.draeger.com

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has presented Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service with a Diamond award – the highest level in the accident prevention charity’s Quality Safety Audit (QSA) award scheme – after the service reduced the number of injuries to firefighters and other staff by nearly 40 percent in three years. An improvement programme launched on the back of recommendations by RoSPA led to staff injuries dropping from 216 during the 2009/10 to 136 in 2011/12 – a fall of 80 casualties (37 percent).

£50m investment in emergency medicine across Scotland Over £50m will be invested over the next three years to transform emergency and urgent health care services across Scotland. The plans will: change the way that people are seen when they are admitted to hospital to make sure that they are treated as fast as possible; look at how staff work so that people can leave hospital as soon as they are ready; and improve links with other areas of healthcare so that support is in place for people to be treated in the community if possible. With the investment, health boards will increase the number of frontline staff and introduce more flexible hours, develop projects that offer options to be treated at home and offer separate facilities for minor injuries beside or close to the Emergency Department. Health Secretary Alex Neil said, “We are seeing more people than ever before coming to hospital as emergency admissions due to the ageing population. We also know that the majority of people who go

to A&E don’t need to be there and could get more appropriate treatment somewhere else – such as a minor injuries clinic. “That’s why we have looked at the whole system and developed this action plan to improve how quickly people are seen in our hospitals, who treats them and how quickly we can get them back on their feet at home. “Emergency and urgent care is one of the great success stories of the NHS in Scotland, whether responding to the anxious concerns of parents about their child, looking after an elderly person who has had a fall, or dealing with a major traffic accident. We are making sure these services are fit for the future.” Dr Jason Long, Chair of the College of Emergency Medicine Scotland, said, “This is an important initiative that will improve emergency medicine across Scotland, and we welcome the opportunity to collaborate on this initiative.”

“We have a reputation for providing pioneering technology and COBRA is a natural addition for us. Fire services that are currently considering COBRA from an embedded operational perspective will be able to take advantage of our Evaluation and Training programme, which includes low risk access to a fully operational rapid response COBRA unit. “Our specialist understanding of this market, the relationships that we have built with our extensive client base stands testament to our consistently high standards of customer support and a confidence in our product offering.”

The London Assembly’s Budget and Performance Committee has launched a review of the Metropolitan Police’s technology strategy and how it can find technology savings of £42m in 2014-15 and £60m in 2015-16. This year, the Met plans to roll out almost 30,000 new mobile devices to officers across London. The committee will explore how the force plans to use the new equipment to cut the amount of time officers spend on paperwork and allow them to spend more time on the beat. It will also examine the Met’s plans to make significant savings by renegotiating or cancelling its ICT support contracts. The Met currently spends around £325m a year on technology, of which over a third is tied up in a deal with Capgemini that is due to end in 2015. John Biggs AM, Chair of the Budget and Performance Committee, said, “The Met is facing budget cuts of 20 percent over the next three years and it is inevitable that technology spending is going to feel the squeeze, but it is clearly also the case that judicious investment in technology could improve productivity and be an aid to change. “Whether it’s backroom ICT support or the use of innovative new devices like smartphones or fingerprint scanners, the Met will need to ensure that it’s getting the best value for money. “We all know that big IT projects often have a habit of getting out of control and falling victim to unforeseen glitches, compatibility problems and ballooning costs. Our review is all about ensuring that the Met avoids the pitfalls and gets the most out of the technology budget, because at the end of the day, better deals and smarter systems could mean a more efficient police force and more officers out on the streets.” The committee held the first of two public meetings in March to question academics and industry experts about best practice, including issues like major ICT contracts and the roll-out of smartphones and tablets. Representatives from the Metropolitan Police Service and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime will be questioned at a second meeting in June, following the publication of the Met’s technology strategy in the spring.

www.primetech.co.uk

www.met.police.uk

www.scotland.gov.uk

Cutting edge technology from Primetech aids rapid response

www.rospa.com

The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) has gained accreditation from the Institute of Civil Protection and Emergency Management (ICPEM) for its resilience training courses. The assessment process, which has taken place since November 2012, involved mapping all of the courses to the Skills for Justice standards and the new Department of Health EPRR standards. www.eastamb.nhs.uk

Following a rigorous review process the Police and Crime Commissioners and Chief Constables for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire have agreed not to proceed with further work exploring the Lincolnshire Police outsourcing framework, with G4S as the supplier, for the delivery of the three forces’ Organisational Support services. The decision was taken at a meeting held at Welwyn Garden City on 29 January. www.bedfordshire.pcc.police.uk

Technology expert, Primetech, is now an authorised supplier and installer of the innovative coldcut™ COBRA cutting extinguisher system, which is revolutionising the way that fires are tackled in more than 30 countries. Installed in all forms of fire response vehicles, from small vans to specially built rescue services trucks, COBRA offers a safer and faster means of putting out fires by firing a water jet through walls. Henry Walker, Director of Primetech, explains, “By installing COBRA into smaller and faster vehicles, we can provide our fire service clients with a unique extension to our rapid response technology offering.

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Met Police’s ICT strategy comes under review

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ESTNEWS | 7

Livery supplier wins environmental award West Sussex-based Bluelite Graphics Ltd has been awarded ISO 14001 certification following an assessment by independent assessors, QMS International plc. Bluelite joins an elite group of less than one percent of UK businesses that have achieved this certification, an award that is supported by the Government and recognised worldwide. Bluelite Graphics supplies high visibility livery and markings to the emergency services and has developed a reputation for quality, innovation and customer support. The company continuously invests in technology, operating the latest digital cutting and printing machinery from its modern, spacious facility. Lorraine Avery, General Manager of Bluelite Graphics, said, “I’m delighted

Fire and rescue services explore collaboration In response to the challenges faced by reduced budgets, Avon Fire and Rescue Service and Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service have begun talks to see if there are ways they can work together. Councillor Terry Walker, Chair of Avon Fire and Rescue Service, was keen to point out that these talks are at their earliest stages. He said, “During these challenging times we cannot rule out new ways of working to help meet our reduced budgets, whilst aiming to maintain the much valued service we provide to the public. Our initial talks with Devon and Somerset will look into how we work together.” The initial talks will look to explore all ways of working from potentially sharing supporting functions to the possibility of a full merger. Councillor Mark Healey, Chairman of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority, was keen to stress that any developments considered would need to have tangible benefits for local people. He said, “Working with Avon Fire and Rescue Service could provide real opportunities for improving public safety. We recognise that the fire and rescue service has to change and, like others, face an uncertain financial future. The Government direction is clear and our times of austerity are not behind us. Working with another fire and rescue service may help reduce our costs, whilst continuing our aim to improve or maintain public safety.” www.dsfire.gov.uk

Bomb disposal expert Ramora UK has formed a strategic partnership with dog search company The Dog Unit, to provide its clients with a ‘complete package’ of specialist services alongside its emergency response capability. The Dog Unit also provides specialist training and highly experienced instructors, accredited by the National Association of Security Dog Users. www.ramorauk.com www.thedogunit.com

that we have achieved this award, which will sit comfortably alongside our existing ISO 9001 and BS 8555 accreditations – it further confirms that our service really is quality assured and meets rigorous environmental standards. We are proud of the service we offer our clients and the

way that we conduct our business in an environmentally friendly manner; with the award of ISO 14001 certification, this has been confirmed by outside experts who are used to judging standards on a daily basis in a wide variety of trades and industries.” www.bluelite.co.uk

College of Policing open and ready for business As the first national body to focus solely on strengthening professionalism in the police service, the College of Policing, which opened its doors on 4 February, will be an inclusive organisation and its membership will include all police officers, staff, specials and volunteers. Chief Constable Alex Marshall, formerly of Hampshire Constabulary, is the new Chief Executive of the college. He said, “On behalf of the public and the profession we will set and maintain the highest professional standards. The police hold intrusive powers to allow them to protect the public. The public expect such powers to be used wisely and proportionately by people who are skilled professionals with high levels of integrity. “Our mission is to ensure that everything we do equips everyone in policing with the right tools, skills and knowledge to reduce crime and protect the public. “We will work closely with police forces and universities to ensure that all forces and Police and Crime Commissioners have access to the best evidence available for effective interventions, and that we remove unnecessary bureaucracy. We will work to find the best ways to deliver policing in an age of austerity and support the development of an evidence-based profession. “Today is just the start of the journey for the college. We are now starting a transformation programme, which will be driven by our members to ensure that our work can best

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The ‘Case studies, Exercises, LEarning, Surveys and Training across Europe (CELESTE)’ consortium, led by the Health Protection Agency (HPA), has been awarded the Multiple Framework Contract for ‘Scripting, planning, conduction and evaluation of exercises, training and assessment implementing the draft Decision on cross-border threats to health’. The contract, which is signed between the HPA and the European Executive Agency for Health and Consumers (acting under the mandate given by the European Commission (Directorate – General for Health and Consumers, DG SANCO)), is for three years, with one possible extension for one more year, up to the maximum duration of four years and is worth a maximum of €6m for the whole duration (including the possible extension). www.hpa.org.uk

Policing Minister Damian Green.

serve the needs of the public and all in the policing service.” Welcoming the launch, Policing Minister Damian Green said, “The College of Policing will help forge a force fit for the 21st Century, setting and maintaining new standards that will build on the professionalism of police officers, ensuring they remain among the best in the world. “Under the strong leadership of Alex Marshall, it will promote the highest standards of integrity and ethics so important to public trust. “Crucially it will be independent of government, with officers from all ranks having a direct say in their training and development.” www.college.police.uk

A £2m training facility has opened at Kingsway East Fire Station in Dundee that will allow firefighters across Tayside to train for a number of incident types. The new facility will allow the firefighters based at the station to train for a number of different scenarios without the need to travel large distances to find suitable locations. The centre will also form part of the national approach to rope rescue training, along with two other locations in Scotland, when the Scottish Fire and Rescue Services merge in April 2013. The new building also provides improved accommodation for the station personnel. www.taysidefire.gov.uk

Babcock International Group has been awarded a contract with London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) to manage and maintain their fleet of over 500 vehicles and 50,000 pieces of equipment, located across its 113 stations. The contract, which commenced in November 2012, will run over an 18-month interim period during which LFEPA will be running a full competition for the services. www.london-fire.gov.uk www.babcockinternational.com

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8 | ESTNEWS

Monitor, the regulator of NHS foundation trusts, has authorised West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) to become an NHS Foundation Trust. The trust is the fifth ambulance service (of 11) to achieve NHS Foundation Trust status and becomes the 145th NHS Foundation Trust of all types (acute, mental health, ambulance, community).

Workforce management system enhances operational efficiency

www.wmas.nhs.uk

As part of a 12-month trial, Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AF&RS) staff are using two Citroen C Zero electric cars in a bid by the service to become greener and cleaner. Two charging points have been installed at the front of the AF&RS headquarters in Bristol. Last year AF&RS became one of nine local organisations to win a 2012 West of England Carbon Champions Award. The service was singled out for its site energy metering, boiler replacement, improved heating controls and pool car system. The service has also been looking at how to reduce the movement and impact of fire appliances, which are the heaviest fuel consumers. www.avonfire.gov.uk

Two rescue services have joined forces to provide additional water, wildfire and cold weather emergency capability. Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service and Bay Search & Rescue have teamed up to base a tracked Hagglund BV206 all-terrain vehicle at Cumbria’s new fire headquarters in Penrith. The Hagglund can be used to carry out rescues and transport up to 18 personnel or six plus two tonnes of equipment in different weather conditions and on a variety of surfaces, such as ice, mud, snow and water. www.baysearchandrescue.org.uk

UK-headquartered service management company Sunrise Software has announced that Fortek Computers, part of Capita Plc, has selected its Sostenuto Service Desk software. Capita Fortek is using the software for first and second line support, managing calls from customers, all of whom rely upon its software to provide the most appropriate and fastest response to emergency calls. Since implementing Sostenuto, the division has seen improved administration efficiencies and productivity by automating manual processes, as well as improving customer service through a new customer service portal. www.sunrisesoftware.co.uk www.fortek.co.uk www.capita.co.uk

The North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) has awarded Sinclair Voicenet a major contract to supply and install a NICE IEX Workforce Management system. The new solution will be deployed at three contact centres across the North East of England where 300 agents handle over 1.5 million calls every year. It will allow real-time scheduling of staff and resources to reduce the reliance on overtime working and enhance the

operational efficiency of the service. Tom Howard, Head of Contact Centres for NEAS, said, “The NICE system will automate existing spreadsheet-based planning processes within the contact centre and replace the GRS (Global Rostering System) tool traditionally utilised by ambulance services. This will deliver significant cost savings, allowing us to make further investments in future strategies.” NEAS is known as being one of the most innovative ambulance services and played a leading role in the development and piloting of the NHS 111 non-emergency number service. It has recently won a £45m contract to roll out this service across the North East.

www.cleveland.police.uk

Single service for south west

made up of specifically trained personnel to deal with specialist functions and logistical needs at major, mass or catastrophic incidents. The main functions of the team are to respond at short or timely notice, to deliver vehicles to site of any incident, to deliver specialist equipment to site of any incident, and to set up and operate the equipment.” Robert added, “This joint working initiative greatly assists the SORT response, and gives both parties the opportunity to broaden their experience of multi-agency working and to gain a greater understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities. We believe this is a first of its kind project and following the pilot training course, hope to role this out to other voluntary agencies and potentially offer it nationwide.” www.eastamb.nhs.uk

www.gwas.nhs.uk

British Red Cross SORT deal with East of England Ambulance Service

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Cleveland Police is changing the way it operates to accommodate financial cuts to the force, which will have 300 fewer police officers by 2014. The force’s new structure will comprise four functional commands: Neighbourhood Policing (dedicated to geographic-based policing and led by Chief Superintendent Gordon Lang); Crime and Justice (investigating major crime, protecting vulnerable people, investigating serious and organised crime and dealing with criminal justice matters, led by Chief Superintendent Darren Best); Operations (delivering response policing (incident resolution teams), roads policing and specialist support for example armed officers and dog units, led by T/Chief Superintendent Glenn Gudgeon); and Tasking and Coordination (coordinating all force resources to ensure efficient and effective deployment, led by Chief Superintendent Ciaron Irvine). There will be a phased implementation of the model, which is due to be completed by March 2014.

Following its acquisition of neighbouring Great Western Ambulance Service (GWAS), the enlarged South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) came into existence on 1 February. The new single ambulance service serving the entire south-west of England will deliver emergency care to more than 2000 patients a day. In addition to Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, the area covered by SWASFT now includes Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and the former Avon. Ken Wenman, Chief Executive of SWASFT, said, “With a larger workforce, we have greater resilience and flexibility to meet the challenges in healthcare in the months and years ahead. Also, we are better able to invest in cutting-edge treatment and research, and to continue to train our staff to better care for patients in the out-ofhospital environment. With an annual turnover of £210m, we can benefit from greater economies of scale to obtain better value in buying medical equipment and emergency vehicles.”

www.sinclairvoicenet.co.uk

The British Red Cross has formed a unique partnership with their colleagues from The East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST). At a special presentation evening held at the trust’s Melbourn Ambulance Station in Cambridgeshire, both agencies signed the official agreement in this first of its kind initiative in the country. The partnership will see the British Red Cross provide a trained SORT team (Special Operations Response Team) which can be called upon in times of major emergencies, such as a chemical or hazardous contamination incident, to support the ambulance service at the scene. Robert Flute, East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) Head of Resilience and Special Operations, said, “EEAST has established a Special Operations Response Team (SORT)

Cleveland Police unveils new structure

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Birmingham-based Evac+Chair International, has become the main UK distributor for CardiAid Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs). The life-saving device, manufactured in the Netherlands, is designed specifically for public access use to provide essential electroshock treatment and first aid in the event of an emergency. The AED provides comprehensive assistance by talking the user through the life-saving actions needed in an easy, step-bystep manner, helping to improve the overall chances of survival and recovery. www.evacchair.co.uk

telent, Intergraph and Frequentis have announced a partnership that provides a comprehensive mobilising solution for the UK fire market. By offering a standardised, coordinated framework for products, implementation and services, the partnership aims to lower risk, compress project schedules and offer better value for fire customers. The partnership will draw on best-inclass technology and extensive market experience, and carry forward insight gained during the development of FiReControl. www.telent.com www.intergraph.co.uk www.frequentis.com

A Joint Learning Agreement has been signed between East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS), Unison, GMB and Royal College of Nursing (RCN) to support staff with their continued learning and development. The agreement outlines the joint commitment to work together to help source and signpost members to learning opportunities of interest and relevance to them, including work or personal interests to help frontline crews in their day-to-day experience while also aid towards a better patient experience. www.emas.nhs.uk

West Midlands Ambulance Service has been awarded the Patient Transport Service (PTS) contract for Black Country Partnership Foundation Trust (BCPFT). PTS staff will carry out approximately 17,000 non-emergency journeys per year helping patients in the Black Country (Sandwell, Dudley, Walsall, Wolverhampton) and South Staffordshire get to their appointments. A number of staff from Arriva, the former PTS provider for the area, will be transferring to work for WMAS ensuring a smooth transition of services. www.wmas.nhs.uk

Regional fire boot Fire and ambulance services deal for YDS team up in Cornwall Goliath Footwear Ltd has been awarded a framework contract by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service on behalf of North West Fire and Rescue Services to supply YDS CROSSTECH® Fire boots. YDS is Europe’s largest manufacturer of police and military footwear and owns Goliath Footwear in the UK. The framework agreement, worth around £620,000, will make YDS leather firefighter boots available to fire and rescue services in the region, such as Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cumbria, Cheshire, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Services and Liverpool Airport fire crews.

Pluto CROSSTECH® fire boot.

The region has selected the ‘Pluto’ fire boot, which features a dual density injected rubber sole technology. Thousands of YDS Pluto fire boots are being stocked in the Goliath Footwear distribution centre in West Yorkshire ready to service the North West region for the duration of the threeyear (plus one optional year) contract. www.ydsboots.com

Ambulances as well as fire appliances will soon be dispatched from Callington Community Fire Station, following a partnership between Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) and South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWAST). With the nearest ambulance stations at Liskeard and Saltash, SWAST were looking for a permanent base for ambulance crews covering the Callington area and approached the fire and rescue service about using its facilities. Recognising the benefits to the local community, CFRS were

happy to help. “Joint working in this way improves the service we provide by linking resources to risk and delivers efficiencies whilst maintaining and improving frontline services,” said Paul Walker, Deputy Chief Fire Officer of Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service. “This partnership really supports our service mission of ‘Working together to make Cornwall safer’ and provides an opportunity for shared training and effective use of community facilities.” www.cornwall.gov.uk

Notts Police to fully mobilise response fleet Nottinghamshire is to become the first police force in the midlands and one of the first nationally to fully mobilise response officers by installing portable computers in vehicles. TetraTab in-car laptops will be fitted to the dashboards of every Nottinghamshire Police response car to provide officers with the same computer access as in an office. Each device will have full Wi-Fi connection and will provide access to all force systems and network drives allowing officers to complete administrative tasks from their vehicles rather than returning to the station. Assistant Chief Constable Sue Fish, who is leading the project, said, “The

better equipped we can make our officers whilst out on patrol in the community, the better service they will be able to provide to the public. The TetraTab provides them with a portable office in their vehicle, which will mean faster and more efficient investigations and enquiries at the scenes of incidents.” Building on the benefits of the BlackBerry, the in-car systems will allow officers access to additional force intelligence systems such as Footwear Intel and Red Card. This will reduce dependency on the control room, freeing up their time to deal with emergency calls. www.nottinghamshire.police.uk

RNLI gets go ahead to build all-weather lifeboats The RNLI received planning permission in January from the Borough of Poole allowing the charity to build a facility at its Poole headquarters in Dorset to bring all-weather lifeboat production in-house. This secures the future of allweather lifeboat production and maintenance for the lifePhoto: RNLI saving charity. An All-weather Lifeboat Centre, to be built on land already owned The RNLI successfully produces by the RNLI, will save millions of inshore lifeboats at the charity’s pounds each year, as well as create Inshore Lifeboat Centre on the Isle of 90 new jobs in Poole. The project is Wight; this operation will continue. estimated to cost £11.2m but, once Additionally the RNLI already designs up and running, will save the charity its own all-weather lifeboats; produces £3.7m every year. Taking into account the hulls in-house; and successfully the timeline towards full production operates an all-weather lifeboat mainand maintenance, the centre is expect- tenance centre at RNLI HQ. This ed to pay for itself in less than 10 project is a logical next step for the years. charity.

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RNLI Chief Executive Paul Boissier said, “Our vision is to develop a British centre of engineering excellence in Poole. The new centre will revolutionise our lifeboat construction and maintenance programme, bringing every stage of the production process under one roof. This will ensure we are fully equipped to build the new generation of 25-knot lifeboats allowing our crews to continue to save lives for many years to come.” The All-weather Lifeboat Centre will see its first phase of operations, including all-weather lifeboat refit and overhaul, beginning by Spring 2014; and all-weather lifeboat hull and deck moulding moving across from RNLI SAR Composites in Lymington by 2019. www.dcci.co.uk

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South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire fire and rescue authorities have selected Systel as the preferred supplier of their new command and control system. The £3m contract is part of a major collaboration between the two authorities, which is mostly funded by a Government grant. The new contract will provide the two authorities with ongoing service and maintenance savings of £400,000 per year in total. The new equipment to receive 999 calls and mobilise emergency vehicles will be fully operational in 2014.

Pager system upgrade for Norfolk’s retained fire crews

www.systel-fr.com www.syfire.gov.uk www.westyorksfire.gov.uk

A Technical Response Unit (TRU) is being created to provide enhanced skills during emergency incidents in Greater Manchester. Changing risks in society mean that Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is being used to deal with more bariatric rescues, terrorist threats, rescues from height, collapsed building search and rescue operations, body recovery and trench rescue than ever before. While GMFRS has always had specialist equipment, existing capabilities have limitations. The TRU will provide specialist response while still being available for life-risk incidents, including fire and road traffic collisions. The new unit is scheduled to be operational before the end of March 2014. www.manchesterfire.gov.uk

Hampshire Constabulary and the Isle of Wight NHS Trust are working more closely together to manage incidents involving vulnerable members of the public who may require specialist support or where there are concerns for their safety. The aim of the six-month pilot scheme, called Operation Serenity, is to provide adequate and accurate response to persons in crisis and reduce the time spent dealing with incidents by supplying a better initial diagnosis. It also offers both officers and NHS staff the opportunity to benefit from cross over training, spotting early warning signs and to develop an understanding of the challenges faced by each agency. www.hampshire.police.uk

Broden Media, publisher of Emergency Services Times magazine and organiser of The Emergency Services Show, has been shortlisted for Best Trade Show at this year’s Exhibition News Awards. The winner will be announced at a ceremony at Lancaster London on 10 April. www.exhibitionnews.co.uk/enawards

Communication with retained crews is an essential facet of Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service’s ability to handle emergency situations. Having previously used the same pager system for 20 years, Norfolk FRS was looking to replace the systems at each station with a modern, highly adaptive and equally reliable replacement that would be easy for users to adopt. Having already successfully relied upon Multitone systems for the retained firefighter notification facility, and with an excellent tender bid, Norfolk FRS contacted the company to specify and design a replacement for the previous system. Peter Eborall, Account Manager at Multitone, said, “Multitone’s pager system had proven

its worth over 20 years of reliable service but Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service was ready to upgrade to the latest version of our Alerter system. We have had a strong, ongoing relationship with the service so already had an excellent working knowledge of its challenges and communications needs, which meant we were ideally placed to work with them to design and install a replacement.” Helen Lambard, of the ICT Projects team at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said, “The solution is important for the retained crews, as they rely upon it to summon them to a job. Initially our key criteria were the quality of the system, maintenance and support provision.

“However once we looked closer, the whole-of-life costs and affordability of the products and services, as well as the ability to meet timescales with project support and planning, were also key considerations. “Working with a familiar product meant minimum training was required for the station crews and the ability to continue business as usual quickly was very welcome. There was a very low level of disruption, which is highly important for an organisation that deals with critical situations. The comments from users were also very positive – there was a great appreciation for the smooth changeover and minimal upheaval for the staff involved.” www.multitone.com

Partnership supports fire and rescue service response Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) has taken delivery of new equipment to support its response to environmental incidents – thanks to a partnership with the Environment Agency. The agency has funded a range of specialist equipment, which will be carried on the fire and rescue service’s specialist Hazmat unit. The new equipment will enhance the service’s ability to respond to a variety of environmental and hazardous incidents, which include flooding, oil and chemical spillages, reducing the potential impact on the environment. The investment complements TWFRS’s existing equipment used in response to environmental incidents, including a High Volume Pump (HVP), which is available for local and national use to improve the fire and rescue services’ ability to respond to large scale emergencies such as flooding. Environment Agency Area Manager,

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Watch Manager John Murray, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, with Julie Brooker from the Environment Agency.

