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Last update: August 21, 2017 at 8:26 am

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Rest Centre team holds training sessions

Birmingham City Council staff who are on standby to set up and run emergency rest centres in the City held a series of training sessions during May.

The sessions ensure that the team of specially trained staff keep up to date with their role at emergency rest centres. 

Rest Centres are places that can accommodate residents who would otherwise not be able to get to their homes, usually as a result of a serious fire or other emergency where evacuation is deemed necessary.

Birmingham has 16 pre-identified locations throughout the City that are on standby 24hrs a day to be opened as a rest centre.  Rest centres are set up with a wide range of facilities and equipment and can also be used to accommodate people overnight.  In addition Birmingham City Council have arrangements with over 70 smaller venues that can be opened up as a reception centre if there are small numbers of people or to use before residents are transferred to a larger centre.

The Council’s team of rest centre staff volunteer to be on standby to set up and manage these centres and receive specialist training for this role.  Training includes health and safety, welfare needs and training in tasks such as registration.

Veronica Coleman, Principal Emergency Planning Officer is responsible for rest centres in Birmingham.

“We come together to discuss how we can make improvements following a practice exercise we held in January.”

“We strongly encourage residents to make their own arrangements for emergencies, such as making plans to stay with family or friends and having an emergency kit ready packed.  However it is still really important that the team have the opportunity to train and exercise as we never know when their help may be required to care for residents who may need emergency shelter”.

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