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What the Council does in an emergency

Birmingham City Council maintains a 24hr response to emergencies. For emergencies not managed by a single service or as part of “day to day” provision for such events, the Council’s first point of contact is the Emergency Planning Duty Officer who is on standby 24/7. The Emergency Planning Officer is trained and equipped to deal with minor emergencies and to initiate escalation procedures in the event of a major emergency or major business disruption.

• The response to any emergency is scalable and resources can quickly be activated. An activation can include some or all of the following:

o A management (command and control) structure; Gold (Strategic), Silver (Tactical) and Bronze (Operational) officer / teams.

o A Council Emergency Co-ordination Centre to accommodate the Silver (Tactical) Team.

o The BRT Emergency Response Vehicle to provide basic resources at the scene.

o Activation of corporate emergency response role volunteers, e.g. message handlers, radio operatives.

o Directorate / Service area based response capabilities, e.g. building surveyors.

o Council officers activated to represent the Council at multi-agency command locations e.g. a Strategic Co-ordination Centre or the WMP Events Control Suite.

o Activation of specialist emergency response capabilities, e.g. rest centres, crisis support workers, etc.

o A range of communications and information management support including radio communications, satellite phones, Birmingham Community Alert or AIMS (computerised incident management system).

o Liaison with other local authorities for mutual aid support or military assistance in some circumstances.

• Additional plans are in place for specific emergencies / business disruptions or locations and are summarised as appendices within the plan.

• The role of the local authority is diverse and common functions during emergencies include:

o Provision of temporary emergency shelter and accommodation.

o Welfare and practical support (e.g. food, personal supplies, crisis support).

o Provision of information to the public including media liaison, (e.g. establishment of media centres or helplines).

o Road closures, diversions and other highway duties.

o Access to transport including specialist transport.

o Access to machinery, equipment, contractors and contracted suppliers.

o Specialist advice, e.g. environmental health, building surveyors.

o Clean up and waste management resources.

o Liaison with voluntary and faith organisations.

o Accessing community groups.

o Leading on recovery and restoration to normality, in partnership with business and community sectors.

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