Ian Hodge, said, “All fire and rescue service vehicles already carry an environmental pack supplied by the Environment Agency to help prevent the spread of a chemical or oil spill. Hazmat vehicles are the next step in helping us to reduce the impact of an environmental incident. The fire ser

vice is often the first emergency service to arrive at an incident and, by working in partnership, this new vehicle means that the environment will be better protected when pollution incidents happen.” www.twfire.org

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The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is now using Anoto digital pen technology to record witness statements. The deployment sees 4000 front line police and Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officers being equipped with the technology, with witness statements being automatically uploaded to the Niche records management system as soon as they are written. The digital pen and paper deployment, has been so popular within the PSNI that it has also been deployed to the Crime Scene Investigation teams to assist in collecting and recording evidence from crime scenes, and to the Major Incidents Teams to record property and exhibits that may be used as evidence in court. Additionally, the PSNI is currently considering the roll out of the Anoto digital pen and paper technology for other applications such as missing persons, road traffic accidents and domestic incidents, to enable quicker access to accurate information. www.anoto.com www.inphoactive.com www.DevelopIQ.com

National awarding organisation NCFE has joined forces with Cumbria Constabulary to offer a Level 4 Certificate in Civil Contingencies – a qualification which enables staff to develop and maintain emergency plans so that if a major incident occurs in the county, the people of Cumbria are protected and essential services are restored as quickly as possible. Cumbria’s police service has partnered with a range of relevant organisations in the delivery of the certificate including the Environment Agency, county and borough councils, United Utilities, fire and rescue, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the Health Protection Agency. www.ncfe.org.uk

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) has rolled-out PageOne Communications’ Responder Smartphone App for BlackBerry, as part of a major upgrade of its emergency response facilities. Utilising the app, Directors and Managers no longer have to carry around two devices and are assigned to SmartGroups based on the emergencies to which they are qualified to respond. Once a message is initiated, the administrative staff at BHRUT can see at a glance whether the message has been delivered, read, how the message recipient has responded and their location. See page 81 for more details on the Responder app. www.pageone.co.uk

Ground-breaking fire gear goes on the run across Kent

Innovative fire fighting equipment is being rolled out across Kent – from all terrain vehicles to specialist technology that can cut through concrete and rapidly reduce the temperature of building fires. This roll-out is the next phase of a major project to ensure that Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) is ready to meet the future needs of the county. The new kit means there is more flexibility, certain incidents can be reached faster and tackled more quickly, and savings can be made by not always having to use a traditional fire appliance for every job.

The new equipment includes the COBRA fire fighting system, which uses a hand held lance that bores aggregate to punch a small hole through a roof or wall (for more information see page 6); and Argo all terrain eight-wheeled vehicles, which can get firefighters and equipment to remote areas such as woods and moorlands that would be impossible for a traditional heavy fire engine to reach. Steve Demetriou, KFRS Director of Operational Policy and Resilience, said, “We have traditionally had a ‘one size fits all’ model and used traditional

fire engines for every type of incident, but technology and fire fighting has moved on. So it makes sense to take advantage of new technology that means we can reach and tackle certain types of incident quicker and at the same time, save money. However we will always need traditional fire engines and, in fact, we are investing by buying new models to replace existing engines that have reached the end of their useful life.” The all terrain vehicles – being trialled at Dartford and Herne Bay – will be used to fight countryside fires, but can also be equipped with a plough and tracks for use during periods of severe weather. These have been complemented in recent weeks by two new 4x4 vehicles equipped with fire fogging units – a highpowered hose that can reach inaccessible areas and fight woodland and grassland fires far quicker than a traditional appliance. The COBRA fire fighting system has already been trialled on an appliance in Margate and has been used on seven occasions since the end of August last year. The system will now be used on appliances in Dartford, Thames-side, Maidstone, Medway and Canterbury. www.kent.fire-uk.org

Partnership pioneers ‘fast-track’ Air ambulance invests in blood training for vehicle installers FCS and Arqiva are pioneering a new specifically run for Arqiva staff, shows storage system learning and development pro- the companies commitment to the gramme, which shrinks six months’ vehicle installer training into two days. The move means experienced installers can complete all the training for FITAS accreditation for installing radio-frequency equipment in vehicles (to FCS1362) by spending two days in the classroom. Up until now, the only available option has been six months or more of private coursebook study and distance-learning. During the course, delegates revise their knowledge of vehicle electronics, demonstrate in-depth understanding of the realities of installing RF kit in vehicles and complete two papers from the Mobile Electronics and Security Federation under examination conditions. To complete their accreditation, a separate audit is carried out on their practical skills in a live installation. Paul Howard, Arqiva’s Service Delivery Manager for Vehicle Solutions, said, “For too long the industry has been self governing in its approach to vehicle installations. This course,

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industry and also its own staff, by ensuring that our installers are at the forefront of training and accreditation only enhances the heritage and pedigree of the Arqiva vehicle installation team.” The new course is the result of Arqiva’s input into a roots-up review of the FITAS accreditation scheme, undertaken by FCS in 2012. “Arqiva is proud to work alongside the FCS for the development of the FITAS 2 day scheme and is looking forward to the forthcoming specialised enhancements to the qualifications such as ‘Blue Light’,” continued Paul. “I am proud to say that this course is a major achievement in being solely run for Arqiva and it shows our commitment to maintaining standards and our obligation and dedication to our many emergency service customers that we take the installations that we complete in there vehicles with the upmost professionalism.” www.arqiva.com

CEGA Air Ambulance has invested in a bespoke blood storage system. CEGA’s use of Cool Logistics’ thermal carrier units for the transport of blood and blood products allows its air ambulance crews to store and transport blood at a stable temperature for up to 144 hours, and, if necessary, to give patients mid-flight blood transfusions – wherever they are in the world. “CEGA is one of the first fixed wing air ambulance providers to use these thermal carrier units; extending our critical care transfer service to patients who would in the past have had to break their flight if they needed a blood transfusion or not have been able to fly at all,” says Dr Tim Hammond, CEGA’s Chief Medical Officer. “Having access to an in-flight blood bank will allow us to carry out potentially life-saving action on the longest of flights and in the most remote of locations; enhancing our seamless aero-medical care.” www.cegagroup.com

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Benefits of motorway reopening initiative CLEAR to see Motorists and the economy are seeing huge benefits from a government-led initiative to reopen motorways and roads quickly following major incidents. The ‘CLEAR’ (collision, lead, evaluate, act and reopen) initiative, launched by the Department for Transport (DfT) in 2011, is helping to save the economy millions of pounds annually. Initiatives under the CLEAR banner include: DfT/police-funded 3D laser scanners, which allow police forces to capture evidence quickly following collisions; the launch of a new hands-free smart phone app that notifies users of incident congestion; plus VOSA and the Highways Agency signing a memorandum of understanding to facilitate data sharing about heavy goods vehicles – studies have shown this type of vehicle is involved in a high proportion of the longest incidents. The CLEAR initiative will also see the reinstatement of the Highways Agency’s incident screen service. When an incident occurs on one side of the carriageway, it can directly impact driver behaviour on the opposite carriageway, which will often affect both the speed of vehicles and their rate of flow. As a result, ‘rubbernecking’ has now become one of the primary causes of incidentrelated congestion. Seeking to overcome the issue of rubbernecking,

incident screens were trialled and developed to prevent road users from observing the incident and post-incident activities on the affected carriageway. The aim is that if the scene is not visible to passing traffic it would prevent drivers from rubbernecking.

Most cost effective option The Highways Agency’s incident screens service was initially set up in 2010 when 105 incident screen units were purchased from Dutch incident management specialists Wilchem BV. The screens were used successfully on the Highways Agency’s road network during 2010 and 2011; however, following the Government’s 2010 spending review it became clear that the cost of deployment of incident screens by the Agency’s contractors was no longer affordable. Since their withdrawal the Highways Agency has investigated alternative deployment options that would provide better value for money and has concluded that the most cost

effective option is for its own traffic officers to deploy and install them. An incident screen ‘unit’ consists of 30 green coloured panels 2.1m high by 2.5m long, which fit into metal support bases. Each unit includes a specially adapted trailer, designed for safe deployment. Each incident screen unit has enough panels to screen a 75m-length. Additional units can be added to screen larger scenes. They can also be used to screen off small scenes. The incident screens are ‘free-standing’, this means that they are able to be installed anywhere on the road as long as the surface is level and it is possible to deploy the incident screen while maintaining a safety zone between the incident screen and live traffic lanes. The types of incidents that you are likely to see them used at will include those that will be in situ for durations longer than six hours, incidents where vehicles flows are expected to be relatively high and where the police, ambulance and fire and rescue services have confirmed acceptance of their use. The Highways Agency is currently developing procedures and training for their traffic officers ready for the new service to commence later this year. www.highways.gov.uk

Contact Lesley Wardle COBRA Development Manager Email: Lesley@primetech.co.uk – tel: 07880 200 126

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College introduces purpose-built train derailment scenario The Fire Service College (FSC), a world leader in fire and emergency response training, has announced the introduction of a new train derailment scenario as an extension to its major rail incident ground training facility. Located at the FSC’s unique 360-acre site at Moreton in Marsh, the new derailment facility is considered to be one of the largest fire and rescue service rail training venues of its kind in the world. With over 300m of single and double rail track and a large collection of varied rolling stock, the venue boasts a broad range of facilities enabling the FSC to create progressive multi scenario-based exercises that can be tailored to individual customer requirements. Exercise together Designed with specialist rail and engineering input, the new scenario replicates a typical section of railway, together with a complex range of rail features, enabling fire and emergency responders to exercise together in a safe, realistic and challenging environment.

This new derailment scenario complements the FSC’s existing multi-scenario capabilities. The realism and flexibility provided by the newly built railway has already received excellent feedback from fire, rescue and ambulance personnel following recent exercises. The rail scenario will form an integral module of many of the FSC’s portfolio of training, including Heavy Vehicle Rescue, Incident Command and Hazmat courses. The FSC can facilitate any type of exercise up to Major Incident level, including 24/7 continuous working. Command functions at bronze, silver and gold levels can also be tested at any of the FSC’s extensive range of emergency response training rigs.

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Realistic and challenging Mike McCarthy, a leading FSC multi-agency Instructor, said, “Having attended a wide range of training establishments in the UK, Europe and America the new FSC rail scenario is one of the most realistic and challenging training set-ups I have seen and exercised on.”

The rail scenario includes:

www.fireservicecollege.ac.uk

• Spectacular ‘Potters Bar station’ style derailment scenario ‘mounted’ on to a passenger platform enabling multi-discipline multi-rescue incidents

For more information about the new rail training facility, to arrange a visit to the college or to discuss other emergency response training please contact: sales@fireservicecollege.ac.uk ©Crown copyright 2013, The Fire Service College

• Modern high-speed train and passenger carriages

• Large collection of varied rolling stock, including overturned tanker for Hazmat exercise scenarios • Simulated section of 25,000V overhead line equipment and a section of electrified third rail track, adding realism and hazard awareness • Extensive length of cutting/embankment, providing realistic and demanding access, evacuation and extrication issues • Level crossing and separate farm ‘gated’ crossing for simulated RTC/LGV road rail incidents.

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Dates for your diary APRIL

16-18 April Technical Rescue Conference | Cardiff

29-30 April British APCO | Manchester Central

www.rescue3europe.com

16-17 April Workwear & Corporate Clothing Silverstone, Northamptonshire

www.workwearshow.com

24-25 April Counter Terror Expo | Olympia, London

The British APCO 2013 annual exhibition and professional development workshops is the leading European multi-agency forum for all those working within public safety communications. B-APCO 2013 brings a fresh new agenda focusing on smarter partnerships between forces, and building upon a broader relationship between the emergency services, civil contingency responders, local authorities, utilities, the National Grid, Nuclear Power and oil and gas producers. New, also this year are the free-to-attend workshops that will run alongside the two-day exhibition and act as an interactive learning environment, complementing the technology showcased on the exhibition floor. Topics being covered include: Future user communication requirements for the emergency services; Convergence of Emergency Control Plans; Mobile data in vehicles; Incident Data Transfer Standard workshop (follow on from DEIT); G-Cloud. These sessions are a platform for learning, discussion and debate with industry colleagues. www.bapco.co.uk

30 April The Public Sector Show Business Design Centre, London www.publicsectorshow.co.uk

www.counterterrorexpo.com

MAY

14-16 May Safety and Health Expo | The NEC, Birmingham www.safety-health-expo.co.uk

16-17 May Life Connections | Kettering Conference Centre, Northamptonshire

28-31 May World Congress on Disaster and Emergency Medicine | Manchester Central

With delegate rates again starting from just ÂŁ30, organisers at Life Connections believe this unique multi-conference event will attract even greater numbers in 2013, many of which will be returning for the fifth successive year! Six individual conferences will include speaker presentations created for the benefit of paramedics, first responders or anyone involved with resuscitation, first aid, emergency planning, rescue and recovery, BASICS or the private ambulance sector. The majority of these conferences provide CPD accreditation. In addition, the event will host three individual study days on behalf of EXMED, Outreach Rescue and BASICS, which will also be of interest to those involved with pre-hospital care, rescue and recovery. Over 60 exhibitors will also be present during the event displaying a wide range of equipment and supplies.

The 18th World Congress on Disaster & Emergency Medicine (WCDEM 2013) will look to improve the scientific basis for disaster and emergency health practice and to translate scientific evidence into improved practice and outcomes; aims to help protect communities, save lives, improve recovery and encourage the development of more disaster resilient communities. More than 800 delegates from around the world are expected to attend, including emergency care professionals involved in: anesthesiology, emergency medicine, surgery, hands-on-experience in disaster areas, dentistry, psychosocial care and public health; para-medical professionals, such as nurses, pharmacists, EMS workers and ambulance services; governmental and NGO representatives in emergency services; agencies and individuals involved in emergency and disaster care planning and management. In addition, some 1000 first responders are expected to visit the exhibition hall.

www.lifeconnections.uk.com

www.wcdem2013.org

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ESTEVENTS DIARY 2013 | 19 JUNE

4-5 June Blue Light Fleet Exhibition Telford International Centre

SEPTEMBER

19 September Ambition Silverstone, Northamptonshire www.ambition2012.org

www.napfmevent.org.uk

13-14 June Brake Fleet Safety Conference & Awards St John’s Hotel, Solihull Road safety charity Brake is inviting fleet operators and suppliers to enter and attend its annual fleet safety conference and awards. The 2013 event will, for the first time, combine Brake’s flagship fleet events, the fleet safety conference and fleet safety awards programme. The conference will provide an opportunity to hear from a range of academic and practitioner speakers on key fleet safety issues, as well as best practice examples from organisations. The awards, sponsored by Arval, will be offered in 11 categories, ranging from Company Driver Safety, to Fleet Safety Innovation, with a new individual category for 2013, Best Newcomer to Road Risk Management. These prestigious awards recognise the achievements of those working to help reduce the number of costly, and in many cases fatal, road crashes involving at-work drivers. Packages for both the conference and awards, including accommodation, cost £380 + VAT for Brake subscribers, £490 + VAT for non-subscribers. www.fleetsafetyawards.com www.fleetsafetyforum.org

J U LY

10-11 July Ambulex | Ricoh Arena, Coventry Ambulex 2013 returns to a July date following discussions with exhibitors about the crowded exhibition calendar in June 2013. The organiser believes that the new date will allow exhibitors and visitors full opportunity to experience the only UK event specifically for ambulance and wheelchair accessible vehicles. Ambulex is the premier event in the UK, supporting the NHS, private and volunteer ambulance services and attracting senior ambulance managers and staff – the industry’s decision makers. New for 2013 will be the inclusion of Community and Accessible Transport vehicles. Closely linked to the Patient Transfer Service (PTS) type vehicles, the association allows the service providers the opportunity to examine and compare the vehicles and equipment on offer from the industry. www.ambulex.com

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25-26 September The Emergency Services Show 2013 The NEC, Birmingham www.emergencyuk.com

(See page 20 for more details)

OCTOBER

9-10 October CATO Conference | Bonn, Germany Bringing together first responders, policy makers and CBRN experts from across Europe, CATO 2013 will include keynote speakers on CBRN response and policy as well as a series of interactive and practical workshops and social activities to provide opportunities for networking and shared learning. The CATO team is currently looking for papers on the following subject areas: current CBRN Threat (non-classified content only) and suggested changes to preparedness and posture; CBRN doctrine and policy – in particular relating to cross-border activities; C, B, R/N response procedures – including non-expert procedures for First Responders and high level algorithms for strategic commanders; and CBRN Information Sharing. Papers are also sought from any ongoing FP7-funded project in the CBRN space. Submissions for consideration should be in the form of a 100-word abstract and a 250-500-word synopsis. Successful submissions will be offered a fully funded (travel and accommodation) speaker slot at the CATO Conference. Submissions should be by return e-mail to catoconference@vectorcommand.com and include ‘CATO Call for Papers’ in the subject line and contain your name, organisation and contact details. www.cato-project.eu

NOVEMBER

20-23 November Medica 2013 Dusseldorf, Germany www.medica-tradefair.com

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The Emergency Services Show 2013 relocates to the NEC Wednesday 25 September – Thursday 26 September 2013 Exciting changes have been announced for this year’s Emergency Services Show. After seven years at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire, the growing exhibition will be moving to The NEC, Birmingham for 2013. Broden Media, which publishes Emergency Services Times and organises The Emergency Services Show, has also decided to bring the event forward from its traditional November dates to 25-26 September, so that the outdoor exhibition can benefit from longer daylight hours and to allow for safer travel to and from the show.

“I’m confident that visitors to this year’s show will see the positive difference in our new home, and will continue to be delighted with the content and the calibre of our exhibitors, demonstrations and additional show features.” Shortly after news of the relocation was broken on social media, a flurry of enquiries saw 80 percent of exhibition stand space sold out. Emergency

Services Times also announced on Twitter that it would be sponsoring dedicated parking for the show, meaning that there would be no parking charges for either visitors or exhibitors. Visitor growth prompts move and potential award Currently shortlisted for Best Trade Show at this year’s Exhibition News Awards, The Emergency Services Show has enjoyed year-on-year growth. In 2012 the event had an 18 percent increase in visitors prompting organisers to seek a venue that could cater for its need for greater space and offer facilities to enhance the show for visitors and exhibitors alike.

For visitors The Emergency Services Show provides a unique opportunity to see, touch and discuss the latest technology, ideas and initiatives focused on improving public safety and assisting the emergency services. For suppliers to the industry the show offers access to over 5200 buyers and specifiers from a wide range of sectors, including police, fire and rescue, public and private ambulances, emergency planning, maritime and coastguard agencies, search and rescue teams, government agencies, health authorities and many others. David Brown, joint Managing Director, Broden Media, said, “I’m confident that visitors to this year’s show will see the positive difference in our new home, and will continue to be delighted with the content and the calibre of our exhibitors, demonstrations and additional show features.”

The new venue: NEC • Physically linked to Birmingham International Railway Station and Birmingham International Airport • Direct access to UK motorway network • No parking costs thanks to dedicated parking sponsored by Emergency Services Times • Excellent indoor and outdoor demonstration space • Opportunity to expand into further halls

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ESTEVENTS DIARY2013 | 21 Emergency Response Zone returns Returning for 2013, the popular Emergency Response Zone is a key networking area aimed at developing relationships and partnerships between voluntary organisations and the blue light services. Broden Media has always been very keen to promote this aspect of interoperability and for this reason exhibition space in the Emergency Response Zone will continue to be offered free of charge to qualifying emergency services-related charities and not-for-profits. If you are interested in profiling your organisation in the free-to-exhibit Emergency Response Zone, contact David Brown (below) to reserve a stand.

Visitor registration is open Registration for free entry is available now – visit the show’s website at www.emergencyuk.com. Entry to the show gives visitors access to a wide range of companies supplying relevant emergency kit and solutions as well as the opportunity to interact with live demonstrations and attend free workshops. Commenting on last year’s show, Andrew Day of Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, said, “Some equipment that has been exhibited would never be discovered without attending – invaluable.”

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Multi-agency networking The ethos of The Emergency Services Show, like Emergency Services Times, has always been to promote multiagency working between the key emergency responders and their partner agencies. Ross Hardy, Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team, said, “The Emergency Services Show 2012 was a great opportunity for a small organisation such as ours to examine new technologies and equipment as well as network with other relevant organisations all under one roof, saving significant time for our staff in the process!”

Exhibition stands still available The success of previous events, coupled with news of the venue change, has seen an even greater demand for exhibition space in 2013. Henry Walker of Primetech, who has already rebooked for 2013, described last year’s show as “an outstanding success for Primetech, our display area was the busiest we have ever experienced.” Many exhibitors are investing in larger stands and 80 percent of floor space is already booked. Confirmed names include PPE specialist Bristol Uniforms, major vehicle manufacturers including Land Rover/Jaguar and Mercedes Benz UK and medical equipment companies such as Physio Control and SP Services. Satellite communications provider Excelerate Technology has major plans for the show on an expanded stand, as have North Fire/Argus Thermal who will be launching a new Metz Turntable Ladder. To book a stand please contact David Brown by e-mail: davidbrown@brodenmedia.com. www.emergencyuk.com

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Evolution not revolution Since its inception the Association of Air Ambulances aspired to deliver so much but was frustrated by a structure that could not meet its needs. In November 2011, at the association’s AGM, the members adopted a new strategy and structure and, as a result, output significantly increased. This article will briefly recap on the history of the association and the changes it’s undertaken in moving to the position it finds itself in today, where it is establishing sector-wide guidance on pre-hospital care, sharing operational information to yet further improve efficiency and delivering stronger collaboration across its membership. The Association of Air Ambulances (AAA) is the most recent incarnation of several membership bodies that have represented the air ambulance sector over the years. In 2008, shortly after the publishing of the ‘Framework for a High Performing Air Ambulance’ the association, whose membership at the time was only air ambulance charities, was broadened to encourage ambulance services to join.

“Further improving efficiency and delivering stronger collaboration across its membership.” After two years of initial development, the association found activities starting to stagnate so a working group was established to review its strategy and drive forward change. The group concluded that three significant committees covering Communications, Operations and Clinical subjects should be fully established and that a National Director should be appointed. These conclusions were then partially approved at the 2011 AGM in November, with incorporation being left for a future date. Enhanced sharing and cooperation The committees have moulded key work streams delivering enhanced sharing and cooperation across the membership, which is focused on saving lives and improving patient outcomes. As a direct result

Clive Dickin, National Director of the AAA.

The ‘new look’ London Air Ambulance helicopter is emblazoned with emergency markings and key messages.

the association has launched, in the past year, Guidance SOPs, established the Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence, been instrumental in the formation of the Air Ambulance All Party Parliamentary Group and held the first collaborative National Air Ambulance Week.

The Clinical and Operational Sub Groups have in the past six months published seven key Guidance documents and guidance sops delivering the first uk-wide specification on subjects such as site photography, management of major haemorrhage and traumatic cardiac arrest. These documents allow ambulance services and air ambulance crews to be inspired and focused on delivering an ever improving service to the patient, reducing morbidity and mortality. The Operational Committee has produced Guidance SOPs and tasking data all aimed at improving efficiency, giving air ambulances yet more opportunity to attend more patients. Awards of Excellence The Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence will take place in November, with nine categories focusing on personal endeavour in the pursuit of delivering the best air ambulance service in the UK. Specialisms at the front line such as HEMS Doctor, HEMS Paramedic and HEMS Pilot will be joined with fundraising and charitable administration function, highlighting the sectors best people. This celebration will be open to all in

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the sector and will be a focal point during the year. In 2012 the first National Air Ambulance Week took place in September, which provided a national vehicle for support of local air ambulances. All members collaborated giving a consistent message. The association provided a unique brand, with national radio advertising and wristbands for all members to raise the profile of the important service the local air ambulances provide. The local agenda was at the heart of the programme of events, which, aligned with the national message, brought national coverage on GMTV, the Sun Newspaper and a range of mainstream media. This would not have been possible if not for the work of the association. The association, which represents 14 of the 19 air ambulance charities and 10 of the 12 ambulance services, this year became a Limited By Guarantee Company. This fundamental change has allowed the AAA to yet further build on strong foundations, including expanding the membership categories. Moving forward Now an incorporated organisation, in 2013 the association is moving further forward with additional work streams, launching a membership code of conduct to further enhance the already positive image and operational performance of the sector. The code will establish a clear benchmark for reputable and ethical fundraising activities, improved air operations and sharing best clinical practice. The 2008 Framework Document has now been reviewed and will be re-published, with a brand new reference work being planned for 2014.

In June 2013, a new website will be launched with information being provided in near-real time to members and looks set to become the beating heart of the association. A review of perinatal and paediatric retrieval and transfer will also be completed, with the association’s vision of an established matrix, with multiple air assets delivering a rapid and broader platform of service. This service will link established emergency medical services, MoD charitable and commercial air ambulances with hospitals and specialist centres. www.aoaa.org.uk

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ISG and Vimpex join forces to deliver a market leading service charter for thermal imaging cameras A newly created relationship between ISG Infrasys and Vimpex means customers can now benefit from 40 years of combined experience in supplying specialist rescue and lifesaving equipment. The partnership will provide market-leading service and support and the companies’ ability to offer quick delivery times on new products is an extension of this Service Charter. The combination of ISG’s unique ability to turnaround warranty repairs and service of cameras within 48 hours and Vimpex’s extensive field-based support, ensures that users of ISG’s thermal imaging cameras receive unrivalled levels of customer service.

The E380’s dynamic temperature range exceeds 1000°C.

Since the two companies are located just 10 miles apart, coordination of stock, spare parts and handling of service and repairs is both quicker and more efficient. Vimpex’s mobile repair service provides support on the ground and ISG is able to conduct servicing and repairs down to component level. This guarantees super-fast service and helps reduce the cost to the user.

Superior performance As one of the world’s few providers of thermal imaging cameras that are designed, manufactured and serviced in-house, ISG Infrasys is able to ensure each camera is created with a specific application in mind, enhancing their performance in the environment for which they were designed. Many fire and rescue, police and other emergency services are already benefiting from the unparalleled level of performance and extreme infrared technology that ISG’s thermal imagers deliver. The fundamental use of a thermal imaging camera is as a navigational tool helping the firefighter see through dark and smoky conditions in order to see more of their surrounding environment. To make ISG’s thermal imagers the best they can be, the company starts with the image itself, enhancing it in the infrared engine to make it as clear as possible, and then engineering it to automatically adjust dependant on the scene being imaged. The result of these key components, not only ensures the maximum information is given to the firefighter at all times, but when coupled with using only the best and highest resolution detector and display technologies, add up to an excellent

The E380 incorporates the patented Hot Spot Tracker.

