East Devon District Council

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Guide Corporate emergency response plan

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3. Roles and responsibilities

General

All services are required to plan for the quick and effective deployment of their staff and resources in an emergency. This must include arrangements for a co-ordinated response with other services that are linked to the Emergency Centre. Although not every service will be required in any single situation, all services must be able to provide, on request, an officer to attend the emergency centre for this purpose. Similarly, it may be necessary to deploy officers to work at county emergency centre (CEC) and other district council, or multi-agency co-ordination points: Police Bronze (Operational)/Silver (Tactical)/Gold (Strategic) to provide specialist advice.

Depending on the gravity of the situation the officer receiving the emergency call may decide to call together an emergency management team (EMT) along with heads of service and key post holders. If not already actioned, the officer may also instruct that the emergency centre be activated to help co-ordinate the council’s overall response and act as a focal point for partner organisations involved.

Requests for service-level response should be directed through heads of service. Out of hours call-out numbers are listed in the emergency contact directory in Section 4; which will also be available electronically. Extensive lists are carried at all times by the county council duty civil contingencies officer and the on call district duty officer.

During an emergency each service is responsible for maintaining written records of events, actions and decisions undertaken by its staff. These records may be required at a later debriefing session or inquiry

Elected members will be kept informed and involved according to the procedures outlined below.

Note

  • the contact information in this plan is designed to provide access to senior management and other key personnel, but cannot be expected to account for all staff. It is essential that managers in all services maintain their own comprehensive call out lists and business continuity plans.
  • the primary action lists in section three are designed to kick start the response, and not to provide exhaustive guidance through all the possible phases of a major emergency.

Specific roles

Chief executive - emergency co-ordinator and initial duty officer

Make sure this plan, for the co-ordination of essential council services during a major emergency, is available to all officers having specific responsibilities. To keep the plan under review and validated by periodic exercises (delegated to civil contingencies manager).

  • Co-ordinate, through a corporate emergency management team, the involvement of essential district council services and help from outside agencies
  • Authorise the activation of the emergency centre (at Knowle – see section 2) as a focal point for council activities, if operational circumstances require this action
  • Help the activities of outside agencies such as public utilities, central government departments, commerce and industry by maintaining an emergency centre as a central point of reference and contact
  • Liaise with other county and district councils as required.
  • Ensure that elected members representing areas in which a major incident has taken place are made aware and kept informed of action taken
  • Co-ordinate requirements for media representation on matters concerning local authority services during, and in the recovery period of, an incident*
  • Make sure that appropriate information is disseminated to the public*
  • Consider the institution of a hardship fund, through the agency of the British Red Cross Society Disaster Appeal Scheme
  • Maintain financial and operational records

∗ Through the communications manager/team

Head of environment

  • Lead the emergency plan review process and reports to cabinet
  • Co-ordinate the council’s involvement at Gold level emergency meetings
  • On request provide an officer to attend the emergency centre to help co-ordinate a corporate response by the council
  • Advise on storage of hazardous materials as appropriate to incident
  • Assist the corporate response of the council by making available officers, appropriately qualified, to act as liaison officers within and outside the council. The emergency management team will task the liaison officers during the emergency
  • Maintain financial and operational records

The civil contingencies manager

  • Provide a single point of contact available at all times if necessary through nominated duty officers, to receive and co-ordinate information and requests in the initial stages of a major emergency for the council departments, county and other district councils and outside agencies
  • Prepare, maintain and advise on the district emergency plan
  • Validate the plan by exercises and training programmes with the appropriate departments and organisations
  • Maintain the emergency centre and all relevant equipment to ensure their availability for immediate activation
  • Maintain a list of nominated rest centres across the district ***
  • Maintain a list of rest centre personnel who can activate and run a rest centre ***
  • Ensure representation in the district emergency centre to assist in co-ordination of information and liaison with outside agencies and organisations
  • Work with the emergency co-ordinator (EC) and act as EC if required
  • Advise as necessary on the co-ordination of local community and other voluntary groups responding to an emergency
  • In liaison with the customer service centre manager make provision for a public information/telephone answering service
  • Assist council departments to prepare their respective contingency plans
  • Administer the councils application for restoration funding through the Bellwin scheme if appropriate
  • If requested provide a liaison officer to attend on behalf of the council, for example at Police Silver Control or other location on declaration of a major incident
  • Liaise with the county council civil contingencies duty officer
  • Maintain financial and operational records

*** See notes on rest centres

Streetscene

  • Arrange for clearance and cleaning of all public areas once made safe and prior to re-opening
  • Arrange for removal of debris and general clearance
  • Provide/mobilise vehicles/operators/sandbags and provide a presence on the ground
  • Liaise with county council highways department to define safe transport routes for operational staff
  • Maintain financial and operational records

Health and safety officer and environmental health team

  • On request attend the emergency centre to help co-ordinate a corporate response by the council
  • Monitor the insurance and health and safety implications of the district council response and advise as necessary
  • Assist with hazard analysis and the preparation of risk assessments for the emergency

Waste services

  • On request provide an officer to attend the emergency management team to help co-ordinate a corporate response by the council
  • Liaise with Devon County Council (waste disposal) to identify locations for the disposal of non-toxic waste material. The county council will deal with toxic waste
  • Maintain financial and operational records

