Responsible for providing the front line local authority response to an emergency in Somerset
This Partnership is responsible for providing the front line local authority response to an emergency. The Duty Civil Contingencies Officer (DCCO) provides cover all day every day.
All officers in the Civil Contingencies Unit have specific work allocations and support the District Councils with these areas.
The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 delivers a single framework for civil protection in the United Kingdom, capable of meeting the challenges of the twenty-first century. The Act is separated into two substantive parts: local arrangements for civil protection and emergency powers. This Act has been reviewed following emergencies such as the Gloucester Floods and the subsequent Pitt Review recommendations in case of future flooding. This review was called the Civil Contingencies Act Enhancement Programme.
The Act and supporting regulations and guidance, establish a clear set of roles and responsibilities for those involved in emergency preparation and response at the local level. The Act divides local responders into two categories, imposing a different set of duties on each.
Those in Category 1, are organisations at the core of the response to most emergencies (for example, emergency services, local authorities, NHS bodies). Category 1 responders are subject to the full set of civil protection duties. They are required to:
Below are the district council officers who have a Civil Contingencies Officers and Business Continuity role in their councils:
One of the requirements on Local Authorities under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 is the provision of business continuity advice and guidance. The Civil Contingencies Unit has this responsibility. We work with the county and district officers to make sure sufficient Business Continuity plans are in place.
Contact – Russell Davies
The DCCO is alerted by phone through the Deane Helpline, who call us whenever a potential emergency is declared by one of the emergency services. As most emergencies are reported to the emergency services, calls from the public would be passed on by the same route.
Once alerted, the DCCO generally collects a situation report from the main agency involved and then consults their Standing Instructions for guidance as to the next steps. Generally, this involves passing the alert on to the appropriate Somerset County Council Departments, Somerset District Councils, other agencies and organisations that experience has shown would be involved in the response to the type of emergency.
Alerted organisations then react by following pre-arranged procedures for dealing with the particular type of incident that has occurred. In some instances, alerting calls may also be made to adjacent local authorities, Somerset County Councillors, or to regional or central government.
A Joint Emergency Control Centre will be established for widespread or serious emergencies, which would co-ordinate local authority actions.
We liaise with a wide range of organisations and agencies during planning, training, exercising and response to an incident including:
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