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quality, crisp and clear thermal image, unrivalled, says ISG, by any other handheld fire fighting thermal imager available. Latest innovation The Elite E380 is the latest innovation from ISG Infrasys and is the company’s first product to accommodate its new SIGMA engine technology. With super-high resolution and over The E380 is available with 100,000 pixels, the SIGMA the DVR Grip accessory. engine updates more than 5.5 million scene elements every second; far surpassing the capability of any infrared engine the industry has seen before. The camera’s dynamic temperature range exceeds 1000°C, ensuring that even in the most dangerous situations, your E380 will continue to provide a clear image, no matter what. While many other models of thermal imager often include superfluous functions and confusing menu options, ISG believes in keeping things simple. Its products only include features that will genuinely enhance the use of the product and will help to ensure firefighter safety. Embedded intelligence enhances temperature monitoring In addition to navigation, thermal imaging cameras are widely used to help identify potential hazards in a scene. Numerous technologies combine to achieve this, including Direct Temperature Measurement (DTM). Invented by ISG in 1994, DTM has now become the industry’s standard temperature measurement method. The E380’s DTM feature is directly linked to the camera’s colourisation so that the user can immediately identify any temperature differentiations. The user can identify an approximate temperature of an object just by using colours, but with the DTM feature installed as well, an accurate reading can also be taken – particularly useful when monitoring the temperature of objects in a scene.

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ESTCOMPANY PROFILE | 25

Cutting edge solutions Unifire Ventilation/Rescue Chainsaw Saw.

The Elite E380 is the latest innovation from ISG Infrasys.

In addition to DTM, the E380 is the world’s only thermal imager to incorporate the patented Hot Spot Tracker. Embedded into the SIGMA engine to ensure maximum responsiveness, this innovation allows you to measure temperatures in an entirely new and dynamic way.

Many fire and rescue, police and other emergency services are already benefiting from the unparalleled level of performance and extreme infrared technology that ISG’s thermal imagers deliver. A single press of a button activates the Hot Spot Tracker and immediately tracks the hottest object in the scene – highlighting it with a blue cross and simultaneously displaying the object’s temperature. Firefighters are now able to immediately identify hidden hotspots or locate the seat of the fire, all in real-time – enabling faster and more efficient decision-making, which is potentially crucial in emergency situations. Features and accessories Every ISG Infrasys product has been meticulously designed to provide the user with the features and accessories needed for the job. The E380 is available with the DVR Grip accessory, housing a laser pointer and video recorder capable of capturing around four hours of video and thousands of still images – all easily downloadable via USB. If you would like to learn more about ISG Infrasys and Vimpex products, the new Service Charter or would like to arrange a trial or demonstration of ISG’s thermal imagers, please visit the websites listed below. www.isgfire.co.uk www.rescue-tools.co.uk

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Tactical Ventilation Solutions Limited is a family business run by personnel with backgrounds in the UK fire and rescue service and operational and instructional urban search and rescue.

Unifire 12, 14, or 16inch Circular saw.

The company has three main areas of operation: the supply of specialist chainsaws and circular saws suitable for cutting a wide variety of materials to all emergency services; the supply to fire and rescue services of specialist equipment for tactical ventilation tasks, such as ‘exhaust vent cutting’ operations in roofs or walls; and the design and manufacture of its own equipment (a new product is currently being developed specifically for fire and rescue service tactical ventilation operations and a

series of national demonstrations will be organised for any potential customers in due course). Tactical Ventilation Solutions is the sole UK distributor for the Unifire specialist ventilation range of chainsaws and circular saws, which are tough and reliable units designed and manufactured in the USA specifically for use by rescue services. The range also has applications for the military, police forces and security services, in fact any industry requiring equipment to complete tough cutting tasks in harsh environments. The Unifire chainsaws have the option of Sabretooth and Cobra carbide-tipped chains. The circular saws have a choice of eight blades and can therefore be utilised to cut through a wide variety of building materials, including steel composite insulated roofing sheets, sandwich panels, concrete and much more. Tactical Ventilation Solutions aims to both supply and manufacture equipment that is tough, reliable and does the job for which it was designed. The company looks to provide all its customers with a straight-forward, approachable, upfront and reliable service and ongoing support. www.tacticalventilationsolutions.com

The energy behind the power Allbatteries UK Ltd is a leading approved battery supplier to the UK emergency services. The company currently supplies a wide range of standard battery products as well as bespoke solutions to the majority of the UK police and fire and rescue services. In addition to offering top brand names, Allbatteries also manufactures its own brand of quality batteries in many ranges, including alkaline, lead acid, NiMh and lithium, to name a few. The company, whose company slogan is ‘The energy behind the power’ offers a wide range of products specific to the emergency services, including ATEX lighting, which it supplies to a number of authorities. These range from hand held lamps through to headlamps and other hands-free solutions. Based in Solihull, West Midlands, Allbatteries also has the facility to produce bespoke

battery packs for its customers. Allbatteries UK has a longstanding relationship with UK police forces and has once again been chosen by the West Midlands Police Consortium as the leading supplier on their Dry Cell Battery Contract. The company also holds the contract for the supply of batteries for the fire authorities in the North West on which it supplies a wide range of alkaline, lithium and thermal imaging camera batteries. Alongside this contract, Allbatteries UK is the main supplier to the UK fire and rescue services for their battery requirements. www.allbatteries.com

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Thermal imaging cameras: a key element of a safe system of work The use of thermal imaging cameras (TICs) has become highly topical following the publication of the Coroner’s Rule 43 letter after the inquest into the double firefighter fatality in Southampton in April 2010. The Coroner has recommended the use of the cameras to ‘search for fire in smoky conditions’ following the deaths of Hampshire firefighters James Shears and Alan Bannon at the Shirley Towers high-rise block. Words: Mike O’Mahoney, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service; Mick Cotgrave, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service; James Morton, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. After their own internal investigation into the tragic incident, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service has changed its training regarding the use of thermal imaging cameras. The use of cameras is actively promoted, not just for searching for seats of fire or casualties, but also for fallen cables – another contributory factor identified by the Coroner in the deaths of the two firefighters. Hampshire’s equipment lists now require a thermal imaging camera to be taken aloft in any high-rise incident and every frontline appliance is equipped with a TIC. Assistant Chief Officer Bob Ratcliffe said, “The use of the cameras is now a part of breathing apparatus training and every tactical ventilation course. We have moved the mindset away from the camera just being used to search for casualties to one of being used far more frequently and effectively. Before crews might have had to be reminded to use a camera, whereas now no reminders are necessary.

Without suitable portability, TICs are less likely to be used, regardless of the technical features they may possess. “The effective use of thermal imaging cameras can make a significant impact in reducing the risk to firefighters and the public.” As a consequence, there has been much consideration into whether or not thermal imaging is being utilised to its full advantage. Until relatively recently, if asked about the use of TICs; the response from the majority of firefighters would be that it is very effective for detecting hot spots during post fire salvage; as well as being useful for locating overheated electrical components. The reason for such responses may be due to a limited capability within TICs across the FRSs or that the TIC isn’t portable or easy to use. Alternative solutions through TICs Technological advances enable designers and manufacturers to provide alternative solutions to problems and thermal imaging is no different. Modern TICs offer a range of technical facilities such as TAC (temperature awareness colourisation)

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to assist in assessing fire conditions; as well as a video recording function (TVR), which could be used for collating arson evidence, training or simply documenting what is happening in the risk area. Firefighters may highlight that the most significant improvement in TICS is that they have become more portable. When BA wearers are entering structural fires, needing to take a range of equipment with them in order to be both safe and effective, this factor is vitally important. Without suitable portability, TICs are less likely to be used, regardless of the technical features they may ossess. Fire and rescue services around the country have recognised that thermal imaging has a significant number of risk critical uses. Consequently, a large emphasis on training to ensure that TICs can be utilised to their full potential must become a core feature of any BA or hot fire related course. This can be further supplemented by on station familiarisation to ensure suitable levels of not just competence but confidence in operational personnel when the need to utilise the equipment at incidents is required. Following the Shirley Towers incident, Hampshire FRS has openly delivered a number of excellent and informative presentations around the country. Events at that particular incident would seem to support the need to utilise thermal imaging to its full advantage both at incidents and in training. So what are considered to be the principle uses for TICs? 1. As a supporting means of orientation/scene identification A systematic search procedure is a cornerstone of safe BA wearing. As an example, Merseyside FRS adopts a compartment clearance search procedure, which has a series of underpinning elements to ensure a safe system of work. This includes adopting a left or right hand orientation ensuring a fixed reference point is always maintained (a wall). TIC use supports this default position as it not only increases the effectiveness of the search operation; but also improves the team’s safety by assisting

orientation. Furthermore, the use of thermal imaging provides a means for operational crews to observe fire conditions from behind closed doors and openings. 2. To assist in locating a fire and/or casualties While self explanatory, FRSs will undoubtedly incorporate TIC use in to their respective procedures in a variety of ways. Again, using Merseyside FRS as an example, they incorporate a ‘stop – go’ routine: BA team moves forward; They stop; No 2 of the BA crew (operating the TIC) and adopting the correct BA procedures, moves forward and takes up a position adjacent to the BA Team Leader. In this position the No 2 is now able to operate the TIC without the BA Team Leader obscuring their view. When the area in front and around has been viewed, No 2 will take up their original position; the BA Team Leader will then commence with their search pattern. This procedure is carried out when entering a compartment and at regular intervals throughout the task. 3. To assist in identifying fire conditions; particularly those behind closed doorways Research and work conducted with colleagues from FDNY and Toronto FRSs on high-rise procedures and wind driven fires provides strong evidence that TICs can identify very hostile fire conditions from behind closed doors. A closed door is a vital safety feature for a firefighter and before it is opened as much information needs to be established about the fire conditions on the other side. Using TICs can therefore enhance the safe systems of work for operations of this nature. 4. To assist in identifying hazards such as entanglement hazards/cables Many FRSs now incorporate entanglement training techniques in to their BA procedures. Supplementing these techniques with TIC use can identify cables within a structure (where they have a thermal signature). This particular point has been specifically referenced by Hampshire FRS as part of their presentation delivery post Shirley Towers. Operational effectiveness In conclusion, it is important that all FRSs constantly seek to utilise TICs to their full extent and afford their operational personnel suitable opportunity to train and familiarise with their respective equipment. Sharing information from exercises and incidents in regards to the operational effectiveness of TIC use is the key to advancing firefighter safety and effectiveness. www.merseyfire.gov.uk

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Hand-held TICs offer versatility and functionality Thomas Jacks Ltd represents three brands of handheld, uncooled thermal imager optimised for the security, land management and police markets. Guide Infrared has added a hi res 640x480 LCD screen as an upgrade to its popular IR518 series of hand-held thermal imagers along with a slightly extended eyepiece for a more comfortable viewing position. This adds to the switchable ‘hot box’, crosshair and nine-colour palette upgrades that were added in late 2012. Available with immediate effect, these upgrades have been added with no extra cost to the units. All units offer a 2x digital doubler and built-in image capture capability using an SD card (still and video) as standard. An external battery pack option is also now available for these units. The units operate at 50Hz and offer man-sized detection out to over 1000m (model dependent). Guide IR518 thermal imagers are in use by the Environment Agency, Forestry Commission, FERA, UK police along with security companies, gamekeepers and estates.

Thermoteknix TiCAM 750 (rear), Guide IR518-EC (left) and Pulsar Quantum HD-38 (right) from Thomas Jacks Ltd.

Thermal imaging monoculars The new Pulsar Quantum range of compact, hand-held thermal imaging monoculars offer 384x288 resolution sensors, a hi res 640x480 OLED screen that will work down to temperatures of -20°C and a quick change AA battery pack as standard (two supplied). The units can also be fitted with an external battery pack that mounts to the side of the unit and will give over five hours continuous operation. The Quantums can be switched from white hot to black hot and have a 2x digital magnification option. Both brightness and contrast can be adjusted and an AV out allows a DVR to be connected and record the image being viewed. Man-sized detection

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is over 900m. The LD-38 operates at <9Hz while the HD-38 operates at 30Hz. Man-sized detection The Thermoteknix TiCAM 750 thermal imaging binocular is available with either a Thermoteknix MicroCAM 384x288 25 pitch detector for Medium Range (MR) or with a hi res 640x480 17 pitch detector for Long Range (LR) – these offer mansized detection at up to 2000m and 2750m (Johnsons Criteria) respectively. Both variants

operate at 50Hz and feature a 75mm f1.0 Germanium lens. Milspec to MIL-STD-810F, TiCAM 750’s clamshell design with rubber overmoulding protects the unit in the harshest of environments and allows operation with or without gloves. Functions include electronic focus and digital zoom (1x, 2x and 4x), edge detection, external video output and exceptional battery life with up to eight hours operation in normal use from four Lithium AA batteries. www.thomasjacks.co.uk

North Fire takes on Argus policing range Following a successful first six months of distributorship of the ‘UK standard’ Argus thermal imaging range into the UK’s fire and rescue services, North Fire has now been awarded the contract with e2v to promote, sell and service the new Argus Policing range of thermal imaging products.

North Fire recently launched the acclaimed Argus Mi-TIC into the UK fire and rescue services, which, since its headlining of The Emergency Services Show 2012, has been taken on by more than 50 percent of the UK’s fire and rescue services that’s just three months! Now North Fire will look to continue the same feat with the new specific Policing range of cameras designed to optimise smaller teams of officers in terms of both success and safety, while in many cases alleviating the requirement for deployment of helicopters – currently the only thermal imaging tool in many a force. Positive feedback “The Argus thermal imaging range is clearly the best in its class,” said Oliver North, Managing Director, North Fire. “We had been approached by numerous American-based thermal imaging camera manufacturers with regards to taking on their products, but once we saw the complete range of products from Argus some nine months ago now, our minds were made up. Not only are the products the best in their class but they’re also the only TICs on the market manufactured in the UK

by a British company, which have been developed in conjunction with our elite emergency service organisations, and this is clear from the overwhelming feedback we receive. “The new Policing range has made a huge impact in any official police trial and the units have genuinely made huge savings to the force within just a two-week window. We are all convinced that this will play a major role in the future of policing, ensuring complete police officer safety, emphatically higher success rates and a far reduced requirement for expensive police helicopter deployments.” ‘Fast-track’ service centre Angus Drummond, Vice President of Sales for Argus thermal imaging, added, “North Fire has demonstrated to us that we needed a specific distributor in the UK so we can concentrate on manufacture and research and development of our fire and policing ranges. We have also set up a high tech, ‘fast-track’ thermal imaging service centre at North Fire HQ in Holmfirth, which enables us to turn around the most complex of repairs within a five-day period if required. This will prove to be pivotal as it seems the police services will also adopt as many thermal imaging units for everyday use, just as our fire and rescue services do and we are genuinely looking forward to supporting our worldclass police forces with as high a standard a product as our fire fighting range.” www.north-fire.com/thermalimaging

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Leading the way in thermal imaging innovation Since the introduction of thermal imaging technology to the fire and rescue services, Scott Safety has been at the forefront of innovation, providing advanced, fire-ground proven thermal imaging cameras to first responders for use in search and rescue, overhaul operations and hot spot identification. The new Eagle Attack thermal imaging camera delivers all the performance, quality and durability that firefighters demand. Its high-resolution display provides users with great image quality and functionality not normally available in lightweight

The Eagle Attack.

imagers. Developed for on-the-job reliability, durability and ease-of-use, the Eagle Attack is one of the lightest and most portable imagers in the industry. Quick and easy analysis With a generous display, a high degree dynamic range and class-leading resolution and sensitivity, the Eagle Attack makes fire analysis quick and easy. The lens isn’t just high-functioning, it’s also protected by silicone bumpers and if anything ever happens to the germanium lens, it’s been engineered so that change-out can be done in the field. The Eagle Attack charging system is fully loaded with simple-to-use features, like daisy chain charging from one power cable to a low profile casing that can be easily mounted on a vehicle, so it can be out of the way but easily accessed. All together, the Eagle Attack is one of the lightest, most easy-to-use fast attack imagers available today. Most importantly, as customers have come to expect from Scott Safety, the product can be configured to suit their changing needs. The camera is offered with either greyscale or colour imagery, and the optional Scott thermal video recorder (TVR), which automatically captures every event for training and documentation purposes. It also comes in three rubber bumper colours to suit the customer’s own branding but above all, it doesn’t sacrifice quality for portability.

Mark Yates, Chief Fire Officer Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue, with Scott Safety at The Emergency Services Show 2012.

The innovations in the design and production of the Eagle Attack have also brought real economies in the purchase price too, with fire and rescue services now able to afford at least one camera for each fire truck, which could lead to improved search and rescue outcomes. Contract confirmed Scott Safety has supplied thermal imaging cameras to six fire and rescue services across the UK in the last 12 months, including Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, whose Chief Fire Officer, Mark Yates, confirmed the contract on the Scott Safety stand at The Emergency Services Show 2012. www.scottsafety.com

Vital tools in every mission For more than 114 years, Bullard has built a legacy of creating products that are uniquely designed with input from its customers. By understanding the specific needs of firefighters and police officers, the company designs its thermal imagers to reflect their experience and input. With Bullard products, users will find the ultimate in toughness and durability. They’ll also find extraordinary service and the most innovative designs. Using infrared technology to see through clouds of smoke, Bullard thermal imagers help firefighters identify victims, pinpoint fires and recognise structural dangers before they cause injuries and deaths. From the simplest personal-issue thermal imager to the most advanced camera, Bullard offers firefighters a thermal imager perfectly designed to get the job done. Designed for every firefighter The latest thermal imager from Bullard is the Eclipse® LD – a high performance thermal imager that combines the compact, sleek design of the popular Bullard Eclipse® with a thermal imaging engine and the latest Liquid Crystal Display technology on a 3.5in screen. The Eclipse LD is available with a 160 x 120 or 320 x 240 ultra-high resolution infrared engine providing firefighters

with a personal-issue thermal imager that serves as a complete analytical tool. The standard Eclipse, first introduced to fire and rescue services in 2009, is a lowcost, lightweight, personal-issue thermal imager designed for every firefighter. Bullard’s additional thermal imagers include the T4MAX and T3 Series, designed to help firefighters analyse a scene, conduct size-up and perform overhaul and investigations. The T4MAX offers an ultra-high 320 x 240 resolution and enhanced display performance on the industry’s largest and widest, 4.3in viewing display. The T3 Series offers the T3MAX/T3MAX+ imagers designed to provide fire departments with economically advanced thermal imagers offering incredible durability along with a comfortable handheld design. These thermal imagers offer innovative features, including Electronic Thermal Throttle® (ETT) and Super Red Hot , which give firefighters advanced information on a scene. The Eclipse Series and T3 Series offer ETT and Super Red Hot as optional features. Innovative features Electronic Thermal Throttle® (ETT), exclusive to Bullard, allows firefighters in a non-fire fighting activity to conduct victim search, hazmat operations, size-up, overhaul, and identify hot spots.

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This innovative feature aids firefighters in revealing hidden fire and distinguishing hotter objects that help firefighters save critical time and prevent costly mistakes. Law enforcement The Edge™ is the latest high-performance thermal imager from Bullard designed exclusively for the police market. Engineered with the latest infrared technology and intuitive features, the Edge is a powerful tool that enhances officer safety and scene visibility. Weighing only 0.68kg, the Edge is available with an 80 x 60 or 160 x 120 resolution infrared engine providing officers with a sleek, lightweight, ergonomically designed thermal imager perfectly suited for tactical, investigation, and search and rescue applications. It offers police officers an easy-to-use, extremely durable surveillance tool. Edge is equipped with advanced features, including screen dimming, reverse polarity, which enables officers to quickly adjust the screen image for maximum detail, and the unique Nocturnal mode, which colourises the display image red allowing a user’s eyes to adjust more quickly in the dark. An optional display shield converts the thermal imager to monocular viewing for maximum concealment of the user. www.bullard.com

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Interoperability: does JESIP hold the key? The starting point where there is to be any consideration of inter-agency cooperation has to be the Civil Contingencies Act 2004. The Act establishes a statutory framework for civil protection at the local level. It essentially aims to do three things: establish a clear set of roles and responsibilities for local responders; gives greater structure and consistency to local civil protection activity; and establishes a basis for performance management at local level. Words: Fiona Barton QC Inter-agency cooperation is most likely to be required in situations to which the Act applies. Importantly, when one is considering the issue of interoperability the Act provides that identifying and assessing risk, sharing information and agreeing solutions are in fact statutory duties upon Category 1 responders. Failure to discharge the statutory duties, will expose Category 1 responders to the risk of litigation and the consequential damage to finances, reputation and morale within the organisation/s concerned.

“The existence of JESIP is a golden opportunity for the emergency services to agree and adopt national solutions.” Given that the bulk of the Act’s Part 1 duties came into force on 14 November 2005 it is very surprising, and perhaps a little worrying, that essential protocols are often found to be absent, deficient or misunderstood when they are most needed. These problems may have arisen because the Act creates a problem right from the start. The focus is on ‘local’ and ‘regional’ solutions rather than national. This has led to a proliferation of potentially incompatible policies and protocols and a lack of knowledge of the existence or content of the relevant policies. The existence of a multiplicity of policies is a recipe for serious problems, which include the capacity to cause dangerous confusion when major incidents require the assistance from those outside the local or regional framework and the risk of litigation where one protocol or policy imposes powers or duties not imposed by others. I believe that the solution lies in national frameworks. Working protocols are essential It is obvious that where numerous interested agencies are all required to act in concert to minimise risk then working protocols are essential. If this principle is so obvious why are protocols so often deficient? Furthermore, why does it take so long (sometimes decades) to remedy recognised deficiencies? It is well known that the failure of radio communication underground created serious problems during the Kings Cross Fire in 1987. Why is it that there was no effective agreed plan in place in respect of communication when the 7/7

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Fiona Barton QC

bombings took place almost 20 years later? The delays in Airwave do not provide an excuse (certainly where litigation is concerned) – what was the interim plan? The exploration of this issue took up several days of the inquests into the deaths arising from the 7/7 London Bombings. At least in part, the explanation for continuing failures to address recognised risks lies in the fact that solutions required the agreement of too many organisations on a fragmented local basis. The lack of central government funding and will was also a serious handicap. A further complication is that where there are major incidents such as 7/7, the welsh mining disaster, the 2011 riots, and the search for April Jones mutual aid may be sought and responders from other areas are likely to attend. They will have no knowledge of local or regional protocols. It is apparent that it is desirable to agree and adopt national procedures and protocols. Golden opportunity I take the view that the existence of JESIP is a golden opportunity for the emergency services to agree and adopt national solutions. This does not mean that any of the individual organisations will lose their own essential identity or role, rather that others will have a clearer understanding of the roles and responsibilities of their colleagues in other services. It is simply formalising the procedures and practices implemented up and down the country every day when the emergency services work together to save lives. JESIP has a vital role to play and should seize the initiative and make policy/agree protocols from the centre, not devolve the issues to local or regional bodies.

Training is equally important Even if JESIP manages to put in place the necessary national working protocols there is a second stage, which is equally important, namely training. There is no point having agreed protocols unless front line staff know about their existence and are familiar with their content. Tabletop exercises for senior staff are fine – but the evidence about these has exposed serious flaws. On the whole, it is not the senior staff that are either the first on scene or ‘hands-on’ at the scene. The people who need to know what they are supposed to be doing and what they can expect of their colleagues in the other emergency services are those on the ground. The absence of understanding at this level has been a matter of concern ever since ‘Hillsborough’ in 1989. Regrettably, the issue of training is still a problem as may be seen from the recommendations made following the 7/7 Inquests and the Cumbria Shooting inquests. In both cases frustrations bubbled over on the ground where there a lack of understanding of the respective roles of members of the different emergency services. Multi-agency practical training for those in the front line is vital for the successful implementation of any national working protocols. It must be recognised as such and be properly timetabled and resourced. The purpose of this training must be seen as being different to internal training as it is to ensure, not only that responders know what their duties and responsibilities are but, just as importantly, what they can expect of other responders and how they will work together. Lack of understanding of the roles of others has been a recurrent theme at inquiries into major incidents over the past 20 years. There is a limit to how many times the courts will recognise the lack of training and understanding as being a factor without reflecting that finding in causation or liability. In the case of training, familiarity breeds confidence not contempt. JESIP has a vital role to play in recognising the importance of multi-agency training, facilitating the same and campaigning for adequate resources. Positive step Interoperability is undoubtedly the foundation of an efficient and effective response to major incidents. Any development designed to promote and improve interoperability is a positive step forward. JESIP may just hold the key to a coordinated future and the commitment of central government to the same. www.jesip.org.uk

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CFOA, ACPO and AACE sign up to help improve interoperability between the emergency services For those who have not yet heard about JESIP in any other forum, we hope to provide a summary of the launch for JESIP at the Interoperability Summit held in November 2012 and an overview of the programme and its workstreams. Words: Joy Flanagan, JESIP Engagement Manager. Much has been written and spoken over the past few years about how the emergency services operate at major incidents. While it is widely recognised they have very different and distinct roles, the changing nature of the incidents they respond to have had implications on the way in which they need to work together.

Many traditional ways of working have been challenged and conflicting codes of practices have caused confusion. Many suggestions of how improvements could be made have been researched and implemented locally. However, while the work of the three professional associations is respected, this work has not been centrally coordinated and therefore not adopted nationally. There are numerous single projects that are tackling single issues or regional challenges. Most recently these include Government projects to address how we respond to serious incidents such as CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear) and MTFA, Marauding Terrorist Firearms Attacks (often referred to as a ‘Mumbaistyle attack’). However, the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme (JESIP) has been established to ensure we can join up all the good work already done or in progress. It seeks to work with the key stakeholders to ensure we reach our vision of ‘Working Together – Saving Lives’.

JESIP Interoperability Summit All three of the professional associations that represent the blue light services support JESIP and recognise the benefits of working together more regularly and in tandem. To emphasise the point, the Chief Fire Officers’ Association (CFOA), Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) welcomed leaders and strategic managers from across the emergency responders to the first interoperability summit coordinated by CFOA Services Ltd and hosted by The Emergency Services Show 2012. A summit run by the services for the services!

“How services interoperate with others needs to become ‘business as usual’ and not something adopted in times of crisis.” The summit aimed to provide delegates with a summary of the ‘journey so far’ in terms of interoperability as well as a picture of the future. This included an opening by CFOA President, Vij Randeniya, followed by an address on behalf of the Home Office from Richard Westlake, Director

JESIP looks to ensure that the blue light services are trained and exercised to work together as effectively as possible at all levels of command.