Head of housing

  • On request provide an officer to attend the emergency centre to help co-ordinate a corporate response by the council
  • Locate rest centre in consultation with Devon County Council
  • Negotiate re-housing for the homeless as necessary
  • Maintain a register of persons likely to be in need
  • Maintain financial and operational records

Home Safeguard

  • On receiving notification of an emergency incident pass the information to the civil contingencies manger for action
  • Act as a first point of contact for the public for information relating to incidents outside of normal working hours
  • Relay requests for assistance to the appropriate officers via mobile and private home telephone numbers as detailed in the emergency contact list

Communications manager (See also action check sheet on page 26)

  • Set up a news, information and media management centre to handle all press and media coverage
  • Liaise with press officers from other agencies as appropriate and in particular ensure a common line with the police, county and other agencies
  • Liaise with the emergency management team to establish a district overview of the information released
  • Ensure a presence as necessary is kept in the emergency centre, where there will be the most up to date information on council involvement in the crisis
  • Consider reputation issues and draw to the attention of the CEO
  • Maintain a media monitoring and recording service
  • Make sure members receive appropriate information
  • Maintain financial and operational records

Head of finance

Act as paymaster to the council, including payments for hired labour or rented equipment or premises. Providing advice on all financial matters connected with the emergency, to include:

  • On request provide an officer to attend the emergency centre to help co-ordinate a corporate response by the council
  • Set up of separate codes for emergency expenditure
  • Keep accurate records of expenditure incurred
  • Support the civil contingencies manager on application for funding through the Bellwin Scheme. Comply with the requirements of the Bellwin Scheme via the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 for qualifying expenditure
  • Co-ordinate the financial aspects of the emergency with county and other district councils, (especially with regard to the Bellwin Scheme)
  • Control the expenses incurred by volunteers (either established voluntary bodies or ad-hoc)
  • Make sure insurance cover for council officers or volunteers is adequate
  • Administer all costs arising from restoration operations.
  • Liaise with British Red Cross Disaster Appeal Scheme (United Kingdom) or relevant appeal body, and set up and administer a hardship scheme if required
  • Provide a financial framework for the long-term recovery of affected areas

Customer service centre

  • On request provide an officer to attend the emergency centre to help co-ordinate a corporate response by the council
  • Act as the initial collation point for information coming through the contact centre relating to incidents during opening hours (Monday – Friday 8.30am-5pm)
  • Relay messages as appropriate to the management team via office extensions during standard working hours (Monday - Friday 8.30am-5pm)
  • Relay messages as appropriate to the management team via mobile and private home telephone numbers as detailed in the emergency contact list
  • Forward fax or telephone messages to the relevant person/department
  • Consider the extension of operating hours if required

Procurement

  • On request provide an officer to attend the emergency centre to help co-ordinate a corporate response by the council
  • Advise the emergency management team on the procurement of goods and services during the incident and recovery phase

Building control manager

  • On request provide an officer to attend the emergency centre to help co-ordinate a corporate response by the council
  • Provide advice and information on building surveying and structural matters, including demolition, temporary repair or renovation
  • Provide technical advice as requested to facilitate the rescue of trapped casualties
  • Maintain financial and operational records

Economic development

  • On request provide an officer to attend the emergency centre to help co-ordinate a corporate response by the council
  • Provide advice to the business community during the incident and recovery phase

Corporate manager - ICT

  • On request provide an officer to attend the emergency centre such as is necessary to help co-ordinate a corporate response by the council
  • Provide assistance in securing or diverting, additional telephone lines and in minimising overloads on the system.
  • Allocate technical staff to maintain all district Information systems for any aspects of an emergency
  • Procure and/or install additional computer equipment and technical support if required by any service involved.
  • Procure and install radio and satellite TV equipment at the Emergency centre to enable the team to assess the media response to the incident
  • Provide in conjunction with the communications team a rapid update capability for the district council’s web site, for public information during an emergency
  • Maintain financial and operational records
  • Provide maps and plans as required

Corporate manager – organisational development

  • On request provide an officer to attend the emergency centre to help co-ordinate a corporate response by the council
  • Ensure that personal contact details of all district council staff are kept up to date
  • Co-ordinate the provision of extra staff in the event of a major emergency, including the use of temporary or agency staff as well as the redeployment of district staff to support services under the most pressure.
  • Propose and advise on additional payment arrangements for staff working additional and/or unsocial hours in an emergency

Corporate manager – legal and democratic services

  • On request provide an officer to attend the emergency centre to help co-ordinate a corporate response by the council
  • Provide legal and procedural advice as required in any emergency
  • Offer legal advice as required on steps to be taken during and after an incident
  • Ensure that all officers and volunteers understand the importance of preserving and protecting records to assist post incident investigation or enquiry
  • Maintain financial and operational records

Elected members

In the early stages of an emergency there is little direct action an elected member can take. The emergency services and officers of the council must be allowed to get on and manage the situation.

In the first instance the relevant cabinet member will be kept informed by the duty officers/emergency management team.

The decision whether to inform local members, or the full council, will be the decision of the chief executive and the leader of the council.

In a crisis, it is vital to avoid controversial statements to the media such as allocating blame, or taking initiatives such as launching an appeal scheme without first consulting with the chief executive and Leader. Members will continue to be free to speak to the media in the normal way and can comment on the crisis to offer condolences and sympathies in conjunction with the communications team.

The communications team will be ensuring that there are regular and accurate updates posted on the website, social media accounts and intranet.