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Joy Flanagan, JESIP Engagement Manager.

of Prepare, Protect, Counter-Terrorism, Science and CBRN. Roy Wilsher (Chair of JESIP Strategic Board) and Craig Denholm (JESIP Senior Responsible Officer) led the first session, which outlined how JESIP came about; what it aims to achieve; how it is structured, and what progress had been made at that stage. Further details about how the programme would be organised came from Jo Byrne, as JESIP Deputy Senior Responsible Officer, supported by Steve Beckley and Keith Prior, representing CFOA and AACE respectively. Ron Dobson (London Resilience Forum and London Fire Commissioner) gave a summary of how the emergency services had prepared for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. He shared much of the good work that had taken place prior to and during the Olympics and much of the Olympic de-brief information will inform the JESIP work. There were reflections on the future of interoperability from the world of research and academia by Jennifer Cole from Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and Professor Laurence Alison from the University of Liverpool. Considering the wider Responder Community Christina Scott, Head of the Civil Contingencies Secretariat, outlined the importance of considering the wider ‘Responder Community’ and reflected on recent projects that have been led by her department in this area. These include the establishment of the National Resilience Extranet (NRE) and the Direct Electronic Information Transfer (DEIT) pilot project, taking place in Wales and the publication of the Lexicon – helping to establish commonly agreed terminology in relation to incidents. Our final external speaker was Fiona Barton QC. Fiona shared her perspective on the legal standpoint for the emergency services following her recent involvement in the inquests into the Cumbria shootings and London bombings. (You can read

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At the JESIP National Interoperability Summit: (From L to R) Vij Randeniya, CFOA President; Craig Denholm, JESIP Senior Responsible Officer; and Roy Wilsher, Chair of the JESIP Strategic Board, listen to the address from Richard Westlake, Director of Prepare, Protect, Counter-Terrorism, Science and CBRN, made on behalf of the Home Office.

more about her perspectives on interoperability and JESIP on page 35). Fiona specifically mentioned the importance of communication and cooperation at a local and regional level. When things have proven to go wrong she talked about the duplication of activities; about the confusion caused by lack of role clarity and trust between responders, and she talked of the importance of accurate logging of response activity at incidents. Overall, Fiona identified that it is the staff on the ground that need to know what is expected of them and their responding colleagues. Her concerns are that with policies and procedures being written at local levels, a coordinated response to major incidents will be consistently difficult to achieve without some national guidance. Her final reflections were that the emergency services were in an excellent position to make JESIP work. The issues have been outlined and are known. If JESIP can achieve its aims then every service would be in a stronger position in future should they be challenged about their actions. Clarity of roles and responsibilities, better understanding of each other’s capability and capacity supported by revised and embedded doctrine were all high on her list of priorities for JESIP. So what is JESIP? JESIP is a two-year programme that has been established to address the recommendations from reports such as Operation Bridge into the 2010 Cumbria shootings, the Hillsborough Independent Report; Lady Justice Hallett’s Report following the July 2005 London bombings; and the Pitt Report into the 2007 floods. These reviews have identified recurrent themes where the emergency services could work better together to ensure that as many lives as possible are saved. The JESIP vision is ‘Working Together – Saving Lives’ and the aims and objectives of the programme are ‘To ensure that the blue light services are trained and exercised to work together as effectively as possible at all levels of command in response to major or complex incidents (including fast moving terrorist scenarios) so that as many lives as possible can be saved’. There was a broad range of work considered as JESIP was established but with such short timescales, the key themes were prioritised and JESIP will focus on the following: 1. Blue light interoperability governance structure 2. Assessment of tri-service capabilities to meet national threats and hazards 3. Joint emergency services guidance

4. Sharing information and intelligence on evolving threats 5. Joint scene risk assessment to inform an agreed response 6. Operational communications 7. Tri-service mobilisation and coordination 8. Joint tri-services command training 9. Integration and coordinating of blue light testing and exercising 10. Opportunities for joint procurement and equipment sharing. JESIP workstreams These objectives have been organised into four workstreams. Each workstream has an aligned working group (responsible for delivering against the objectives) and will be led by one of the JESIP team. The working groups will comprise subject matter experts representing the three emergency services and other key stakeholders depending on the topic.

JESIP governance How JESIP is governed and organised is shown below:

JESIP current status Most of the team are in place and work has begun on considering all of the organisations that may be impacted on by the work of JESIP. A clear communications plan is being developed and key stakeholders are being contacted currently. We will engage with relevant networks of officers and practitioners initially via the three professional

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associations. We have no intention of creating another structure alongside what exists already, rather we will look to work with existing groups and networks to share information and gather feedback. Looking to wider engagement, because of the very nature of different structures and governance for each emergency service, the most consistent network across the country is that of the Local Resilience Forums (LRFs). JESIP is looking to forge links with the LRFs and will be presenting at their upcoming LRF Chairs forum in March. The working groups have been established and are now considering how to achieve the deliverables that have been set out. Details of the deliverables of each working group can be found on the JESIP website, which will be continuously updated as the programme progresses. Other forms of communication are currently under consideration to ensure the right people get the right information at the right time. The use of social media platforms, such as Twitter, is being explored so keep checking the website for the latest news! What will success look like? A key part of the work for JESIP is to ensure that interoperability is embedded within each of the emergency services. How services interoperate with others needs to become ‘business as usual’ and not something adopted in times of crisis. With a clear direction set and work programme outlined JESIP will strive to achieve success and if we do, we think it should look something like this:

JESIP is not about radically changing the way services perform their duties. In fact we have already discovered there is much innovative thinking taking place all over the country on which we can build. It has become clear that there is a need to establish some joint doctrine, clarify the practicalities of what people need to work better together at incidents and, finally, establish a training strategy that allows those in command positions to be equipped with the knowledge and skills they need. The success of JESIP is essential to ensure emergency services can continue to do the job the public expect and are not held back by concerns of legal implications. We truly hope everyone involved will support JESIP and help us achieve what will be a major milestone for all three emergency services. Watch out for future updates and information on JESIP in Emergency Services Times. www.jesip.org.uk E-mail: Jesip@homeoffice.x.gsi.gov.uk

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LAMPO unit demonstrates versatility Euromacchine, a company with more than 30 years experience in this field, has created LAMPO, a new multi-functional motor-pump unit, patented for the more extreme situations of rescue and fire. In the vanguard of technical development, the machine can work as a generator set, tower light and self-priming pump, all at the same time. The extreme versatility of LAMPO is shown in the versions from 10-40kVA, with self-priming pump from 1600-6000l/min and personalised tower light with halogen or LED lights adjustable from 5-8m. The trailer is approved for high-speed towing and each model is equipped with a suction pipe holder and hose winding functionality.

Contact: tw.enterprises@talk21.com


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Duncan White from Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service (DSFRS) has achieved a Foundation Degree in Events Management by studying online with the University of Derby Buxton. He is responsible for Events Management at DSFRS and is the UK Event Safety Lead for the Chief Fire Officers’ Association (CFOA). www.derby.ac.uk

Rob Ashford, Chief Executive Officer of Thames Ambulance Service, has been re-elected as Chairman of the Independent Ambulance Association (IAA) for the next three years. Rob, who joined Thames in July 2009, was previously Deputy Chief Ambulance Officer for the West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust and Locality Chief Operating Officer for the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire region of Essex Ambulance Service. www.iaauk.org

Chief Constable Mike Cunningham has agreed to extend his contract with Staffordshire Police until September 2017. Mr Cunningham, who was awarded the Queen’s Policing Medal (QPM) in the 2013 New Year’s honours list, joined the force in September 2009. His contract was due to expire in 2014. www.staffordshire.police.uk

Northamptonshire Police Deputy Chief Constable Suzette Davenport has been appointed as the new Chief Constable of Gloucestershire Constabulary. DCC Davenport started her new role on 4 February, leaving her current position vacant. While the recruitment process gets underway, a number of temporary changes have been made to Northamptonshire’s chief officer team: Assistant Chief Constable Martin Jelley has taken on the role of Temporary Deputy Chief Constable; and Chief Superintendent Paul Phillips becomes Temporary Assistant Chief Constable. Assistant Chief Constable Andy Frost remains in his current position.

Ambulance service makes interim CEO at London’s Air Ambulance to appointment to the top job Andrew Morgan has been appointed as Interim Chief Executive of the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST). Andrew has worked in the NHS since 1982, and moves to EEAST from his most recent post as Chief Executive of NHS Norfolk and Waveney. He has also held posts as Chief Executive at NHS Bedfordshire and NHS Harrow, and has spent time as a Health Authority Director in primary care. Maria Ball, Chair of the trust, said, “Andrew is a superb person to lead the trust whilst the next stage of the recruitment process is carried out. The trust is entering an important time as we work with new commissioners to agree how the service will be funded, what services will be provided to patients and to what standards. With Andrew’s extensive expertise within the NHS, he will be able to guide the trust forward to improve our services to patients, and see EEAST through the difficult winter period where traditionally we see an increase in demand on 999 services.” Former EEAST Chief Executive Hayden Newton became one of the first ever recipients of the Queen’s Ambulance Service Medal for Distinguished Service (QAM) in the New Year’s Honours List 2013. The citation noted Hayden’s ‘dedication to helping patients at their time of most need’, and, among other projects in addition to his CEO role, being the national Department of Health lead for the introduction of the Call Connect prioritisation system in control rooms ‘significantly improving response times nationally.’

Andrew Morgan, Interim Chief Executive, EEAST.

Hayden Newton, former Chief Executive, EEAST.

He successfully led both Kent Ambulance Service and EEAST through their mergers, managing legacy issues and ‘developing patient led strategies to meet their changing needs.’ The citation added that Hayden ‘led a multitude of local and national pieces of work over and above his normal role’ and that his ‘outstanding major incident experience’ was demonstrated at the Hatfield and Potter’s Bar rail incidents. It also notes his successful role as the National Ambulance Lead for the London 2012 Olympics. www.eastamb.nhs.uk

Ambulance worker clocks up 45 years voluntary service

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue has appointed John Roberts as Assistant Chief Fire Officer. The 36year-old replaced ACO Neil Hessell following his retirement from the service last year. John was previously an Area Manager for the Sheffield and Barnsley districts, and headed the service’s Emergency Response Directorate.

March 2013 sees Southampton resident Mrs Milly Stokes clocking up 45 years voluntary service as an ambulance car driver. Milly has recently received three long service awards, including one from University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust for 45 years of Outstanding Service, as well as special recognition from South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) in 2012 when she received an AMBIES Special Award for four decades of exemplary voluntary service to patients.

www.syfire.gov.uk

www.southcentralambulance.nhs.uk

www.northants.police.uk

lead service’s expansion plans

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Volunteer ambulance car driver Milly Stokes .

Graham Hodgkin has been appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer of London’s Air Ambulance. He joins at an exciting time of rapid transition for the charity and will lead the service through its next stages of development and growth. In addition to enhancing the current service, Graham will seek to secure additional funding to transform the scale and impact of the charity’s operations, including the critical acquisition of a second helicopter. Dr Gareth Davies, Medical Director and Chair of the Trustees of London’s Air Ambulance, said, “Building on our worldwide reputation for clinical excellence, Graham will lead the charity through its next phase of growth and development and will continue to enhance our capacity to serve the capital. “Graham’s appointment will enable us to expand our operations in order to deliver a sustainable uninterrupted service to Londoners who depend on our advanced trauma team to reach them quickly in their time of need, whether by helicopter or one of our rapid response cars.” Graham has more than two decades of experience in the City and is a former Managing Director at Deutsche Bank. He also previously founded an independent consultancy, providing a range of business advisory, coaching, training and leadership to the financial services, social enterprise and charitable sectors. He said, “I am incredibly excited about the opportunity to use my skills and experience to benefit this superb charity, which not only saves people’s lives daily but also leads the way for other air ambulance services globally. I look forward to the challenge that lies ahead and in particular to delivering a much needed second helicopter for London.” www.londonsairambulance.co.uk

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HPA’s Olympics lead receives New Year CBE Dr Brian McCloskey has been awarded a CBE in recognition of services to public health and public safety in the 2013 New Year’s Honours List. Dr McCloskey (pictured below) coordinated the HPA’s Olympic and Paralympic Games preparations. He said, “I am delighted to receive this honour from Her Majesty, which recognises the work undertaken by a fantastic team at the Health Protection Agency over many years. We were delighted to be part of the planning efforts for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games; it was hard work but great fun and the success of the Games made it all worthwhile.”

Dr Brian McCloskey CBE

Dr Paul Cosford, acting Chief Executive of the HPA, said, “The award reflects Dr McCloskey’s outstanding contribution to public health in this country, including the excellent leadership he provided over seven years of Olympic and Paralympic Games planning. Dr McCloskey was instrumental to the development of enhanced HPA surveillance systems to monitor for health threats across the Games period, and has created a fantastic legacy for the future. I am delighted his work has been recognised.” Dr McCloskey has worked in public health for over 24 years, joining the HPA in 2004 with responsibility for emergency planning and cross-government aspects of the agency’s response to major emergencies. From April 2013, he will take up the role of Director of Global Health at Public Health England. www.hpa.org.uk

Top team appointed to lead new Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Chief Officer Alasdair Hay, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), has announced the appointment of a Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) to take forward the new service, which will become operational on 1 April 2013. Alex Clark is appointed as Deputy Chief Officer in the new SFRS, providing strategic support to the Chief Officer as well as assuming responsibility for the day-to-day performance of the service and leading a number of assigned functions. Alex was formerly Chief Fire Officer at Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service. Four Assistant Chief Officers have been appointed: David Boyle, previously Chief Fire Officer, Tayside Fire and Rescue; David Goodhew, previously Assistant Chief Officer at Strathclyde Fire and Rescue; Peter Murray, previously Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Tayside Fire and Rescue (on secondment from Grampian FRS); Lewis Ramsay, previously Assistant Chief Officer, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue; and Robert Scott, previously Assistant Chief Officer, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue. Diane Vincent, previously Head of Organisational Development at Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, has been appointed Director of People and Organisational Development, and Sarah O’Donnell, previously Head of Finance at Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, has been appointed as the service’s new Director of Finance and Contractual Services. The new service will have its interim

www.gov.uk

Chief Officer Alasdair Hay, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

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Douglas Paxton has been appointed as the next Chief Constable of Suffolk Police. Mr Paxton, who has spent much of his police service in Suffolk, is currently Deputy Chief Constable of Staffordshire. www.suffolk.police.uk

headquarters in Perth and will be divided into three key service hubs: • The East Hub – led by ACO Peter Murray • The West Hub – led by ACO Dave Boyle • The North Hub – led by ACO Robert Scott. Chief Officer Alasdair Hay, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, said, “We have appointed an exceptional team of individuals to lead the new national Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. Between them, they have more than 130 years’ experience working in fire and rescue services across Scotland. “This is a significant milestone in the journey towards a national service and I am really looking forward to working with all of them, to make sure we deliver a fire and rescue service that we can be proud of and that is committed to serving and protecting local communities across Scotland.”

Greater Manchester Police has appointed Ian Hopkins as Deputy Chief Constable (DCC). Ian has been GMP’s temporary DCC since December 2011 and will retain overall responsibility for force performance, the Force Change Programme and Corporate Communications.

www.scotland.gov.uk

Dave Walton has joined West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) as Assistant Chief Fire Officer and Director of Service Support. Mr Walton previously served with West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) for 28 years, where he was most recently Acting Assistant Chief Officer/Director of Technical and Operational Support. He replaces ACO Martyn Redfearn, who recently retired from WYFRS. Mr Walton is the national lead for hazardous materials for the Chief Fire Officers’ Association (CFOA) and a member of the National Operations Committee.

Emergency workers named in Woman’s Hour Power List 2013 Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies and Thames Valley Police Chief Constable Sara Thornton, Vice President of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), have been listed as sixth and 18th respectively in the Top 20 women of The Woman’s Hour Power List 2013. The BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour Power list 2013 is the list of the UK’s 100 most powerful women in the UK, nominated by the public and chosen by a panel comprising journalist Eve Pollard, presenter Dawn O’Porter, labour peer Baroness Oona King, conservative MP Priti Patel, crime novelist Val McDermidand and former Woman’s Hour editor Jill Burridge. The list was announced on Woman’s Hour on 12 February and also

Peter Holland CBE, former Chief Fire Officer of Lancashire Fire and Rescue Authority, has been appointed as the next Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser. He succeeds Sir Ken Knight who will remain employed by the Department for Communities and Local Government until the spring to complete the efficiencies and operations review announced on 14 December 2012.

www.gmp.police.uk

Sally Chapman has been appointed as the new Deputy Chief Officer for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS). Sally, who originally trained as a public sector lawyer, joined SWFRS in September 2006 and her portfolio as Director of Corporate Services includes finance, procurement, stores, business support, internal and external audit, legal services and support to fire and rescue authority members. www.southwales-fire.gov.uk

www.westyorksfire.gov.uk

featured Cressida Dick, Assistant Commissioner of the Met Police.

Mark Gilmore is the new Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police. Mark spent the last 18 months as Deputy Chief Constable in Northumbria and for two years before that as Assistant Chief Constable in West Yorkshire.

http://tinyurl.com/powertop100

www.westyorkshire.police.uk

Chief Constable Sara Thornton.

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In conversation with… David Savage David Savage, founder and Chief Executive of Excelerate Technology Group – a leading command communications and mobile satellite broadband provider – reflects on a very good 2012 for his company and its customers. Emergency Services Times spoke to David between trips to Australia and the Middle East. Emergency Services Times (EST): What were the key events for Excelerate during 2012? David Savage (DS): 2012 was a year in which we delivered everything we were contracted to deliver, with flying colours, and with lots of endorsements from government, particularly leading up to the Olympics. Because we have such a high market share in our sector, 2012 was also a year when, in anticipation of the Olympics, we made some significant investments, in designing and implementing, in time for the Olympics, our new Enhanced Resilience Satellite Network. Throughout 2012 there was lots of testing going on, and lots of exercises being run, preparing for the Olympics, and of course we gave full technical support to those exercises. In fact, for an exercise in London last year – Operation Amber – not only did we support technically at various sites with full conference capability and full failover, we also bolstered the network and provided the users with additional technology so that they could also push the system to the limits. EST: Can you explain the need for the Enhanced Resilience Satellite Network? DS: Certainly. For the Olympics we had to ensure that sufficient ‘Plan Bs’ were in place. Eighteen months ago the question was raised by the Cabinet Office concerning resilience of satellites, particularly in light of enhanced solar flare activity, and that started to make us think: ‘What is the Plan B if the satellite does actually fall out of the sky?’ We decided not to take the chance, not just by expanding capacity but also by acquiring the capacity of a second satellite network using an identical satellite platform. This was the genesis of the Enhanced Resilience Satellite Network. The benefit of this is that if one satellite fails our

Excelerate has begun offering Ka satellite services to its clients, in addition to Ku services delivering its Enhanced Resilience Satellite Network.

David Savage, Founder and Chief Executive, Excelerate Technology Group

customers can be rapidly switched across to a second satellite network without having to reinvest in any additional technology, ie using exactly the same technology platform that they have already purchased from us. That is very important, and it does actually give us a significant edge; for emergency services, resilience is a critical consideration. EST: The state of Victoria Country Fire Authority in Australia has integrated communications solutions from Excelerate into its advanced new command vehicles, which it is using to manage bush fires. How did this opportunity arise? DS: As with much of our business, including our growth in the UK, it is almost always spawned on the back of horrendous disasters, such as 9/11 in the US and 7/7 in London. The latter, for example, was probably responsible for the HART contract, with greater emphasis by the emergency services on more resilient communications, where they might fail and where they might need bolstering. And really it was no different with Australia, though in Australia the catalyst wasn’t terrorism but the cataclysmic events on what is called Black Saturday, where 173 people lost their lives when as many as 400 individual bushfires were burning across the Australian state of Victoria on and around 7 February 2009. As you would expect when there is so much loss of life, that triggered a royal commission of enquiry, and the royal commission identified a number of critical command communications issues, both in terms of how they managed emergencies but also in terms of modernisation, where improvements were required in every area, including communications. They found that the emergency services, just like in London after the London bombings, in that peak period of activity were experiencing communications problems. They didn’t have enough technology and they relied on their public network far too heavily. This is a watchword with all emergency services the world over; if they are overly

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reliant on a public network then they are courting disaster. Probability wise, they will one day get caught out and be found wanting. All of that investigation triggered a requirement by the Victoria Country Fire Authority (CFA), in particular, to look at what the state of Victoria was doing to fix the problem. The Victoria CFA sent senior officers to the Interschutz fire show, in Germany, in 2010. We had taken a HART vehicle to Interschutz and we also took our own demonstration vehicle. The Australian visitors were absolutely bowled over by their capabilities. Consequently, we were invited over to Australia to talk to them about how we could export our expertise and our capability into Australia. That’s how it all began, and we are now being seen as part of the solution to their major challenges. EST: How do you plan to manage Excelerate’s business in Australia? DS: From our perspective the business model for Australia will be very similar to the business model that works well for us here in the UK. We will have a wholly-owned subsidiary with our own people there, and the reason for that is that we can then enjoy exactly the same sort of close relationships with clients in Australia as we enjoy here in the UK. The satellite we are using is giving us full coverage of the continent of Australia, including Tasmania, and New Zealand. The bushfire season in any year generally starts in October in the north of the country and then as the summer kicks in those bush fires move south east as the summer dries out the vegetation.

“This is a watchword with all emergency services the world over; if they are overly reliant on a public network then they are courting disaster.” EST: Will the Australian market present you with any particular challenges? DS: The big difference between the situation in the UK and Australia is that in the UK we were pioneers of the concept of satellite broadbandenabled vehicles. In the beginning the vehicles didn’t have all the applications we eventually ended up with on vehicles such as the HART UK vehicles, which have a comprehensive suite of data, voice and video applications, which make satellite bandwidth truly compelling and very useful. In the UK mobile satellite broadband has moved from being a nice-to-have to being a must-have, and anybody who is considering a new command vehicle in the UK these days absolutely has to have satellite broadband. We no longer have to sell the

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ESTPROFILE | 43 concept of satellite broadband. It is now very much a case of ‘what can you do with that network’ once you have it. That is why it is important that we control the network. The Australians started by saying, ‘we are building new command vehicles and we want everything you have in the UK on those command vehicles’. So, in addition to mobile satellite broadband they have a full suite of cameras, body-worn cameras and perimeter cameras, resilient communications, things like private GSM. We are not simply bolting a satellite dish onto a vehicle. And they have also ‘got’ our DDMI (Digital Dashboard Management Interface) solution. They understood that it was going to solve the problem of putting a very sophisticated and diverse range of technologies and applications on board these vehicles for the first time, but also the need for demystifying it all and making it easy to use for fire officers. We are finding the same thing in the Middle East, where DDMI is being seen and accepted as one of the best means of overcoming one of the biggest hurdles to introducing new and very comprehensive technologies to people who actually aren’t IT literate. We have never lost sight of who our customers are – they are fire officers, paramedics and police officers; they are not meant to be retrained to become IT specialists. For Australia we are also developing things specifically for the client. That is another one of the things we do, physically investing in and developing new technologies on the back of requirements from our emergency services clients.

“Regarding our Ku-based Enhanced Resilience Satellite Network, nobody else can provide that level of resilience without the client having to go through significant extra expense and delays.” This is only the beginning for DDMI, for example. If it were a software product you would be calling it Version 1.0. We don’t see an end to this. The more ideas clients have, the more things they want to integrate, then the more features will be integrated into DDMI. There will be many more good things for DDMI, and it won’t just integrate things that we develop. It will also bring in things – not supplied by us – which clients have introduced. EST: I understand the vehicles were operational sooner than was planned – why so? DS: The two vehicles were handed over to CFA in November/December last year and weren’t strictly scheduled to be on the run – ie operational – until about July this year. But before we even get to the recent bush fires, there was a telephone exchange that was burnt out in late 2012. That was significant, because it then affected terrestrial communications for about 250km. It got to the point where people couldn’t draw cash out of cash points because there were no comms, people couldn’t buy petrol at a petrol station because there

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The State of Victoria Country Fire Authority’s first mobile command vehicle with a full suite of integrated command communications solutions supplied and supported by Excelerate Technology Group.

were no comms. The Victoria CFA chief requested that we supplied one of our resident engineers to help support the deployment of one of their new command vehicles ahead of schedule. That vehicle was actually parked front-ways in to their fire station in the affected town, with its rear end hanging out with its satellite dish deployed. That vehicle actually became the only means of communication for anybody in that region. That got the message over very clearly about the importance of resilience and business continuity. The second time the CFA vehicle was used in anger was because of the extraordinary level of bush fire activity throughout the state in January this year, and they decided they needed to use one of the CFA command vehicles to support operations. These are the first vehicles of their type in Australia; they really are pioneering. Even in New Zealand, where there are vehicles that have a satellite dish on them, no one was using the levels and types of capability the way our customers in the UK do or the Victoria CFA. We will be headquartering our Australasian business in Melbourne and supporting New Zealand clients from there. The trip by plane to NZ is almost a domestic trip. EST: You are now offering both Ka and Ku band satellite solutions. What are the differences between the two? DS: With Ku satellites one satellite can cover a very large geographical area, whereas Ka uses narrower spot beams and a number of those spot beams to cover the same area. It is quite possible that an emergency services client needs to transit the area of a spot beam in order to cover their territory. An antenna might not actually be able to find the satellite. These are all issues that we have to advise on. We offer technology that offers automatic beam hopping, so we ensure that our customers can access proper professional roaming type networks with Ka. EST: You weren’t the first company to offer these solutions. Could you explain why? DS: We are agnostic about both alternatives. We have no axe to grind concerning either of the two systems. Unusually for us, we were not the first

supplier to provide Ka solutions for emergency services, and the reason we didn’t do that, the reason we waited, was because at the time none of the hardware platforms were actually accredited by the satellite networks. What we can’t do, given that we have a brand and a reputation to consider, is to introduce and offer a Ka solution where there was any risk whatsoever, where the client might buy a product that could theoretically be turned off if there wasn’t accredited equipment. So we waited until various platforms started to get their accreditations. That has happened, so we are now in the Ka satellite market. We also wanted to be able to offer things that nobody else could. Regarding our Ku-based Enhanced Resilience Satellite Network, nobody else can provide that level of resilience without the client having to go through significant extra expense and delays getting reconnected should there be a terminal failure of a satellite. With Ka we had to wait until the satellite antennae received their approvals and accreditations. We needed to choose our network carefully, because the only competing services being offered in the UK were effectively offering consumer products and consumer tariffs, network dynamics that were for the masses but those providers have no control over the quality of that broadband. Having gone through the pain barrier many years ago, we know it doesn’t work if you can’t control quality; if you can’t provide a more professional grade of service. For emergency services customers and business customers we have had to do quite a lot of work in coming up with a range of solutions to overcome that problem. However, if a client insists on being supplied with a consumer-type solution, purely based on cost, we will be as competitive as we need to be to secure that business, and we can do that because of our size and our market penetration – our market power if you like. I believe we can provide Ka satellite antennas far more competitively than anyone else in the market place. www.excelerate-group.com

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FloodSax® On The Flooding Frontline When flooding strikes either inside or outside you have little time to act. But now families and businesses can have instant protection with FloodSax® that are transformed from being as light as a pillowcase to as tough and heavy as sandbags within minutes. Save Lives When Hurricane Sandy struck the USA in October 2012 it sent an horrendous amount of debris heading for homes and people. Just look at how this wall of FloodSax® (right) held back a colossal amount of water and debris that would have devastated homes alongside the River Delaware close to New Jersey. Save Money The damage caused by any kind of flood can be astronomical, described by insurance companies as “the thief who takes everything in its wake” as insurance claims from floods are typically 30 times greater than from burglaries. That’s an awful lot of money, likely to send your insurance premium spiralling and it could mean you even struggle to get flood insurance again. Save Space The beauty of FloodSax® is that they come vacuumed-packed so can be popped in the smallest of spaces – in a car or on a fire appliance. A box of 20 FloodSax® which can be carried by one person and moved in a car is the equivalent to a pallet of 20 sandbags that would need a forklift to shift and at least a van to transport. Save Mess When flooding strikes it’s powerful enough to send water back up into homes from sewers, flooding bathrooms with filthy water. Just one FloodSax® popped down the toilet prevents this. Simply place them under a leaking pipe or appliance such as a boiler or washing machine and let the FloodSax® absorb all the water. Save Property FloodSax® have proven to be highly effective as they give instant protection from flooding, leaks and spills. Just 30 of them built as a wall protected £360,000 worth of equipment at this warehouse (left). FloodSax® can be used as highly effective barriers to stop water getting inside homes or businesses, but can also be used as barriers to divert water away from properties and into drains or water courses such as streams and becks. Save Clean-up Sandbags can deteriorate over time and eventually fall apart unlike FloodSax® which are clean, dry and easy to store. Sandbags can also be messy to clean up after the floodwater has subsided. Save The Environment FloodSax® don’t need to use the earth’s natural resources such as sand and after they’ve been used can be simply and easily disposed of swiftly in landfill sites where they will decompose over time.

When disaster strikes make sure you’ve FloodSax® to hand FloodSax® are manufactured by Yorkshire company Environmental Defence Systems Ltd www.floodsax.com, email info@floodsax.com or phone 01484 641009


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How would the UK deal with a disaster on the scale of Hurricane Sandy? CFOA National Resilience lead Jon Hall also chairs his Local Resilience Forum, a partnership formed under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 to bring together those involved in responding to and recovering from emergencies. Here he considers the likely manner of response in this country to a disaster on the scale of Hurricane Sandy. Words: Jon Hall, CFOA National Resilience lead. Let’s start with the fact that no one is fully prepared for a disaster. If we were, then it would be routine and certainly wouldn’t feel like a crisis. The truth is that, as emergency professionals, all we can do is try to provide individuals, communities, organisations and responders with a range of tools, skills and capabilities that we hope they will be able to use to return to some new normality as soon as possible after a disaster. Most disasters, however large and whatever their cause, have a predictable set of consequences, including: loss of power, loss of water supplies, interrupted communications, disruption of care services, removal of transport infrastructure, and an overwhelming of public services that we normally take for granted. The role of the Local Resilience Forum is to use the skills of member organisations to address each of these consequences and to make arrangements in advance to minimise their impact. Although they can’t stop disaster striking, they all contribute to what is known as a Community Risk Register,

used to predict the impact and likelihood of a wide range of incidents. Improving personal resilience Starting with the help available to individuals, many organisations, local and national, offer advice on how to improve personal resilience. The Environment Agency is a key member of the forum and produces extensive information on issues relating to flood defence and protecting homes. This information ranges from how to monitor rising water levels on our rivers to practical advice on water-proofing homes. In crisis, they activate their emergency control rooms that monitor watercourse levels around the country and maintain flow through rivers, sluices and drains. Teams of technicians will be working hard during any disaster to remove blockages and ensure flow in problem areas wherever possible. There comes a point, however, when the water table is full and the low-lying areas of the county have nowhere to drain to. When combined with continued rainfall, high

Yellow cabs line a flooded street in Queens, New York in hurricane Sandy’s wake.

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winds driving high tides, there is a natural limit to what can be achieved until conditions change. The Resilience Forum has an extensive communication network using specialist advisers from all partner organisations, which gives it the ability to quickly develop safety instructions and act together to provide consistent messages through broadcast media. Many of these are pre-drafted but can be adjusted to fit the needs of specific locations in a variety of circumstances. Just like in the USA last year, if we’re lucky there will be some notice of impending disaster. Well-practiced plans will be implemented and, within a few short hours, all members of the forum will be brought together for a preliminary meeting to agree early objectives and to discuss the state of readiness of public, voluntary and utility services. Based on this and taking into account central government priorities, pre-emptive public safety messages will be agreed and members will then start preparing their own organisations for what is to come.

Photo: KeystoneUSA-ZUMA / Rex Features.

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Jon Hall, CFOA National Resilience lead

Maintaining core support services Each county, district, borough and city council works hard through their forums to ensure they can maintain core support services during a crisis. They identify the most vulnerable and, working with the local Director of Public Health, Health Protection Agency and NHS providers, can help prioritise the delivery of life support, medical and care services when normal delivery is simply not possible. County and Highways Agency staff will be working to reinstate transport infrastructure and maintain a critical supplies network from the outset and districts will be mobilising groups of staff and volunteers, implementing well practiced plans opening-up their premises to create rest and evacuation centres. As the storm hits… As the storm hits, local blue light services and voluntary responders are likely to be fully committed to dealing with incidents during the early stages. They will all be recalling staff, implementing mutual aid arrangements and working to coordinate incoming resources from all over the UK and even overseas. In every police service area, a multi-agency cell, known as the Strategic Coordinating Group (often wrongly referred to as ‘Gold’), will meet frequently to provide high-level decision-making and a clear link with Government. Under the overall command of

the local Chief Constable, it is through this body that national resources such as military aid will be requested and the machinery of Government will be kept informed of the local situation. Through its offices, coordination will also take place across multiple affected areas. Representatives of key organisations such as utilities (communications, power and water providers) will be brought in to provide a focus for operations depending upon the developing situation. Wide-scale weather events are unlikely to respect county borders so extensive communication will be underway with neighbouring authorities in the UK. During the earliest stages of the emergency, the number of people needing help will outstrip the ability to respond to every call for help. There are only so many emergency workers available so, during this phase, initial prioritisation will be undertaken by emergency call handlers. Communities will be asked to manage as best they can and will be asked to care for their most in need. If the disaster is widespread, this could result in a period of days when personal resilience is the only option available.

“No matter how good preparations are, there will be a period when communities will be on their own while more urgent issues of the critical infrastructure are dealt with.” A number of agencies across local and national government promote awareness and preparedness for individuals and communities (in particular the Civil Contingencies Secretariat of the Cabinet Office). However, this is one area where the frequency of disasters in the US tends them towards better individual and community preparation. Since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, they have learnt the lesson that, no matter how good preparations are, there will be a period when communities will be on their own while more

urgent issues of the critical infrastructure are dealt with. It will depend on the nature of a disaster in this country as to how long this phase might last but effective pre-plans will bring-in additional staff quickly. Military support will be provided immediately to help with lifesaving operations and pre-defined logistics centres, known as MASHAs, will be established to manage and coordinate incoming resources. Local authorities will establish evacuation and rest centres as soon as possible and emergency communications arrangements will be implemented in the inevitable event of lost mobile networks. Start restoring normality From the earliest stages of the disaster, the objective of all involved will be to start restoring normality wherever possible. The same agencies involved in the emergency response phase will also come together as soon as possible to establish arrangements by which recovery can start at the very earliest stage. Although it may not seem it to those most affected, quite quickly the initial crisis phase will come within the control of agencies and as many lives as possible will be stabilised. In a disaster, this may mean as little as everyone having a roof over their head and drinking water/food to survive while infrastructure is re-established. The management of expectations will be difficult throughout this period. The work will then really start to create what is often referred to as ‘the new normal’. With possible loss to home and property following largescale disaster, the previous state of what felt ‘normal’ may never be re-established, but slowly and surely communities will recover. Arrangements need to evolve The lessons of Sandy have only just begun and local arrangements will need to evolve to reflect what we learn in the coming months and years. Hopefully the UK will continue to only experience smaller-scale incidents but the mechanisms established through the Civil Contingencies Act provide a group of people on Local Resilience Fora working hard to prepare for that which we hope will never happen. www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/ukresilience

The work of a typical Local Resilience Forum can be followed at www.gloucestershireprepared.co.uk

RLSS training raises water safety awareness The National Water Safety Management Programme (Emergency Services) from the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS) is a suite of modular, inter-linked training awards, which enable emergency service authorities to provide emergency services personnel with a sensible and proportionate level of occupation based training – focused around the first few minutes on scene and before specialist back-up arrives. Depending on local need, authorities can select from three levels – ranging from a half-day Water Safety Awareness course to a comprehensive InWater Rescue course. Whichever option is appropriate, officers will come away with a clear

appreciation of exactly how they might be harmed and the best response options for that situation. The course takes a pragmatic approach and recognises that sometimes options are limited, particularly where fast-flowing deeper water is concerned – the key is to know, with confidence,

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what is possible and what presents an unacceptably high risk. The programme has been developed in close consultation with a number of relevant and key lead bodies, including Devon & Cornwall Police, and the Health and Safety Executive was consulted in the development of the National Water Safety Management Programme and ‘endorses the sensible, proportionate, reasonable and balanced advice provided by the programme’. www.watersafetymanagement.co.uk

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Commemorating the 60th anniversary of the 1953 East Coast floods This year marks the 60th anniversary of the 1953 East Coast floods – the worst flooding in living memory. Today the Environment Agency works closely with the emergency services before, during and after flooding, so how has flood risk management progressed since 1953? Words: Craig Woolhouse, East Coast Flood Risk Manager at the Environment Agency. If you work in the emergency services sector you’ll be familiar with the way in which the Environment Agency operates during an incident. We are a Category 1 Responder and work closely with emergency services before, during and after floods. This includes carrying out risk assessments, developing multi-agency emergency plans, and training and exercising together to ensure we’re ready to provide as good a response as possible.

“Improvements in technology, defences and awareness have helped us learn and progress since the 1953 East Coast floods but we must not forget that we all need to work together to reduce the consequences of one of the most significant natural hazards facing the UK.” This preparation and our emergency response were certainly put to the test in 2012, the second wettest year since records began. Flooding occurred across England and Wales throughout the majority of the year, river flows tripled from April to July, and some areas received almost double the average amount of rain for the time of year. Around 8000 properties flooded during 2012 but defences protected more than 200,000 properties from river and coastal flooding. Extreme weather events On 31 January 1953, a number of extreme weather events – high natural tides, a major coastal surge and very high winds – combined over an eight-hour period to cause major flooding in areas from Yorkshire through to Kent. More than 300 people died, 24,500 homes were damaged or destroyed and more than 30,000 people were evacuated. The storm had initially led to the loss of over 100 lives at sea near Northern Ireland, then significant wind damage to the forests of Scotland, and finally created a tidal surge that coincided with high spring tides from the Humber to Dover. The

Today’s defences need regular investment if they are to sustain the standards of protection we have today.

tidal surge intensified around Holland where 1800 people died. These multiple impacts all happened over a 24-hour period with the worst coastal flooding during darkness. Although many communities had emergency plans in place, by the time the threat of coastal flooding became apparent, some could not be contacted by telephone as many lines had been brought down by the gales. In 1953 the emergency response to the East Coast floods was spontaneous and community-led and many of the deaths that occurred could have been avoided if an effective flood warning system had been in place, giving communities sufficient time to evacuate their homes. At the time, forecasting technology was fairly primitive and there was no single body responsible for issuing flood warnings. The East Coast floods of 1953 were a tragic event for both the communities that fell victim to flooding, and the country as a whole. Described as one of the worst peacetime calamities to hit Britain, Winston Churchill declared it a ‘national disaster’. Those affected by the floods would have gone to bed without a flood warning, and many of the flood defences today along the east coast, including London’s Thames Barrier, didn’t exist at all. Flood warnings We’re lucky enough to have a lot more tools at our disposal to keep flood aware and safe these

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days. More than 1.2 million people are now signed up to receive flood warnings, giving them vital time to prepare. Where there was major loss of life in 1953, major flood defences have been built, including Canvey Island, Jaywick, Felixstowe, Lincolnshire, Kings Lynn and Great Yarmouth. Reports into the flood of 1953’s effect on the Thames Estuary and London underpinned the decision to build the Thames Barrier, which has been shut 125 times since its first closure in February 1983. But with rising sea levels and the gradual sinking of the coastline, today’s defences need regular investment if they are to sustain the standards of protection we have today. This year alone, 93 new flood defences have been given the green light to start construction, protecting more than 64,000 more homes from the devastating effects of flooding. With £294m to be invested in flood risk management this year, 165,000 homes are now expected to be better protected by 2015, which is 20,000 more than the current goal. Greater scientific understanding Along with the positive changes in defences and communications, we now have a far greater scientific understanding of tidal surges, which lead to coastal flooding. Recently the weather data available at the time of the 1953 event were re-analysed by the Met Office’s numerical prediction models, and the results showed accurate

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ESTSEVERE WEATHER | 49 predictions of the movement and intensity of the storm surge. And in November 2007, a reliable advance warning of a coastal surge from the Environment Agency ensured that an evacuation of parts of Great Yarmouth could be implemented. There have also been massive improvements in long range flood forecasting since 1953 like the joint Environment Agency and Met Office Flood Forecasting Centre, which provides 24/7 flood guidance to emergency services and local authorities. We’re much better prepared than in 1953 but we cannot afford to be complacent. Despite the low probability, extreme floods like 1953 could strike at any time and we need to be prepared as a country and as communities for when these happen. National risk The approach to managing civil emergencies on a national level has progressed hugely over time and a major coastal surge is recognised as one of the most significant natural hazards facing the UK in the Government’s National Risk Register. Central Government is currently assessing our preparedness for this scale of event as are east coast Local Resilience Forums, who launched their ‘East Coast Flood Framework’ at a major conference at Barton-upon-Humber to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the flooding.

Our flood defence schemes have protected an extra 182,000 properties in the past three years.

One in 25 properties in England and Wales is currently at risk of coastal flooding – that’s 1.3 million people. Our flood defence schemes have protected an extra 182,000 properties in the past three years but tidal surges happen regularly. The flooding on the east coast of America from super storm Sandy was largely as a result of a major storm surge occurring at the same time as natural high tides, showing us that the danger of flooding from the sea is very real. With a changing climate and sea level rise, more properties will be at risk in the future. We have made many great strides towards making sure we are ready for coastal flooding and our work with the emergency services is crucial in protecting people and properties from the devastating effects of flooding but people can also help themselves by making sure they are flood aware. Improvements in technology, defences and awareness have helped us learn and progress since the 1953 East Coast floods but we must not forget that we all need to work together to reduce the consequences of one of the most significant natural hazards facing the UK. www.environment-agency.gov.uk

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Equipment for specialist rescue Safequip is a leading supplier of water rescue PPE and equipment to the emergency services, with special emphasis in the professional rescue sector, which include fire and rescue services, ambulance HART, police forces, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, ALSAR and many other rescue organisations both here in the UK and overseas. The company’s wide range of products provides specialist equipment and PPE that have, in most cases, been specifically developed to provide safety and protection even in the harshest of environments.

that it can provide a first class service, which is demanded by its customers (For further information regarding this service, please e-mail: repairs@safequip.co.uk). In addition, Safequip is the UK distributor for a number of premium brands, which include Streamlight Lighting, Eska Gloves, Volkl Footwear, Specialist Inflatable Technology and the latest addition, Kask Helmets. These specialist brands offer a wide range of products that are commonplace in all areas of technical rescue. The company’s products are used in water rescue, rescue boats, mud rescue, working at height, USAR, and frontline fire operations, including structural and wildland fire fighting applications. The products are manufactured and tested to the highest standards, so users can be confident even when they find themselves in the most challenging circumstances. Significant investment Safequip not only recognises the importance of supplying good quality products that are fit for purpose, but also the need to support its products when it comes to servicing or repairs. In the past 12 months the company has invested in improving its lifejacket servicing and drysuit repairs operation, so

Safequip boasts a wealth of experience in the supply of equipment into the emergency services and commercial sectors. The company takes very seriously the responsibility in ensuring it understands its customers’ requirements so it can make sure it provides not only the best advice, but the most appropriate products for the application for which they are intended. www.safequip.co.uk

Be safe and secure with the RUD I-Sock According to the NHS in 2009/2010 there were 18,570 hospital admissions due to falls involving ice and snow. Don’t take the chance of being a statistic this winter, make sure you are prepared and well equipped with the RUD I-Sock. The RUD I-Sock is a safety product that offers exceptional footing and traction on slippery and icy surfaces. It is extremely quick and easy to use and simply straps on to your boot. It is very lightweight, easy to fit, robust and an essential safety product that offers maximum traction and safety on snow and ice. The RUD I-Sock is made from a unique combination of textile and metal that offers excellent grip and traction on compact snow, slippery and icy surfaces. Its large surface area on the boot ensures that your foot gets more traction resulting in a higher level of footing for the user on snow and icy surfaces. You can also drive in the I-Sock – a perfect safety solution for customers who do not have time to waste removing the I-Sock before driving. www.rud.co.uk

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Weathering the storm together Storm Sandy wreaked devastation on an unprecedented scale when it blasted across the east coast of the United States in October 2012. One company watching events unfold as millions of Americans lost power supplies due to the severity of the storm was UK Power Networks, Britain’s largest electricity network operator. A quarter of Britain depends on its electricity network for the necessities of heat, light and comfort. While Britain has never faced the ferocity of a ‘superstorm’ like Sandy, British gales can cause the same volume of faults on its electricity system as would normally be experienced in the course of weeks. The Great Storm in 1987 destroyed hundreds of kilometres of overhead lines and thousands of wooden poles – the same level of faults normally experienced in 15 years. Work takes place all year round to prepare for bad weather and this year UK Power Networks is investing £23m to trim trees that interfere with its overhead lines and cause power cuts during high winds or snow.

Assessing the risks John Gibbs, Contingency Planning Manager, said, “We assess the risks that could affect our networks constantly and know that preparing for storms and flooding is essential for a quicker response and recovery from the devastation they cause. Working closely together with the emergency services and local authority emergency planning officers is crucial to achieving a successful recovery from a major incident.” UK Power Networks constantly tracks severe weather systems via the Met Office. It uses a multistage warning system to alert staff and emergency partners about where and when the impacts may be felt. Once there is strong confidence in the forecast the company plans resources, arranging for additional staff to be on standby covering engineering, technical and call centre roles. As the weather causes damage or power cuts staff prioritise the incidents coming into the control centre and dispatch staff to safety-related incidents and power cuts affecting the largest number of customers first. As in the United States, the UK electricity industry mutual aid agreement is also invoked in an emergency.

Local authorities often require information about where the faults are so they can send help to where it is needed most, such as care homes. They have internet access to reports from UK Power Networks’ incident management system and can also use the postcode finder on the company’s public website to

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check whether at-risk groups are affected. If required UK Power Networks can support the civil emergency response with a senior manager in person or as a critical friend on the end of a phone. Protecting the most vulnerable The company maintains a Priority Services Register of customers who are particularly vulnerable, especially the elderly or those with medical equipment powered by electricity at home. While the electricity company endeavours to contact these customers and keep them updated during a power cut, local authorities often provide complementary services and practical help, such as hot meals or even alternative accommodation for their clients. So UK Power Networks works with them and shares information with them to get help to where it is needed most – the most vulnerable. Also, through its partnership with the British Red Cross, UK Power Networks arranges for volunteers to bring face-to-face support to customers without power during more prolonged repairs. The volunteers keep customers informed, alongside the company’s own customer advisers. The BRC volunteers knock on doors to check whether customers need hot drinks, torches or simply a reassuring chat.

“Working closely together with the emergency services and local authority emergency planning officers is crucial to achieving a successful recovery from a major incident.” Monitoring infrastructure Today, the company also works closely with the Environment Agency to identify and monitor infrastructure, which could be affected by flooding. January sees the 60th anniversary of the 1953 floods, which killed 300 people and caused havoc along the East Coast of England. The damage to the electricity network went largely unreported then against the loss of life and devastation. To mitigate the current risk identified following the floods in 2007, UK Power Networks is spending about £6m over the next three years to make sure that flood damage and interruption to supplies is kept to a minimum. Mark Dunk, Infrastructure Manager with UK Power Networks, said, “We have identified the sites on our network that are most at risk and are

spending money on improving the defences. It’s divided to about £2.6m in the East and £3.1m in the South East network with about £250,000 in London. The capital is less at risk from sea flooding since the installation of the Thames Barrier but burst mains and surface water flooding still needs to be taken into account.” Working with partners The company takes its responsibilities under the Civil Contingency Act 2004 seriously and cooperates fully with emergency services and emergency planners. This includes attendance at regular coordination meetings, support for multi-agency training and exercising, engagement in local resilience forums and working together during real events at all levels of the gold-silver-bronze command structure. The company is also working closely with partners, including Government, to identify new and creative ways to support its customers and restore stability in the wake of emergency events.

Following Storm Sandy the company will be carefully monitoring the reports and recommendations from responders and authorities to incorporate any lessons into its plans and processes. www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk

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RNLI Flood Rescue Team reflects on busiest year ever 2012 was the busiest year ever for the RNLI’s Flood Rescue Team (FRT). Members of the FRT, which is made up of specially trained RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew and staff, were deployed to 11 flood events throughout the year: three in Wales (Aberystwyth, St Asaph, Bangor); one in Stockton, England; one in Dublin, Ireland, and six in South West England. This is the highest number of deployments in a single year since the team was founded in 2000. Three members of the RNLI’s FRT have been recognised for their part in the rescue of a woman clinging to a branch in fast-flowing flood waters in Umberleigh, Devon in December 2012. It is the first time that RNLI volunteers have been awarded medals for a flood rescue. In the early morning of 23 December 2012, Mother-of-one Vanessa Glover was clinging to a tree in the River Taw in Umberleigh, having been swept from her car, as the river breached its banks, over 3.5m above normal level. Vanessa had been in the water for 45 minutes, and was suffering from cold. She would not have been able to hold on for much longer.

At the request of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, an RNLI Flood Rescue Team from Poole arrived on scene at 1:45am, and found the fire and rescue service in attendance. The situation was inherently dangerous: the team was unfamiliar with the area; it was dark and the flood waters were moving at 12 knots and carrying debris. A bridge a few hundred metres downstream also posed a significant risk – anything, including a

boat, could be sucked beneath it with the force of the water. If there was a mechanical failure, or if the engine was struck by debris, caught on an unseen hazard, or at worst the boat capsized, the consequences could be disastrous. To add to this, the water level was still rising and conditions deteriorating as heavy rain continued to fall. This was an extremely unusual incident, with significant risks, and no means to provide any containment, or to put downstream back up in place. A wise decision had been made that a rescue attempt was far too risky for one boat team, however the RNLI team knew, with their training, they could achieve a rescue, even if it did present an extremely high level of risk to themselves. Partnership working With fire and rescue service back up and command, and illumination and guidance from the police helicopter, the RNLI team launched the boat and, five minutes later, Vanessa was successfully rescued, in complete darkness, from a location unfamiliar to the team. This rescue was a remarkable achievement achieved with partnership working between the emergency services. Yet it was only after the incident that each organisation was able to truly learn about each other’s capabilities, as the relationship had been established in the heat of an incident. For their parts in the rescue, three RNLI FRT members are to be awarded with medals for Gallantry.

(From L to R) The Boat Team: Chris Missen with Vanessa Glover and Paul Eastment.

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Photo: RNLI/Tamsin Thomas

Boat Team Leader Paul Eastment.

Photo: RNLI/Robin Goodlad

Helmsman Chris Missen.

Photo: RNLI/Robin Goodlad

Crew Member Martin Blaker-Rowe.

Photo: RNLI/Robin Goodlad

Boat Team Leader Paul Eastment, is to be awarded the RNLI Bronze Medal for Gallantry – one of the institution’s highest accolades – for his courage, leadership and determination in extremely challenging conditions. Helmsman Chris Missen, 25, and Crew Member Martin Blaker-Rowe, 33, will both also be awarded the Bronze Medal for Gallantry for their part in the rescue. Vanessa Glover, 46, the woman rescued by the team, who met Paul and Chris at the site of the rescue recently, said, “I want to thank you for your bravery, courage, determination, professionalism and commendable quality of character. You embody the highest principles of selflessness I know, ‘greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for friends’. But you were prepared to do that for a stranger and that stranger was me and in so doing you gave me the gift of life and the joy of knowing that Santa called on my son at Christmas. I will hold you in my heart forever. Thank you for saving my life.”

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ESTSEVERE WEATHER | 53 Proud moment Paul Eastment said, “I was amazed and delighted, gobsmacked even, when I heard I’d been awarded an RNLI Bronze Medal for Gallantry. For our actions during this rescue to be recognised is the proudest moment of my career. “Most importantly for me was the recognition for the whole team – the risk to all of us was significant – and each member of the team was vital to the success of the rescue.” Michael Vlasto, RNLI Operations Director, said, “This was a rescue carried out in the true spirit of the RNLI; the crew assessed the risks and made the decision collectively that despite the extremely high risk to themselves, the benefit of attempting the rescue was greater. This decision and their skill in extremely challenging circumstances unquestionably saved Mrs Glover’s life. Their selfless and courageous actions meant that a family could be reunited with a mother and wife they thought was lost, two days before Christmas.” Neil Blackburn, Group Manager with Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service and on scene incident commander, said, “During my 26 years in the fire and rescue service, this would rate amongst the most challenging incidents with which I have had to contend. Their efforts…without doubt saved the life of Mrs Glover.”

This rescue was a remarkable achievement achieved with partnership working between the emergency services. Further awards Shore Crew Member Bernie Mannings, 50, and Driver Jason Dunlop, 40, will also be recognized with the Thanks of the RNLI Inscribed on Vellum. RNLI Incident Commander Robin Goodlad will be awarded the Letter of Thanks from the Chairman of the RNLI. They supported the boat team throughout the incident, driving through flooded roads to the launch site and, once safely

there, contributing to the difficult decisions the team had to make. The RNLI Flood Rescue Team (FRT) was set up in 2000, and has 16 type B boat teams spread strategically around the UK and Republic of Ireland. 2012 was undoubtedly the FRT’s busiest year so far, with more deployments in one year than the previous 12 years combined. All of these

(From L to R) Chris Missen, Vanessa Glover, Paul Glover and Paul Eastment at the site of the rescue after the water level had dropped. Photo: RNLI/Robin Goodlad

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events, as with all flood events by their very nature, were multi-agency events and a combined effort, and yet for responding organisations at a national level, at the ‘coal-face’ is often the first time they meet. With flood events undoubtedly becoming more common, close partnership working between emergency services has to be the way forward, developing understanding of each other’s capabilities, training together, and sharing the body of knowledge. While DEFRA standards outline the skills and equipment required for a type C or B team, there is vast variation, and by working together before the floods occur, everyone can be in a better position to respond, particularly if a very large scale event occurs in the future. Perhaps this is one of the best ways the emergency services can improve their national capability. Flood training exercises The RNLI runs flood training exercises for its teams across the UK at several tidal and powered white water sites, identified as they allow teams to best train in the required skills. For those services with which it has already exercised, the combined response has been notably smoother as a result, and the RNLI would welcome representatives from other agencies to observe and participate in joint training, as well as opportunities to attend other exercises. www.rnli.org.uk

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Community support in a crisis This winter has seen homes ravaged by floods and counties submerged as torrential rain battered Britain, in what experts have hailed as one of the wettest periods on record. On 27 November 2012 the flooding was reaching its peak following almost a week of treacherous weather nationwide. As the country woke to the news bridges had collapsed, entire towns had been deluged and the atrocious conditions had even claimed lives, the British Red Cross and its team of staff, volunteers and emergency vehicles were working alongside blue light services and local authorities to help the communities that needed it most. the UK. January saw Red Cross Land Rover crews take centre stage as they combined emergency response with health and social care services. In Somerset, teams were working with a local charity – Wessex 4x4 Response – to make sure snow-bound oncology patients still reach hospital for vital cancer treatment. Heavy snowfall across the region made it very difficult for some patients to get to medical appointments. Tracey Miller, Team Leader, said, “Thirty-three people in our area were scheduled to visit hospital – and some are classed as Category One, which means missing even a single day of Worsening situation Shaun Jones-Booth, Red Cross Emergency Response Volunteer, North Wales – 19 January 2013 treatment could be life-threatening. But Shocking rolling news footage showed Photo: Neil O’Connor. thanks to our determined volunteers and the worsening situation in St Asaph as the drivers from Wessex 4x4, most of those trips people, was on hand to speak to flood victims as the November floods wreaked havoc. Residents of went ahead.” they arrived at the centre. She says psycho-social the unassuming city in North Wales were captured In Leeds and Nottingham, Red Cross Land support plays a significant role in helping people in on camera climbing from windows and escaping Rover teams battled through almost impassable a crisis. She said, “We hear some heart breaking their homes by boat. routes to help determined district nurses carry out stories [at the rest centre] and there are a lot of their visits as well as assisting hospital transport people who need emotional support as they re-live services to ensure those who had been discharged their experiences. Our volunteers are able to offer made it safely home. practical advice but also just being here to listen to people’s concerns is a big help.” Simon Lewis, Head of Emergency Planning and Response, British Red Cross, said, “As the rain continued to fall, it became apparent that this was a massive and nationwide emergency. Water levels in many places rose extremely quickly and forced hundreds of people to flee their homes. We were able to help with evacuations in some towns and villages but we were also on hand to help when the blue lights stop turning – to lend support to people who found themselves isolated and in need of practical help.”

“In just over 48 hours, the Red Cross’s emergency teams attended 15 incidents from Cornwall to Cumbria.” Simon Lewis, Head of Emergency Planning and Response, British Red Cross.

Red Cross emergency workers teamed up with the RNLI to assist those fleeing the 500 homes affected – including a heavily pregnant woman who found herself marooned as water lapped at the door of her home. The Red Cross also set about opening a rest centre outside the flood-zone. The centre provided muchneeded sanctuary for residents who were suffering from shock having witnessed their homes being ravaged by the devastating power of the River Ely. Psycho-social support Karen Hill, a Red Cross team leader specialising in offering support to vulnerable and isolated

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In just over 48 hours, the Red Cross’s emergency teams attended 15 incidents from Cornwall to Cumbria and involving everything from delivering bottled water and torches to those hit by power cuts to door-to-door visits to ensure vulnerable people had the access to the latest flooding information. Simon Lewis said, “This was one of our biggest responses to flooding for some years and as the winter’s not over, it’s unlikely to be the last this season. No sooner had the floods abated than the snow arrived – we’ve had a busy few months.” Heavy snow in 2013 As floods subsided and 2013 began, the arctic blast saw heavy snow blanket much of the country and again, Red Cross teams were braving bitter blizzards to help those stranded. But it was not a case of evacuations and rescues as snow carpeted

British Red Cross volunteers conduct needs assessment of stranded Muchelney ‘islanders’. Photo: Bev Sugden (BRC)

Resilience campaign Although the Red Cross has a network of staff and volunteers ready to respond to crisis whenever and wherever it might happen, the organisation has also been running a resilience campaign to encourage the public to take simple steps that can help them prepare for emergencies. “We really believe that helping communities to prepare for extreme situations like the ones we have seen in recent months is key,” said Simon Lewis. “Taking a few simple steps like learning first aid, preparing emergency kits and planning for severe weather is really important and we’re here with advice and information that can help them do that.” www.redcross.org.uk

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Rescue & Safety Boats Short Term Hire now available Fully Equipped and ready to go

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Flood forecasting: preparing for major coastal flooding The recent flooding in New York as a result of Storm Sandy, together with this year being the 60th anniversary of the 1953 coastal floods in the UK, are timely reminders of the potential devastation and risk of a major coastal flood affecting us. The 2010 National Risk Register of National Emergencies lists coastal flooding as the second highest potential impact emergency – behind only pandemic flu. Since the 1953 floods there has been £millions invested in coastal defences, including the Thames tidal defences and the Thames Barrier. However key to the operation of these defences and the activation of responders’ emergency plans is a timely and accurate warning and informing service. After the 2007 floods, the Pitt review recommended that ‘The Environment Agency and the Met Office should work together, through a joint centre, to improve their technical capability to forecast, model and warn against all sources of flooding’. This recommendation produced the Flood Forecasting Centre (FFC), located in the Met Office operations centre in Exeter providing a 24/7 service to Category 1 and 2 Responders. The FFC, for the first time, brings together experienced Met Office weather forecasters and Environment Agency flood forecasters to make assessments of the impacts of any forecast weather for all natural sources of flooding.

“The FFC brings together experienced Met Office weather forecasters and Environment Agency flood forecasters to make assessments of the impacts of any forecast weather for all natural sources of flooding.” Effective warning and informing For coastal flooding there are two main products and services the FFC produces to allow effective warning and informing. The first is the daily Flood Guidance Statement (FGS), available for free to all Category 1 and 2 Responders. The FGS looks ahead for the next five days and makes an assessment on the potential impacts of any forecast weather, while also considering how wet the ground is, how fast rivers are responding, what are the state of the defences, how high are the tides etc. Taking all this into account the FGS shows, on a county level, the overall combination of the likelihood of flooding happening and the potential impacts of the event. To produce the FGS the FFC has a myriad of information at it fingertips, including access to all the Met Office weather model runs and expertise

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using their supercomputer, plus it uses Environment Agency forecasting models and its all-important good local knowledge. Coastal flood forecasting The second service the FFC produces for coastal forecasting is the United Kingdom Coastal Monitoring and Forecasting Service (UKCMF). The main function is to deliver an operational forecasting service comprising a suite of products. It is the primary coastal flood forecasting tool for the Environment Agency, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Northern Ireland (DARDNI).

The UKCMF service takes the Met Office weather model and forecasts what the resultant surge could be on coastal water levels. The FFC combines this surge forecast and the height of the astronomical tides to give a total predicted water level. The Environment Agency then takes this forecast information to decide if Flood Warnings are required around the coast.

Several key ports are also monitored by the service to check the model performance. Joined-up approach Another key area the FFC is involved in is with the national level planning by the various government-led coastal flooding planning groups. The aim of these groups is to combine multiple Local Resilience Forums (LRFs) into a joined-up strategic approach at national responder level. The FFC provides advice and knowledge of the realistic timescales for escalation of major coastal flooding based on current forecasting capability. Using the FGS’s combination of likelihood and impacts the responder community can then decide which level emergency plan to invoke. Since the 1953 floods there have been significant advances in forecasting capability, construction of tidal and coastal defences and improvements in the provision of information. The UK remains at significant risk of a major coastal flood. The team in the FFC works around the clock every day to provide a warning and information services that give as much lead-time and notice as possible for our operational emergency responders. www.ffc-environment-agency.metoffice.gov.uk

If you want to find out more about the work of the FFC please contact: Tel: 0300 1234501 E-mail: ffcenquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk

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TACTICAL VENTILATION SOLUTIONS LIMITED We are Sole UK distributors for Unifire Rescue and Ventilation Chainsaws, Concrete cutting Chainsaws and Circular Saw range. These saws have specialist blade options and can cut through a wide variety of construction materials (including steel roofing sheets) and are designed to work in tough environments for, Fire, Police, Ambulance, Environment Agency, Military, Security also heavy duty Industrial operations.

We also innovate and manufacture specialist tactical ventilation cutting equipment for Fire and Rescue Services For further details visit our website.

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Red flooding alert for blue light services Last year was the wettest ever in England and the second wettest on record in the UK, while over in the USA Hurricane Sandy grabbed the world weather headlines. The risk of flooding in the UK is at an all-time high – and no-one knows that more than the emergency services out there on the frontline. The flooding risk from rivers, streams and other water courses is clear for anyone to see, but the ground in most parts of the UK is also saturated so the surface water runs off and can quickly flood homes and businesses. The Government and the insurance industry had an agreement that insurers would continue to provide cover for homes and businesses in floodrisk areas so long as the Government invested in flood-reduction schemes, but that is due to run out in June 2013 and the two sides remain at loggerheads with no further agreement in sight. The fear now is that insurers will stop insuring those in flood-risk areas – or put premiums up and add in huge excesses.

A wall of Floodsax saved several homes from flooding when Hurricane Sandy wreaked devastation in the USA.

Lightweight alternatives Insurance giant Zurich has warned people to make their own preparations and names FloodSax® as ‘lightweight alternatives to sandbags,’ saying ‘they are ideal for storage and deployment because they only expand when they are wet’. Manufactured in the UK, these ‘sandless sandbags’ expand on contact with water to become as heavy as traditional sandbags – but without all the mess associated with sand. These FloodSax have proved themselves in action both in the UK and the USA. A wall of Floodsax saved several homes from flooding when Hurricane Sandy wreaked devastation in the USA. Around 50 properties were at risk of flooding when the Delaware River rose 2ft as the storm struck the New York area in late October 2012. Residents feared the water would flood basements in their homes that are only around 100ft from the river in the Old New Castle area not far from New Jersey. Construction contractor Jonathan Cochran helped eight worried homeowners by building walls of Floodsax sandless sandbags to keep the water out … and it worked for every resident with no water getting into their basements from the flood surge itself.

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Jonathan said the highest wall constructed from around 80 Floodsax was just over 4ft high and 9ft wide, keeping both a high water level and incredible amount of debris at bay. “If the water had got into the basement at these homes the damage caused in each one would have been in the region of $3000 or $4000,’’ said Jonathan. Also last Autumn more than 2000 FloodSax were used to limit damage after a Scottish village was flooded by torrential rain. More than 100 residents were evacuated from their homes in Comrie, Perthshire, when the Water of Ruchill burst its banks – and in some areas people had still been clearing up after torrential floods in August. Tayside Fire and Rescue Service said about 70 firefighters and 10 appliances were called to the scene, including water rescue teams. The FloodSax sandless sandbags had been issued to residents by Perth and Kinross Council.

“These ‘sandless sandbags’ expand on contact with water to become as heavy as traditional sandbags.” Sandless sandbags And in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, a company deployed FloodSax to save equipment worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. Just 30 of them protected £360,000 worth of equipment belonging to warehouse floor-grinding company CoGri as torrential floodwater poured

towards their premises. Director Lynn Dare said, “There was a raging torrent coming down the hill but three layers of 10 sacks held it back from our door. The year before we were flooded very badly and put in a £250,000 insurance claim as a result.” A multi-purpose invention, FloodSax have even been deployed at crash sites to soak up leaking fuel from badly damaged vehicles. www.floodsax.co.uk

FloodSax factfile • FloodSax® are endorsed by the National Disabled Fire Association (NDFA) • They are lightweight, just 200g (7oz) before they are activated and are UK manufactured and tested • The gelling polymer inside FloodSax absorb water to become taut, weighing 20kg (44lbs) in just over three minutes after absorbing 20litres of water • Can be expanded in water in a bath, a sink, a bucket, a hosepipe or even the floodwater • Twenty fit into a cardboard box so can be ready for action anytime, any place, anywhere unlike sandbags that need vast warehouse storage space, are heavy and expensive to shift and require huge manpower and lorries to get them to the scene • Can be used to divert water away from a building and down a drain • Easy to store and are vacuumed-packed to save even more room • Biodegradable and so can be dumped in landfill sites.

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Managing of flood rescue incidents in the UK Following the 2007 floods and Sir Michael Pitt’s 2008 report, DEFRA, as lead government department responsible for flooding, established the Flood Rescue National Enhancement project. The project brought together central government departments and responding agencies, including the MCA, RNLI and the Chief Fire Officers’ Association (CFOA). Words: Roy Harold, Water Rescue Lead, CFOA and Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service. Officers from the RNLI and CFOA were seconded to write a Concept of Operations for flood rescue, which was published in October 2011. This document represents the current standard reference for management of flood rescue incidents in the UK. It sets out strategic and tactical principles, and a standard typology of response options, in the form of ‘team typing’. The team typing principle is adopted from experience in the United States, where emergency services are organised at a very local level, and have to come together to provide a joined-up multiagency response to any significant incident. As a result, national FEMA guidance has been produced to ensure that, whichever organisation provides the team, it complies with a standard set of operating requirements, focused on the needs of the task, so that, regardless of who they are, they can achieve the same outcome. In this way, requesting organisations can focus on effect-based mobilising, and ask for the capabilities they need, rather than have to worry about who is sending them. Specialist flood rescue teams In the absence of any statutory responsibility for flood response in England, no single agency has any duty to provide a unitary solution. However, a whole range of agencies can and have chosen to provide teams that comply with the Concept of Operations Team Typing. DEFRA has provided funding in the order of £2.9m to support the equipping and training of those teams that have been declared as being available to the DEFRA National Asset Register, for deployment in the event of large-scale flooding events. This investment has roughly doubled the number of specialist flood rescue teams, to approximately 130. Of these, two thirds are provided by fire and rescue services, with the balance coming from the voluntary sector. The largest single provider is the RNLI, with 16 teams. The National Asset Register is managed on behalf of DEFRA by the Fire and Rescue Service

National Coordination Centre (FRSNCC), through the National Coordination and Advisory Framework (NCAF). Where a Local Resilience Forum identifies a potential requirement for support from the National Asset Register, based on warnings issued by the Flood Forecasting Centre, requests for assistance should be passed via the local fire and rescue service through to FRSNCC. The DCLG Chief Fire and Rescue Advisors Unit

minimum capacity for six persons. DEFRA has funded one Type A team, with additional technical rescue capabilities including underwater search and recovery, which is provided by a dive unit operating within Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service’s USAR team. This resource is available via direct request to Norfolk FRS Fire Control.

“In the absence of any statutory responsibility for flood response in England, no single agency has any duty to provide a unitary solution.” and CFOA National Resilience then manage authorisation for deployment exactly as for other national resilience assets. While this mechanism is identical to the use of other national assets such as USAR, there is a key difference in that flood incidents will have prior warning, often over a number of days, and therefore are likely to trigger requests for pre-deployment of assets, so that they can be in place in good time before the predicted severe weather disrupts transport infrastructure. The risk is that, if the call for help doesn’t come in to the centre before the flooding has begun, then teams will not be physically able to reach the affected zone. Two specific team types While the Concept of Operations sets out comprehensive team types for all levels of flood incident management, the National Asset Register only holds details on two specific team types. These are Team Types B and C. Each of these consists of five swiftwater rescue technicians and a team leader. A liaison officer is also attached to teams to provide a contact with the host FRS. The teams are required to be able to operate for up to four days. Type B teams come equipped with a powered boat suitable for operations in swiftwater, with

Flood Response Subject Matter Advisors The final element of the DEFRA-funded resource is a cadre of 70 Flood Response Subject Matter Advisors, who are currently undergoing training provided by CFOA National Resilience. These will be available to provide tactical advice and support to local commanders, as part of CFOA NRAT, the team that will also provide Enhanced Logistics Support and complementary assets such as High Volume Pumps and USAR. Type D, flood first responder teams, are envisaged as locally provided assets, which are not monitored or mobilised on a national basis. However, DEFRA has financed the joint collaborative procurement of 30 large powered rafts, which will be held by Humberside, Lincolnshire and Norfolk FRS for the use of their Type D teams in evacuating members of the public across the wide areas of slow moving flood water that will be created by an East Coast tidal surge event. This additional equipment will be arriving into service in the next few months, and represents a very significant increase in the lift capacity of rescue teams. www.cfoa.org.uk

Sweeping statement At this time of year you will find the unique modular SweepEx brush system hard at work clearing snow. Easily fitted to a fork lift, telehandler, loader, skidsteer or tractor it will quickly clear large areas of snow for a safer workplace. As there are no moving parts, belts, chains or motor there’s no downtime or flying debris Ideal for snow The innovative MegaMax ‘C-broom’ is not just a push broom but a bulk volume mover. It combines all the benefits of the best-selling SweepEx concept of a heavy-duty push broom with new, patented

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side retainers, making it ideal for clearing snow. These hold bulk volumes of material in front of the brush and so avoid spillage at the sides. The end brushes are carefully twisted so they pull snow away from a curb or wall, pushing it into the main path of the broom. This means you get a clean sweep right into awkward corners. The MegaMax is available in 1.5m, 1.8m and 2.4m widths. The brushes are made of hard wearing polypropylene bristles for durability and working in the toughest environments. www.broadwoodintl.co.uk

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SP’s flood solution is in the bag ‘Britain braced for more flooding’ is an all too common headline these days. The Tewkesbury floods in the summer of 2007 hit the front page of nearly every newspaper. It was a shocking vision, with a bird’s eye view of seemingly just a small part of the town sitting proud of the water. Now it seems a common event throughout the year. Rivers have burst their banks on several occasions already this winter and the recent snowfalls of January and February and the thaws that followed raised concerns for the excess water runoff. Of course, floods have always affected us. As more houses are built on floodplains and other areas susceptible to flooding the problem will only get worse. With the amount of water already in the ground so high, it doesn’t take a large amount of rain for flooding to start; in 2012 alone billions of gallons of

rainwater fell on already saturated land in a matter of hours causing devastation for some. Sandbags have been the ‘portable’ floodwater barrier of choice for over 100 years. But their drawbacks are striking. Sandbags are: heavy; difficult to dispose of; and they leak and can trap harmful bacteria and toxins as water filters through them. The ideal solution Telford-based medical equipment supplier SP Services is championing HydroSack and HydroSnake as the ideal solution to a critical problem. HydroSack and HydroSnake are the new, modern method to create a highly effective barrier to the threat of floodwater in emergency situations and domestic and commercial properties. It is the perfect replacement for the old, traditional sandbag, which is less effective, difficult to handle, labour intensive and a potential health hazard. Before use, each HydroSack or HydroSnake weighs less than 1kg and each pack contains the equivalent of six sandbags. When soaked with water before installation, each HydroSack or HydroSnake can absorb up to 20-litres of water. HydroSack contains a super absorbent polymer, which expands to hold up to 40 times its own

weight – letting the water in but refusing to let the water out. When built into layers, a wall built from either HydroSack, HydroSnake or a combination of both produces a highly effective barrier to flood water. Combined together HydroSack and HydroSnake can provide effective damming of large areas. Flooding is a problem that won’t go away, but with the right planning and preparation anyone can minimise the damage to their property, or damage to critical areas. www.spservices.co.uk/hydrosack

The essential line for emergency rescues With UK rescue teams called out to hundreds of emergencies each day, having easy to use, effective life-saving equipment to hand is essential. However, with over 300 deaths in or around water every year, it seems that more must be done to improve the first line of emergency assistance. John Rinfret, inventor of The Balcan Emergency Lifeline (BELL) and Chairman of Balcan Engineering, believes that by specifying the most effective equipment and raising awareness of water safety, the number of casualties could be cut significantly. “The difference between life and death is the time taken to reach victims, so having an effective first line of water rescue can make all the difference,” said John. “Developed for ease of deployment, accuracy and a 40m range, the BELL is the perfect rescue device, providing a reliable way to assist those in danger at the greatest distance. “Used by emergency services teams across the UK, the BELL has proved itself in countless rescues. In addition, its allocation of NATO stock numbers (NsNs) by the Royal Navy means it is also widely used by the armed services.”

Easy to deploy Deploying the BELL is easy, simply hold onto the grip and throw. As the BELL flies through the air, 40m of lightweight polypropylene line is released. All the stranded person has to do is grab and hold on to the rope or capsule, as the rescuer then pulls in the line, which has a breaking

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strength of 260lb (118kg), as specified by the DoT. Its long range and lightweight design mean that, unlike other rescue devices, the BELL can reach casualties up to the full length of its line – a significant distance from the shore – and can be re-thrown in seconds without the need to repack. www.throwlines.com

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National support for communities at risk of flooding The National Flood Forum is a national charity that supports and represents people and communities at risk of flooding. The charity works in three ways: helping people and communities to identify and reduce their flood risk; supporting people to recover if they have been flooded; and working to ensure that policies and their operation take account of flood risk communities. Words: Paul Cobbing, Chief Executive, National Flood Forum. Flooding is one of the most traumatic things to affect people’s lives. The impact lasts long after the blue flashing lights have gone, as people struggle to get back in to their homes and put their lives back together again. This may take 12-18 months, and all the while they are struggling with loss adjusters, builders and a myriad of other problems. The impact of flooding on people’s health is not to be underestimated. While we still do not have any good longitudinal studies, we know that many people suffer, particularly from mental health issues. We also have anecdotal evidence that many old people have illnesses such as strokes from which they never fully recover. Flooding is unlike any other form of incident; because it can, and often does reoccur. People worry that it will happen again, often checking drains whenever it rains, frequently getting up in the middle of the night to do so. So protecting your home to reduce the likelihood of being flooded and being able to get back in again quickly is really important. For many people, traditional flood defences of walls and pumps are appropriate. But as the floods in 2012 showed, over 50 percent of properties suffer from surface water, drains backing up and groundwater. For these, other solutions are required, a question of ‘flood risk management’ rather than ‘flood defence’.

Automatically deployed flood barriers.

Flood products can play an important role as part of this, helping to protect individual properties or communities and providing peace of mind. Preventing water getting in to properties, or making buildings resistant to flooding so that people can get back in to their homes much more quickly if they do flood, is important, as is help with clearing up after a flooding incident. See the Blue Pages directory (www.bluepages.org.uk) for a range of products available.

“Many new products are coming on to the market, offering better flood protection and innovation.” Large flood doors.

Community-centred approach From our work we know that a communitycentred approach to raising awareness works. Empowering people to understand and address their flood risk helps them to take control, to recognise that managing flood risk is about reducing risk, rather than removing it, and that they can do something about it by working with others. Communities work in partnership to reduce risk and prepare to deal with flooding when it does occur. They can also hold organisations to account.

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We can also help to reduce the impact of flooding through personal and community emergency flood plans, so that people know what to do should there be a flood. And communities are increasingly looking at the wider opportunities to manage their flood risk; such as by ensuring that gullies and culverts are clear, maintaining ditches, installing bypass channels around bridges, and working with farmers to slow water down further up the catchment. But the flood products industry is relatively new, and can be compared to the household renewable energy market, where only a few years ago there

were just a few small manufacturers. Now there are hundreds of firms with thousands of products in a rapidly developing supply chain and an increasing service sector, tied to financial planning. This rapid increase was linked to a series of Government incentives as well as raised awareness of what is possible. The Green Deal promises to revolutionise the whole process still further. There are risks that go with this too; the recent changes in Feed in Tariff (FITS) payments caused chaos, with many firms going bankrupt, or having to restructure rapidly to survive. Many ‘cowboy’ firms disappeared overnight. The flood products industry is still very young by comparison. There are lots of small firms that concentrate on manufacturing and selling a small number of products. There are many new entrants – I get contacted by one or two new manufacturers every week – and a recent survey we undertook identified 200 flood product firms very easily. But, there is also a small, but increasing number of medium size and larger firms, some of whom are becoming much more sophisticated.

Flood protection for infrastructure.

Flood Risk Report Increasingly, standards are becoming important as a way of ensuring that the products people buy do what they say on the tin. For example, many property level protection products are now kitemarked, and the standard itself is under review. However, we also need to ensure that the right products are fitted to deal with the particular flood risk (surface water, ground water, drains backing up or fluvial), the type of building construction and any particular features such as cable entries. Most important of all, however, the product should be capable of being used by the householder. Too often we find that an unsuitable product that is too heavy to use has been installed for use by an 80-year-old. To address these issues, a standard template for recording the flood risk of a property before and after installation of flood resistance and resilience measures is now available (www.environmentagency.gov.uk/research/planning/129526.aspx).

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Alternative sandbags.

Referred to as a Flood Risk Report, it was developed by the Environment Agency, Defra, Association of British Insurers, British Insurance Brokers Association, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, National Flood Forum and the Law Society. The insurance industry recognises the Flood Risk Report as a standard approach for presenting the flood risk of a property, provided a professional, suitably qualified, independent surveyor has completed it. Insurers may take into account the information and flood protection measures when assessing the terms they will offer for continued or new cover, but there is no compulsion to do so. This is a really important first step in linking protection of homes to insurance and we need to seek out and develop similar mechanisms across the flood protection arena. What next? We need to encourage people who have reduced their risk by whatever means to ensure that their systems are properly maintained and that they know how to use them. This can be done either

through maintenance contracts or through regular community events. Grants for property level, and all other forms of flood protection now come under the Partnership Funding arrangements. While potentially more complex, they should encourage more innovative approaches than some grant schemes in the past, so could encourage the market to develop. Many new products are coming on to the market, offering better flood protection and innovation. Increasingly, passive systems are becoming available and, if they can be made affordable, are likely to be much more acceptable to insurance companies as they are not reliant on someone having to act to make them work. However, as the flood products market develops and matures, companies are likely to start selling solutions rather than simply pieces of equipment, in the same way that a burglar alarm on a

Flood protection for patio doors.

maintenance contract can reduce insurance premiums. Provided that trust, quality and price issues can be addressed it could well be the catalyst for the flood product industry and for people looking to protect themselves. www.floodforum.org.uk

Preventing water getting in to properties, or making buildings resistant to flooding so that people can get back in to their homes much more quickly if they do flood, is important.

Sharing best practice in technical rescue Rescue 3 Europe has established an event specifically for the technical rescue industry: a unique combination of conference, trade exhibition and instructor update workshops. The event will bring together industry experts, technical rescue professionals, expert practitioners, manufacturers and distributors to share developments in practice and equipment, access the latest research and technology, and network with other professionals. Rescue 3 Europe is the European division of Rescue 3 International â&#x20AC;&#x201C; one of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest technical rescue training providers, with over 150,000 students in 32 countries. In 2011, Rescue 3 Europe hosted the inaugural Rescue 3 Instructor Conference at Durham University Campus and Teesside International White Water course. It enabled Rescue 3 Instructors to share and promote best practice in technical rescue. The event was attended by over 150 Rescue 3 Instructors from Europe and North America, and was an overwhelming success. In fact, it was so successful that the company decided to develop it as a biannual event, open to anyone within or with an interest in the technical rescue industry.

Trade exhibition This year sees the follow-up event, which takes place from 16-18 April at the Millennium Stadium and the Cardiff International White Water course in Cardiff. The technical rescue conference and trade exhibition are open events, intended for anyone involved or interested in the technical rescue industry, and are based at the Millennium Stadium on 17 April. The conference features keynote speakers from around the globe including: Shannon Crofton (NSW State Emergency Services, Australia), Tim Rogers (Charlotte Fire Department), Peter Glerum (Watersave Project, Netherlands) and Professor David Kay (Aberystwyth University). The trade exhibition runs alongside the conference and showcases the latest technical rescue equipment from leading manufacturers and suppliers to the rescue industry. In addition to the conference and trade exhibition, the 2013 event also features Instructor Update Workshops on 16 and 18 April. Run by Rescue 3 Instructor Trainers from Europe and the USA, these workshops are based at the Cardiff

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International White Water course and involve technical input and practical sessions, enabling Rescue 3 Instructors to update their water, boat and rope instructor awards. www.rescue3europe.com

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‘Point and Making light of go’ off-road extreme weather vehicles Specialist Vehicle Trading has introduced a wholly new range of high-speed, high-mobility vehicles to the rescue and off-road market. Highly manoeuvrable, amphibious, fully tracked, and with an ultra-low ground pressure of just 0.163kg/cm2, the vehicles are fitted to a modern high-standard of driver and passenger comfort and are attracting strong interest from buyers around the world seeking access to areas previously only reachable by helicopter. Complete access solutions The vehicles, suitable for crossing mud, sand, snow, screed, rocks, rubble, areas of liquefaction, water etc are lightweight yet robust and, given they are amphibious without preparation, offer a reliable platform for building complete access solutions for floods to severe snow, to areas devastated by earthquake. They also operate at high angles of gradient. Fitted with steel tracks with bolt-on rubber pads, the vehicles offer a damage resilience not found in other vehicles of their size and, since the range is in current manufacture, all parts are available off-theshelf at published prices.

Peli offers a range of professional lighting products built tough for extreme weather conditions, particularly suited for water rescue. The rugged 9410 LED hand lamp from Peli is a powerful but compact, rechargeable light perfect for riverbank search and rescue applications. The lamp is lightweight, at 1.4kg, with an array of four intense LEDs giving a 710-lumen output that cuts through darkness and fog. Supplied with a shoulder strap and designed to be carried easily, the 9410 features a 120° tilt head to angle the beam exactly where required and has 3 modes: high beam, economy and flashing mode.

The lamp has a three-stage battery level indicator – green for full, amber for medium and red for low. A sure grip handle provides a comfortable and nonslip grip in wet conditions and an extra large space to accommodate gloved hands. The Peli 2690 HeadsUP Lite is a tough, weatherresistant, headlamp ideal for hands-free use. Compact and weighing only 117g, the lamp features a super-bright LED, which produces 60 lumens at peak brightness and usable light for more than 10 hours. It is powered by three x AAA batteries and features a 90° pivoting head, so you

can direct the light exactly where you need it most. This rugged, weather-resistant, headlamp has ATEX Zone 0 and Mining Group 1 approval, for use in all hazardous areas. A watertight case Peli cases offer essential protection for all types of SAR equipment, including laptops, communications gear and medical equipment. They offer watertight, dustproof and crushproof security and they also float, making them ideal for water rescue. Professionals have chosen Peli Protector Cases for many years for their reliability, performance and durability in the most testing conditions. The 1460EMS case offers a tough solution to protect medical kit. It features a three-level, fully customisable tray system that lifts out of the case on reinforced stainless steel brackets. It also offers a lockable tray section for secure controlled substance storage. For added security, the top tray and case lid work together as a seal that prevents tray compartment contents from spilling out into the case during transit. For easy transport the case also comes with a nylon shoulder strap. Peli cases and torches are designed specifically for emergency services and backed by the legendary guarantee of excellence. www.peliproducts.co.uk

Making their official debut at The Emergency Services Show 2012, these vehicles are fully roadlegal and placed to carve a niche for themselves at the top of the mobility scale for off-road vehicles. Described variously as ‘Point and go’ vehicles – since they are able to negotiate almost any barrier they encounter in a chosen direction, or as the ‘Smart Buyer’s Helicopter’ (since they’ll reach almost anywhere a helicopter can reach – but less expensively), the range offers waterborne payloads from 600kg to 3000kg. Remote control options Specialist Vehicle Trading has also developed full remote-control options for this range enabling them to be driven without a crew (or filled with passengers without the space taken by a driver) to a range of 70 miles. Full all-directional video feedback is paired with full duplex audio allowing the ‘driver’ and passengers to communicate as required. Tel: 01603 812680

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Specialist Survival solutions from MFC advice for drivers stuck in flood water The near-permanent wet weather during 2012, combined with the snow in recent weeks, has served to give the AA’s Special Operations Response Team (AA SORT) its busiest year since it was formed in 2008. The team, which uses dedicated 4x4 Land Rover Defenders, is equipped to deal with severe weather response including floods and snow.

Climate change has caused a significant pattern of increasing annual rainfall leading to spectacular flooding throughout the UK (Source: DEFRA). In Wales alone, 2012 was the third wettest year ever recorded and subsequently rescue crews were kept extremely busy.

The team numbers around 90, with the majority trained as Swiftwater Rescue Technicians. Crewmembers are located from Inverness to Devon, and from Ipswich to Aberystwyth. Most have a regular ‘day’ job but are called out for SORT duty as and when required. Ignoring the signs John Seymour, National Manager for Special Operations at the AA, says, “The biggest single challenge we’ve faced this winter has been the number of drivers who’ve ignored ‘Road Closed’ signs and tried to drive through flood water. Not only in most cases have they wrecked their cars – some of them high-value models too – but they have put their own lives at risk as well as the lives of those who have been called to rescue them.” The AA, in consultation with the fire and rescue service, has developed specific scripting for its call handlers when dealing with drivers stuck in flood water. This ensures that drivers are not referred unnecessarily to the fire and rescue service. In addition, the AA SORT duty officer makes direct contact whenever possible with anyone stuck in water to give specialist advice, including personal health and safety guidance. Operations extended This last year has seen the SORT team extend its operations to include river-based search and rescue, working on several occasions with mountain rescue and other land-based SAR teams in searching for missing persons. Seymour comments, “This has given us valuable experience and enabled us to develop strong working relationships with other responders for mutual benefit.” www.theaa.com/emergency Follow @AASORT

Combined with environmental extremes to which fire and rescue teams are responding, government cutbacks are now drastically affecting the numbers of personnel available to assist in military and natural disasters. Expert multi-agency teamwork and investment in the best purpose designed lightweight portable equipment is now acknowledged and recommended to be essential to play a major role at the scene of water-related incidents. Rapid response The MFC Airtrack and Rescue Sleds comply with the specifications and recommendations for good practice in fire and rescue services (FRSs), ensuring rapid response in flooding and swift water. The Rescue Sleds can be motorised, paddled, waded and tethered. The RSIOT is a flat-bottomed sled ideal for shallow water and can take an outboard motor. As temperatures plummeted in early 2013, the MFC Airtrack provided a safe platform, which has proved critical to support the weight of the rescuer

and the rescued over fast flowing water beneath ice of suspect thickness. Stable and usable platform An MFC Rescue Sled offers a stable and usable platform that is very light and easily manoeuvred into most situations. The sled can be stored in a relatively small space and is made ready for use quickly and easily. In a rescue situation it is easy to get people out of the water and on to the sled; it can also be easily put to work as part of a line rescue system using the robust anchor points.

The API Stretcher (suitable for use with a spinal board) is ideal for casualty recovery in tight or difficult to reach spots. Laden, it can be lifted by helicopter. Deflated, it stores compactly and is easy to carry. The hose inflation kit provides a buoyant lifeline for waterborne casualties, and can be used as a dam to catch casualties in fast flowing waters. www.mfcsurvival.com

Rescue boats for hire Rigiflex Boats UK has launched its Rescue/Safety Boat Hire scheme. Utilising the company’s popular Newmatic 360 model, which is already in service with many emergency services nationwide, as of 1 February 2013 Rigiflex UK is now able to offer short-term boat hire with very little notice. Each craft will be equipped with an easy launch trailer, outboard motor with propeller protection and other relevant safety equipment and will be ready for immediate service. Managing Director Paul Martin said, “After consultation with several emergency services, we

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could see that reduced capital budgets would not allow the purchase of equipment that would only be required occasionally. By offering a short-term hire option, emergency situations could be facilitated efficiently and quickly, and we are confident that our service will be well received.” With the nation’s weather becoming ever more unpredictable, and all emergency services funds shrinking with the current austere fiscal controls, the above could be vital to any emergency service required to respond to situations on or in the water. www.rigiflexboats.co.uk

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Researching the work of the Emergency Services Research Unit The Emergency Services Research Unit (ESRU) at Nottingham Trent University is unique in two key ways: firstly, because of the reason why it was formed; and secondly, in the way that it operates. Words: Viv Brunsden, Director of the Emergency Services Research Unit. Unlike other academic research units, which are formed around the interests of the academic staff, ESRU was formed specifically to respond to the needs of the emergency service community. It is primed to research any topic that the emergency services bring to the team as an issue of importance needing attention. Although based in the Division of Psychology at Nottingham Trent University, the unit has purposefully built in inter-disciplinarity and flexibility into its running. The ESRU team has achieved this by establishing a core membership of academic staff, from various departments, who are all specialists in emergency services related research. This core membership is then supplemented by an associate membership, which joins ESRU for a particular research project, to provide subject specific expertise. In this way every research project is handled by a team that both understands the specific context of the emergency services while also having the specific disciplinary expertise to deal with any particular research problem. This allows ESRU to respond with knowledge and proficiency to any need that the emergency services (and associated organisations) might bring forward to them. Driven by the needs of the services At any given time ESRU is involved in a number of research projects. These projects are facilitated through all kinds of funding, driven by the needs of the emergency services concerned. Sometimes research can be done for no cost at all, eg through students voluntarily engaging in research or through their module work. Sometimes ESRU finds the necessary funding, eg through writing successful bids to external funding agencies. Sometimes the organisation commissions the work. In all cases we strive to ensure that the projects directly address the emergency services’ needs and are completed to the best possible standard. Recent and on-going work currently being conducted within ESRU includes the following: A two-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) has just ended. This work began as an evaluation of NFRS’ community safety initiatives – but ended up being far further reaching. As findings from the project emerged these were drawn upon, alongside their Fire Cover Review (into which ESRU also fed), to inform a structural reorganisation of the service. Other outputs from the project include a guidance document on information sharing, which has been used both internally and with partner organisations to better understand legislation governing this issue; and an evaluation toolkit, which can be used not only for community safety initiatives but also for any initiative within the organisation.

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Viv Brunsden, Director of the Emergency Services Research Unit.

Rowena Hill, Senior Lecturer of Psychology, Nottingham Trent University.

Post-traumatic growth research An ESRU PhD studentship is currently being advertised on the topic of ‘Post-traumatic growth in emergency services personnel’. It is well understood that emergency services personnel inevitably witness and experience events of a traumatic nature and this has been the focus of much research in the past. However, this research has almost exclusively considered negative consequences of this exposure, particularly posttraumatic stress. However, we know that most emergency services personnel do not develop posttraumatic stress as a result of their daily experiences and in fact can experience extremely high levels of job satisfaction. In recent research literature there have been suggestions that traumatic experiences can lead to positive rather than solely negative outcomes; for example, increases in areas such as life satisfaction, resilience, and spirituality. Currently it is theorised that such benefits arise from the internal conquering of more negative outcomes during therapy; however, this PhD will explore whether these positive outcomes occur in the absence of any stress reactions or therapeutic interventions.

“Our motto is ‘Bring us your problems’ and if you do that we will do our very best to assist with their solution.”

Allied areas considered Although ESRU is usually only concerned with the emergency services themselves we do sometimes look at organisations with certain similarities in order to consider whether anything can be learned from these allied disciplines. Often this involves considerations of the military; as there are similarities in terms of culture, hierarchy, and traumatic exposure (although it should be acknowledged that these similarities are eroding significantly through the rapid cultural change undergone within the emergency services). Recent work with the military has looked at the issue of help seeking to explore the barriers personnel can feel are in place when they themselves feel stressed and need support. This work has included an evaluation of a telephone support service for both personnel and their relatives. More than just research These example projects are intended just as a snapshot of the kinds of research undertaken by ESRU. As well as research, we also carry out bespoke training for emergency services, organise a biannual conference ‘Emergency management: Themes in planning response and recovery’, run a number of modules within our own degree courses focused on the emergency services or on allied issues such as disaster and also run courses for emergency services personnel. Our unique style of working is intended to respond to your needs rather than merely treating you as a sample for our convenience. To facilitate this our membership has a diverse breadth of expertise without ever compromising quality. Our approach is never ‘ivory tower’ but instead we have a solid understanding of your working landscapes; for example, budget restrictions and government cuts, wider public sector issues, inter-agency working, different styles of working within and across services, public accountability etc. The most important thing to ESRU staff is that your needs are serviced and this means we will put together a team and design a research project (or training course) specifically for you. We will also look for funding for you where necessary. Our motto is ‘Bring us your problems’ and if you do that we will do our very best to assist with their solution. www.ntu.ac.uk

Death and serious injury notification One important, ongoing, project is the conduction of a policy review focused on death and serious injury notification. This is a complex issue with services keen to do whatever they can to ensure such communications with their personnel’s families are handled sensitively and appropriately. The policy review will offer a robust view of best practice in this area and offer recommendations for future practice.

For further information please contact: Viv Brunsden, Director of the Emergency Services Research Unit Vivienne.brunsden@ntu.ac.uk or 0115 8486824

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The National Tracking School Over the thirty plus years of being a detective in various police units up and down the country, the realisation that emergency services personnel could learn a great deal from the ancient arts of tracking led Perry McGee to create a successful tracking training company. As the son of outdoor survival and tracking guru Eddie McGee, Perry has, over the years, learnt the secrets of the fascinating art of tracking, which has, literally, led him to follow in his father’s footsteps and create an impressive clientele, including the police and military. “It’s all about using your senses and acclimatising to the environment,” says Perry McGee, National Tracking Advisor at Perry McGee’s National Tracking School. “It’s out there, you just need to find it and use it.” Perry runs courses and lectures in the science of tracking and has consequently been involved in various high profile incidents and enquiries, where his skills have been put to test. Also an accomplished author on the subject, Perry has reached the pinnacle of his trade and is anxious to share his skills with the UK emergency services. Incidents from a common burglary, to house fires, and searching at accidents are all situations where Perry believes the skills of the trained tracker can be used to great effect.

“Tracking within the emergency service environment requires the use of all your senses.” Perry and his associates have been widely deployed at varying incidents, ranging from murder scenes to animal welfare or property protection. Specific incidents, such as fires, search and rescue, and missing persons have led to the design of bespoke training courses, designed for each implication. Skills and tips Perry says, “In some parts of the world tracking is necessary for survival. These unique basic survival and tracking skills can be learned and adapted by any modern emergency services and, as I have found over the thirty odd years I’ve been involved in the field, they feature in everything and they provide vital evidence. “Ask any crime scene investigator; every time a subject connects with a surface it leaves a contaminant, and knowing where to locate, identify and extract the contaminant is the key to success. Tracking it is not just about following footprints, however. It’s about so much more.” “Tracking within the emergency service

environment requires the use of all your senses, not just having simple visual representation,” continues Perry. “By becoming aware of the basic requirements and adapting to the circumstances, an effective tracking unit can deliver instant essential and useable evidence of the presence of a subject(s). Old favourite questions often include; the amount of subjects, when they passed through a location, how far they are in front of our position, and, believe it or not, with very little training, there are ways of obtaining this information.” Basic skills are invaluable Perry believes that in the search and rescue environment, the use of general tracking skills should be mandatory. He says, “Incorporated with other emergency units, such as cadaver dogs, underwater search units, and other specialist search team equipment, the basics of interpreting signs is invaluable, and basic skills have, on occasion, been responsible for saving lives. Simplistic, positive, one-dimensional signs allow a trained tracking unit to calculate the speed at which a subject travels and therefore allows an area of search or an estimated time of arrival at a location to be calculated.” An effective search and rescue team should be able to recognise identification signs of distress, illness or dehydration created by a subject, which can be used to raise or lower the intensity of a search. Other sign recognition can be used to predict and organise the interception of the subject with specialist medical needs. Understanding walking gaits and paths, and how subjects travel when lost or disorientated by inclement weather is another very useful tool for the rescuer. “For the emergency responder the necessity for speed, brevity and accuracy are never more prevalent than when dealing with the threat to life,” says Perry. “Using these ancient resurrected tracking skills not only enhances the chances of survival of a subject, but can be adapted for the pursuance of a subject.” Tracking pursuance Patrolling and security of equipment, property, or animal welfare protection is a good example of tracking pursuance and is, by its nature, a very basic tracking skill. Perry says, “Consider if you

Perry on a UK tracking course demonstrating how to make strong cordage from grass, later used to create a stretcher.

were able to distinguish the sign from an employee from that of an unwanted intruder, and consider how effective you would become if you could detect the time or direction and speed at which the intruder left the scene. Knowing where, when, and how to read these signs, and how to extract the best image, dependant on the terrain and weather, are vital skills that can easily be learned with practice.” Overall, by adopting strict tracking discipline by the use of these skills at an emergency, scene or incident, and having regard for the tracker’s integrity, continuity and professionalism will increase the possibility of capture of any potential evidence or information. Hypothesising events, scenes and incidents is the essence of the science; the ability to interpret signs and determining key indicator markers into plausible and useable scenarios for the emergency services to act upon, increases with experience. So the next time you respond to an incident, or are required to attend a scene consider using the ancient science of tracking and become aware of the signs around you. Use your natural senses to increase awareness and remember – you can make a difference, every time. www.nationaltrackingschool.com

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Why your computers need to go ‘above and beyond’ Words: Peter Molyneux is the President of Getac UK The fast-paced world of computing and mobile communications devices has undergone a complete revolution over the past decade. Today, the average person has an amazing amount of computing power at their fingertips in mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets. The same is true for emergency services professionals working in tough, critical environments, which is where modern rugged computing devices come into their own. Rugged laptops and tablets offer advanced Peter Molyneux is the President communications, which enable police, fire and of Getac UK, which provides a rescue, and ambulance personnel to keep in touch comprehensive range of rugged with colleagues, control centres, and other computing solutions. emergency service professionals when it matters most. Route information, traffic and incident reports and access to essential medical programs and mapping data can all be accessed at the touch of a key. These rugged devices also offer protection against the knocks and shakes of a high-speed journey while super-fast processors help crews to use power hungry programs out on the road. Secure vehicle docking and swivel screens that are readable in low light or in the full glare of sunlight, mean crews can access vital information in the most challenging of circumstances.

“Rugged computers are not a luxury – they are an essential tool that can seriously enhance the performance of our emergency services.” Glove-friendly touch screens and waterproof keyboards, coupled with comprehensive connectivity options including in-built GPS receivers, Bluetooth and 3G combine to ensure connectivity in whatever conditions the crew find themselves operating. Getac’s experience of supplying rugged laptops to fire and rescue services around Europe also highlights that it is never just a case of simply taking an off-the-shelf piece of equipment and installing it in a vehicle: there is so much more to it than that. We always work closely with the customer on a day-to-day basis to identify areas where the overall solution can be altered to enhance the service and that should include feedback from the crews out in the field. These customers have already been quick to identify issues that could stifle the performance of a device, such as the keyboard size being too small for a gloved operator, and we have been able to respond at the manufacturing stage to incorporate changes that solve these issues. Working closely with customers in this way has helped to ensure that the computers deliver the optimum performance for the crews, and are as simple for them to operate as possible. As a manufacturer we realise that it is not enough just to build some of the fastest, toughest and hardest working devices on the market today; we also need to ensure they are flexible enough to cope with any situation. The bottom line is that rugged computers are not a luxury – they are an essential tool that can seriously enhance the performance of our emergency services. Getac believes that close collaboration between the customer and manufacturer is vital, along with complete flexibility on the manufacturer’s part, to ensure that the transition from order book to fully functioning communication tool is as straightforward and painless as possible. www.getac.co.uk

If you would like to discuss any aspect of your rugged computing requirements, call Getac on 01952 207 221, e-mail: ruggedsolutions@getac.com or visit www.getac.co.uk w w w. e m e r g e n c y s e r v i c e s t i m e s . c o m

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LED Lenser – the lighting brand trusted by professionals Initially founded in Germany by twin brothers Rainer and Harald Opolka, LED Lenser today is, for many, the gold standard in torches and one of the world’s leading lighting brands found in over 50 countries. As the name suggests, LED Lenser is a master in LED (light emitting diode) technology, which is at the cutting edge of the lighting revolution and fast replacing traditional incandescent lighting. Energy efficient and more environmentally friendly, LEDs also offer better intensity and brightness of light, better reliability of components and a better lifetime value overall; making them the ideal choice in modern lighting systems.

So why choose LED Lenser over other brands? The answer is simple. LED Lenser offers renowned German engineering that is second to none. The company incorporates some of the world’s leading technologies, including the patented Advanced Focus System™, the multi-functional Smart Light Technology™ and over 200 other patents and petty patents. Most importantly, LED Lenser delivers a quality and intensity of light that is simply awesome.

“Every LED Lenser is engineered from the best quality materials and constructed to last.” Just as you would expect from the home of some of the world’s best car marques, every LED Lenser is built to exacting German standards. The housing is made from seriously tough yet lightweight aircraft-grade aluminium covered with an anodised coating, which is splash proof and protects against everyday knocks. Hard gold-plated contacts for better conductivity and corrosion resistant threads are complemented by a superior modular construction that makes cleaning after extreme operational demands, or the replacing of parts, easier. Taken together this means that every LED Lenser is engineered from the best quality materials and constructed to last. The task of a technology leader is to develop leading technologies. LED Lenser more than meets this challenge by developing stunning technological innovations within its own purpose-built research and development laboratories. Leading the way is

the company’s patented Advanced Focus System™ optics, which combines lens and reflector to bring the advantages of both into one system thus enabling spot or flood beam selection. Combined with singlehanded Speed Focus™, the Advanced Focus System optics deliver a wide homogenous flood beam for close up visibility or a stunning, sharply focused spot beam for long distance lighting. Another exciting innovation Smart Light Technology™ (SLT) is another exciting innovation from the LED Lenser stable. Meeting the needs for different lighting solutions for different situations and environments, this technology embeds a pre-programmed microchip into the torch. This microchip brings the torch to life by enabling a choice of two energy usage options (Energy Saving and Constant Current), three lighting sequences (Professional, Easy and Defence) and up to eight different light options, including Power, Boost, Low Power, Dim, Blink, Morse, SOS and Defence Safety Strobe – all via the press of a single cap-end switch. Now that really is Smart! Another technological innovation in the LED Lenser arsenal is X-Lens Technology™. This dynamic technology has been expertly developed to synchronise and control multiple LED lenses, in order to deliver a single superior flood or spot beam

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of light that is more intense and wider than other beams. This technology is at the heart of the company’s flagship LED Lenser X21 (1100 lumens) and X21R (1600 lumens) searchlights. These multi award-winning light ‘canons’ deliver sensational lighting performance and are capable of lighting up vast spaces. Some car headlights look dim in comparison and these torches are especially popular with emergency services teams. At The Emergency Services Show 2012, the company displayed The World’s Largest Torch, as ratified by the Guinness Book of World Records. This working model is based on the LED Lenser X21 and is the size of a small family car. It was produced to highlight the superior German engineering skills of LED Lenser’s technicians. This world beater is capable of generating up to 100,000 lumens.

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On the head lamp side the LED Lenser X14 4in-1 seems to be the head lamp of choice for search and rescue teams and other emergency service teams as they appreciate the versatility that this lamp offers. Featuring Advanced Focus System™ optics, directional light adjustment for the 210 lumens and super comfortable head straps, this head lamp can also be easily converted into a mobile spotlight, a body/belt light or with the included clamp it can also be mounted onto bike and poles. The LED Lenser X14 really is more than a head lamp it is an all-in-one lighting system. LED Lenser passionately believes in pushing the boundaries of portable lighting performance. LED Lenser’s superior German engineering and ability for constant innovation makes it the lighting brand of choice for discerning professionals internationally. Ledco Limited, Kingswick House, Kingswick Drive Sunninghill, SL5 7BH Tel: 01344 876222; Fax: 01344 630999 E-mail: light@ledlenser.co.uk www.ledlenser.co.uk

Dual lens torches X-Lens Technology™ is also featured in two of the newest LED Lenser torches – the LED Lenser X7R and LED Lenser X14. These dual lens torches are crammed full of technology as they also integrate Advanced Focus System™ optics and Smart Light Technology™. The 500 lumen X7R is rechargeable and is supplied with the Floating Charge magnetic contact changing system, which enables recharging without battery removal. The

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X14 runs off four standard AA batteries and delivers a light of 450 lumens. Great to handle and extremely economic, the X7R and X14 are already proving to be winners with users. LED Lenser’s latest addition to the range is the unbelievable light-powerhouse LED Lenser F1. The next evolution in LED lighting Only 88mm long and generating a seriously impressive 400 lumens, the LED Lenser F1 is the next evolution in LED lighting. Small and compact yet delivering a seriously impressive amount of light, the F1 incorporates Smart Light Technology™, is IPX8-rated so is waterproof to 2.5m and is supplied with a variable clip, interchangeable tactical front ring to enable glass breakage and has integrated roll protection. This beautiful mini light powerhouse is destined to be a firm favourite within every emergency service either as the main torch or a lightweight (68g) backup torch and reinforces LED Lenser’s reputation as a light innovator.

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Use of chemical lights at incidents The Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) National Resilience, Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Capability is assisted by a team of technical lead officers. These officers, who are drawn from teams across the UK, have expertise and knowledge in the various disciplines that make up the capability and are integral to the ongoing maintenance and development of USAR. One such area for development has been scene assessment and the use of chemical lights. Words: Jim Taylor, USAR Technical Lead Scene Assessment, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service. The technical lead for scene assessment was tasked with producing a standard operating procedure (SOP) aimed at standardising the use of chemical lights at incidents.

“The SOP is available to share with other agencies to ensure continued interoperability.” In developing the SOP, other capabilities, such as High Volume Pumps and Mass Decontamination were consulted as to their possible use of light sticks, with the final SOP being shared across FRS National Resilience. In addition, liaison with other agencies was carried out and the SOP has been referenced in the Concept of Operations and SOP for USAR support to UK Disaster Victim Identification (DVI).

To identify a low level open edge usea red chemical light stick with a bi-pod base at ground level.

Two main areas The SOP was produced considering two main areas: 1. Safety: The primary consideration was the safety of all personnel, by detailing safe routes hazardous areas etc crew safety will be enhanced 2. Simplicity: utilising five colours a simple colour coding system was developed. The SOP states, ‘The health and safety of all personnel deployed to incidents is paramount, by utilising chemical lights access and egress (safe routes), hazards and areas of specific interest can be identified and controlled. Chemical lights can also be used for additional scene lighting or emergency lighting in the case of a sudden loss of lighting’. Various colours and shapes of lights are available and the following guidance is intended to standardise their use across capabilities and agencies. RED Hazard, No entry Green Safe route Orange Marking areas of interest Blue Specialist Use (for example identifying monitoring equipment) White General illumination

Hazards General hazards can be identified using chemical light sticks (RED). Specific hazards such as trip hazards, open edges, overhanging hazards should be identified accordingly: • Low level – trip or open edge – Use red light stick with a bi-pod base at ground level, this will draw the eye to the ground identifying the hazard. • High level – overhanging hazards – hang red chemical light stick from the ceiling or any available high level point using duct tape, cable ties or magnetic base from steelwork; this again draws the eye to the hazard. Red chemical light circle markers may be made more informative with markings identifying the hazards such as hazmats, eg: Restricting entry into hazardous areas Red and green chemical light pads can be used as indicators of GO / NO GO areas. The red pad should be stuck to the wall at the entry point to the room/void if entry is not allowed; the reason for the restriction may be written on the pad, eg:

A green chemical light with directional arrow can assist with emergency evacuation.

Disaster Victim Identification (DVI): an orange light circle placed adjacent to a deceased casualty will be used to direct body recovery teams to the location, for example. This information should be given to the Police (DVI) Senior Identification Manager (SIM) and other relevant agencies as appropriate.

Safe route Chemical lights can be utilised to assist in the identification of safe access and egress routes. Evacuation routes: as crews work their way into the risk they can fix a green chemical light circle marker (marking with an arrow pointing the way out if appropriate) to the walls at regular intervals. This will assist in the emergency evacuation. Safe entry into the area: if chemical lights are utilised to give permission to access the area, ie GO / NO GO, the GO should be denoted by a Green light pad indicating GO, additional information can also be written onto the pad. Areas of interest If there is an area of particular interest to the fire and rescue service Officer in Charge, or another agency, an orange chemical light stick and/or circle marker can be used. Search operations: specific areas identified by USAR technical search teams that require further search or rescue operations, such as possible or confirmed casualty locations can be identified by orange chemical light sticks.

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Chemical lights can be utilised to assist in the identification of safe access and egress routes.

Specialist use Blue chemical light sticks and circle markers should only be used for specific tasks. They will be used to identify areas that USAR team members should avoid due to specialist tasks being carried out and where inadvertent interference could have an adverse effect on the incident outcomes or even safety. The SOP and associated equipment information note, risk assessment including COSHH and environmental assessments are now available on the FRS National Resilience website. The intention of the SOP has been to standardise the use of chemical lights across capabilities at an operational incident and it is available to share with other agencies to ensure continued interoperability. www.fireresilience.org.uk

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Dräger announces next generation fire helmet: the HPS 7000 Blyth-based safety manufacturer, Draeger Safety UK Ltd, is introducing its new fire helmet for the UK fire and rescue service – the HPS 7000 – designed with the safety and comfort of every individual firefighter at the forefront. For the past 50 years, Dräger has been protecting the UK’s fire and rescue service and as one of the country’s leading manufacturers of breathing apparatus and associated equipment, the launch of the new helmet marks an exciting period of expansion to Dräger’s extensive portfolio. Personal protective equipment (PPE) has come a long way since the early years of tough leather fire helmets from centuries ago and the introduction of the cutting edge HPS 7000 falls in line with the changing demands of the UK fire and rescue service today, where the complexities of modern industrialised life have introduced new hazards and materials burn hotter than ever before. There is a greater emphasis on more efficient, economical and effective performance and Dräger’s new helmet has undergone years of research and

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development, with a stringent evaluation and assessment process looking closely at the needs of firefighters who face life threatening scenarios on a day-to-day basis. Total protection The resulting piece of equipment offers total protection of a firefighter’s head and face, protecting these vital body parts against a variety of impacts including sharp objects, flames and extreme heat and enabling him or her to enter hazardous and dangerous situations with complete peace of mind as well as optimum wearer comfort. As the fire and rescue service today faces much tougher safety regulations in a climate of economic cut backs, the Dräger HPS 7000 has been designed to withstand the test of time, keeping firefighters protected year upon year with its long service life and variety of applications, meaning a cost effective

solution for fire authorities. Comfort is top of the agenda with the launch of Dräger’s HPS 7000 and while the lightweight helmet becomes a seamless part of the difficult challenges the firefighter faces, it is also robust with a streamlined ergonomic design and can also be trusted to keep them protected and safe above all else. Total system solution Complementing the new helmet are Dräger’s top of the range full service and product offerings, which include telemetry – the Dräger PSS Merlin Telemetry System, a wide range of self-contained breathing apparatus, cylinders and ‘total care’ after sales service. Kevin Honner, Technical Specialist at Draeger Safety UK, said, “One of the key aims for Dräger in the fire service is offering fire authorities a total system solution where the total sum of the parts equates to the safest possible solution for firefighters. All the elements of the Dräger Protection System fit together with precision giving firefighters the ultimate protection in every situation, whilst demonstrating cost efficiencies.” Dräger’s HPS 7000 is now available to purchase in the UK. www.draeger.com

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A clear advantage for USAR and ISAR Continuous improvement in tactics, training, techniques, equipment and innovation are obviously key elements of USAR strategy. All situations, even the most unpredictable, should be considered, trained for and anticipated. Standardising training and operational equipment for USAR and ISAR is one solution to reducing risk. Marking hazards, safe areas or equipment with chemiluminescent products in preselected colours will bring a clear advantage for USAR and ISAR.

Cyalume® lighting solutions Cyalume Light Technology asserts its position as the reliable safety partner for the safety market and more specifically for USAR and ISAR. The wide range of emergency light solutions provides improved security for both crewmembers and those injured people awaiting rescue. As a world leader in chemiluminescent light for safety and security applications and holding more than 40 international patents, Cyalume Technologies provides 100 percent reliable lights, without any flame, spark, heat or gas emission. The company’s goal is to develop solutions designed to save people’s life with easy to use products. All devices can be used in confined spaces, including ATEX environments, come with a fiveyear shelf life and contain no batteries. The Snaplight™ is always ready to use, works every time and is maintenance free! Cyalume® commitments Cyalume Technologies’ constant investments in R&D contribute to a greener, safer environment; new patented formulations are non-toxic, nonflammable and phthalate free. Moreover, all

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Cyalume products are compliant with European REACH regulation on chemicals and their safe use. The ISO 9001 production based in Massachusetts in the US, and France, meets and exceeds the highest level of technology requirements. In fact, Cyalume maintains its position as the sole manufacturer authorised to display NATO Stock Numbers (NSN) on its Chemlights. The company’s customer services in Europe and US ensure swift deliveries and help organisations find the correct solution for their needs. www.cyalume.eu www.european-lightstick.com

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The latest must-have kit 1

Paramedic Pro – Ikanos Consulting www.ikanosconsulting.com/products

The Paramedic Pro medical application from Ikanos Consulting, which runs on the Golden-i wearable headset computer (pictured), allows healthcare workers to access and record vital information quickly on their Golden-i headsets – completely hands-free. Paramedic Pro provides video chat, audio recording and access to information at the point of care. With its built-in camera, Golden-i enables direct video communication between field medical staff and A&E, so experts at a hospital can assess a situation and provide timely advice. Paramedics can talk to colleagues using the headset’s video chat capabilities, and provide information to doctors so they can prepare for the patients’ arrival. The application provides a standardised way to communicate data such as an estimated time of arrival (ETA) back to the hospital, and for staff on the scene to view the patient’s medical records. It also enables medical staff to view maps and use GPS to track their location. Consulting has also announced two other applications: Firefighter Pro and Police Pro.

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TWISTER sole – Vibram® www.vibram.com

Vibram® fireproof soles combine highly effective design and highly flameresistant compounds. These soles enable firefighters to tackle fire, flames and water while counting on greater safety conditions. The Vibram® TWISTER sole is based on the new Vibram® SUPERWORK compound, developed to increase the antistatic properties and oil and flame resistance. The TWISTER is a box section sole, specially created for safety at work. It features: double density rubber, for better performance and greater comfort; wide contact surfaces with self-cleaning channels to keep the sole free of oil and residues; anti-slip grooves in the waist for maximum safety on steps; and two-colour construction on the tread and the laterals.

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Motorcycle Suit – Bristol Uniforms www.bristoluniforms.co.uk

Bristol has designed firefighter PPE for use by members of fire crews using motorcycles. In what is believed to be a first, Bristol has designed protective clothing, which not only meets the road safety requirements for professional motorcyclists but also the highest European level for structural fire fighting. The new coat and trouser combination is a product of Bristol’s New Product Development Programme (BNPDP). The coat and trouser have been ergonomically designed to ensure ultimate fit, suitable for riding motorcycles and fire fighting duties. They are designed to be zipped together and are available in 28 sizes, both male and female. The ensemble is machine washable after the back, shoulder, elbow, hip and knee protectors have been removed.

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B300 rugged laptop – Getac UK www.getac.co.uk

One of the industry’s favourite rugged laptops – the Getac B300 – now runs faster than ever before, with twice the graphics capabilities of the previous generation B300. Powered by the latest third Generation Intel® Core™ i5 or i7 processor, the B300 incorporates Intel® vPro™ technology and offers operators a 67 percent increase in speed; an integrated Intel® HD Graphics 4000 card delivers rapid access to high-performance graphics, greatly improving display imagery, intricate mapping and advanced video streaming.

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Z-Rex – Leatherman www.whitbyandco.co.uk

Distributed in the UK by Whitby & Co the Z-Rex is the first tool that combines glass breaking, strap cutting and wrench tools in one, lightweight and easy-touse tool. The stainless steel 440C V notch cutters are hard wearing, easily replaced and can even be flipped over for a fresh edge when it’s needed on the spot. Tungsten Carbide makes the glass breaker tool a force to be reckoned with – needing less force than steel breakers, the Z-Rex is perfect when you need to break through glass with one quick strike. The oxygen tank wrench and hex wrench are built into the lightweight aluminium body, which is moulded with an ergonomic grip and features a finger hole for comfort and ease of use. The Z-Rex is designed and made in the US by the Leatherman company and comes with a ‘no quibbles’ 25-year guarantee.

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The latest must-have kit 6

Service Collection – Dr Martens www.drmartens.com/servicerange

British brand Dr Martens launched a new Service Collection of boots at The Emergency Services Show 2012 designed to meet the demands of today’s emergency services. The Autumn/Winter Service Collection draws inspiration and expertise from decades of the brand’s market-leading industrial technology. New additions include Shack, a lightweight, athletic, waterproof boot and the ultimate high spec Osprey, which is ideal for the ambulance market. This is a non-metallic safety boot, which is waterproof, puncture resistant and anti-static. It also features cutting edge technology: D30™ impact protection inserts positioned over the anklebone.

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Responder Smartphone App – PageOne Communications www.pageone.co.uk

PageOne Communications has launched its Responder Smartphone App for BlackBerry, Apple iOS and Android devices. Responder offers resilient closeduser group messaging for organisations looking to improve operational efficiency and ensure important messages and alerts reach Smartphone users quickly and securely. Capitalising on the strengths of the two-way Responder pager, the Responder app extends two-way paging’s core alerting features to the Smartphone world to provide a separate secure messaging channel. With distinctive pop-up and audible alerting, a separate Inbox and two-way reply options, the Responder App ensures important real-time operational and emergency messages rise above the clutter of everyday e-mail and SMS.

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Elite backpacks – Peli Products (UK) Ltd www.peliproducts.co.uk

Combining the watertight, crushproof features of the Peli case with a practical, stylish backpack, Peli Urban Elite and Sports Elite Backpacks feature built-in Peli cases for maximum protection for sensitive laptops and tablets. The range is designed for function with flair and includes different styles to protect laptops (models U100 (pictured) and S100) or tablets (models U140 and S140) – these are top loading for fast access. The backpacks are equipped with several pockets and a rigid front plate to securely transport e-readers, tablets and notebooks. Peli Urban (models U105 for laptops and U145 for tablets) and Sport Backpacks use a rigid compartment to protect personal electronics without the entire weight of an integrated case.

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Extended Comfort Footwear – WL Gore & Associates www.gore-workwear.com

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GORE-TEX® daily duty footwear is specifically designed for police officers whose work often takes them both outdoors and indoors. At the core of Tactical GORE-TEX® Footwear is a three-layer GORE-TEX® Extended Comfort Laminate that comes without insulation. Its construction consists of a highly abrasion resistant textile lining material, the microporous GORETEX® membrane and a protective knit. The laminate is extremely thin and capable of effectively transporting any sweat produced by the foot in the form of water vapour to the outside. At the same time it creates a reliable barrier against water penetrating from the outside. The laminate is combined with carefully selected upper materials. The shoes and boots are exceptionally lightweight, athletic, waterproof and extremely durable.

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First Responder Respirator – Scott Safety www.scottsafety.com

Scott Safety’s First Responder Respirator (FRR) is the next generation of respiratory protection for the global civil responder community. Providing protection against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats, the FRR uses revolutionary technology to deliver lower user burden, improved systems integration and ease of operation. It is compatible with conventional round filters with a Din 40 thread, Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR), Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and compressed air airline breathing systems. With the FRR, the user can switch between supplied air and filters, which is vital for environments where the threat is unknown or extreme (Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH)).

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Sky’s the limit for Bariatric Primetech and Ka-band dummy for satellite technology extrication training Primetech is leading the new revolution of Ka-band satellite technology in the UK, which is seen by many as the future of mobile communications within the fire and rescue service. Put as simply as possible, the K band is a portion of the microwave range of frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum. Formally, this spectrum starts with 3Hz and ends at 300GHz. Ka-band is directly above the K-band covering the frequencies of 26.5 to 40GHz, while the Ku-band is directly below and ranges from 12 to 18GHz. One immediate benefit is that the physics of the higher RF frequency used for Ka-band allows for smaller satellite dishes than the equivalent Ku-band dishes.

More than eight million people in Britain – 26.1 percent of the adult population – are classified as clinically obese, with childhood obesity levels also rising. Increased weight increases the risk of injury to the rescuer, so it is therefore essential that adequate training be given in safe handling techniques. One issue that many fire and rescue services are encountering is that as the population gets larger, more obese people driving cars, and there is the need to train to extract these people from vehicles. Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, meanwhile, has commissioned a KASAT Trailer as part of its rapid response offering.

passed its range tests at Eutelsat. He said, “This means that it is the only type-approved vehiclemounted system useable on the Eutelsat Ka satellite network. This confirms that high-speed bandwidths are no longer a thing of the future – they are available right now.”

The higher RF frequency used for Ka-band allows for smaller satellite dishes than the equivalent Ku-band dishes.

Small and mobile Imagine a small, mobile VSAT antenna system that can deliver blistering speeds of 8Mbps uploads and 20Mbps downloads using only a 3W BUC – welcome to Primetech’s iNetVu® KA-75V DriveAway Antenna. Because of its size and adaptability, this 75cm auto acquire satellite antenna system can be mounted on the roof of the smallest vehicle for direct broadband access over any configured satellite. The system works seamlessly with the iNetVu®7024 Controller, providing single push button, auto-acquiring, automatic beam recognition and fast satellite acquisition in minutes, anytime, anywhere. Henry Walker, Director of Primetech, explains, “With this type of communication power available, anyone requiring access to vast amounts of data, or needing the ability to provide this data, will be able to achieve more than they thought possible.” Primetech has been field-testing Ka technology in this country with outstanding results. Henry was delighted to announce that in 2012 the KA-75V

Trailer-mounted unit This highly advanced technology has immense benefits, which will extend through the whole of the emergency services sector. Henry says, “This new technology is just the beginning. We have already taken it one step further with the production of a mobile KASAT Trailer for the UK marketplace. This is a multi-purpose communications platform that can be deployed by any driver on a standard UK driving licence using a conventional family saloon.” Being highly mobile, it is quickly able to reach the scene of an incident. The high bandwidth capability via an auto-seeking satellite system, automatic fallover unit, 5m pneumatic mast with PTZ dual thermal camera and tamper-proof video recorder makes this trailer a self-contained, versatile, resilient command support unit. The fire and rescue service has been the first market area to really take advantage of this new technology, with Surrey Fire and Rescue Service incorporating the iNetVu® Ka-75V Drive-Away Antenna onto its new vehicle and Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service upgrading to the Ka-band on its current ICU. Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, meanwhile, has commissioned a KASAT Trailer as part of its rapid response offering. Henry concludes, “This is a really exciting time for the industry. With the Ka-band providing a large bandwidth, high performance, cost-effective alternative to current offerings, the sky’s the limit for mobile communications.”

Ruth Lee Ltd has produced two different bariatric rescue training manikins that can not only be used to train emergency services how to handle a bariatric casualty but also how to extract a bariatric casualty from a road traffic accident. The Bariatric dummy is based around a 100kg general purpose dummy with a further five layers over the top, these being a mixture of the weighted layers and foam cushioning that enables the weight to slide from side to side; the effect is very realistic. Lawrence Lee, Director of Ruth Lee, states, “It isn’t possible to simply add dead weight to one of our existing dummies, as that does not accurately represent the weight distribution in a larger person. Our aim was to achieve a ‘fluidity of movement’ and our designer has created a dummy that replicates, as closely as possible, the body mass of a large person, creating a realistic training tool. “Rescuers need specific training in lifting a person of this size safely, both in terms of avoiding further damage to the casualty, and in preventing injury to the rescuers.”

www.primetech.co.uk

www.ruthlee.co.uk

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ESTCLASSIFIEDS | 83

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E m e r g e n c y S e r v i c e s T i m e s Fe b r u a r y 2 0 1 3


84 | ESTEFFICIENCY SAVINGS

Cutting costs without costing lives From the Government’s Autumn 2012 Statement it is clear that, at least until 2018, there will be no let up from the austerity measures and budget cuts that the UK public sector has come to know so well. And with almost impossibly high government efficiency targets, the emergency services have not gone unscathed. The challenge now is to balance these unprecedented cuts with continued quality of service. Construction and procurement budgets could represent a surprising solution. Words: Sean McMulkin, Framework Manager at Constructing West Midlands. At some point in our lives, we will all need the support of the emergency services, which makes the prospect of cuts an emotive subject. Across the West Midlands, our blue light teams have warned that the full impact is yet to be felt, with the West Midlands Police Authority alone facing cuts to the value of £125m over the next four years, and the West Midlands Fire Service suggesting that there will be a direct impact on response times to largescale incidents. This picture is no doubt mirrored across the country.

“There’s a prime opportunity to find savings in procurement and construction budgets.” Commitment to improved reaction times, continuous training, new equipment and high staff numbers are all a critical part of what makes it possible for these dedicated response teams to make a difference, often in the face of a life or death situation. So how can the emergency services tackle budget cuts, but still maintain, and even improve, the services that are so heavily relied on by the public?

Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead.

tough government targets, cutting these costs could lessen the impact in other areas such as jobs and training. But with new facilities and buildings playing a crucial role, not just in supporting frontline operations but also acting as a hub for growing communities, it’s not as simple as just turning off the tap. The quality and safety of buildings and equipment must be maintained, even in the face of such stringent targets. But how? The answer lies with the procurement process. Building a defence against the cuts In the public sector, in one year alone, the National Audit Office estimated that a staggering 2500 OJEU tendering exercises were unnecessary and that 20 percent of contract notices could have been covered by an already existing framework. It is clear then that the emergency services could make significant savings on the huge costs associated with the OJEU process, by using an existing framework that has done the legwork already and has pre-approved contractors in place. Experienced frameworks can cut costs and save time without sacrificing the quality of the buildings, facilities and services on offer.

A complete solution Frameworks offer a complete solution to daily management and construction needs and offers everything from facilities management work and emergency repairs, to renovation and new build projects. It offers an end-to-end solution, and it’s one that should be maximised. The frontline services don’t have to take the hit, and nor should they when there’s a prime opportunity to find savings in procurement and construction budgets. Using frameworks to tackle budget cuts could save time, money and resources, which, both the public sector and the general public would agree, should be better spent on maintaining these truly life-saving services.

Earlham Fire Station, Norfolk.

Protecting frontline services When it comes to finding ways to reduce spending, without compromising on quality, the emergency services have a tough task on their hands. But there are ways of tackling these budget cuts without providing an inferior service. Some budgets, such as those set aside for the procurement of construction projects, as well as for reactive and planned maintenance programmes, could take the brunt of the impact. In 2011-12, the West Midlands Fire Service spent over £3.6m on capital projects. It also spends around £11m a year on procurement of supplies, works and services. So when looking to tackle

The Constructing West Midlands (CWM) Framework is a prime example of the benefits that more coordinated procurement can bring. The framework is leading the way in providing efficient construction, repairs and maintenance services that can meet the diverse needs of the public sector, despite these times of austerity. Through highly experienced contractors, including Thomas Vale, Willmott Dixon, Mansell, and Community Solutions (Morgan Sindall/Lovell), the CWM framework has experience of working with emergency services. With many recent examples, from the construction and design of community fire stations to maintenance for police authorities and the refit of heating and water systems for fire stations, the CWM framework is perfectly placed to help the sector tackle demanding targets. The CWM framework also allows public bodies access to leading facilities management (FM) contractors including MITIE, Carillion, Integrated Water Services, Middleton, and Kendrick Construction. These contractors are able to provide everything from heating and plumbing maintenance to refurbishment works and statutory testing, such as Legionella control. The CWM framework is managed and supported by Acivico (Design Construction and FM) Limited bringing the full range of construction and consultancy services together.

Marshes End Fire Station in Poole.

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www.constructingwestmidlands.co.uk/project-experience

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EST Feb 2013  

Feb 2013 issue of Emergency Services Times magazine features: Thermal Imaging Cameras, Severe Weather, plus the launch of The Emergency Serv...

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