Preparing for Emergencies
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Initial response to most emergencies should be delivered at the local level: that’s the key principle of UK civil protection arrangements, which sit under the Civil Contingencies Act. Co-operation between those agencies responsible for responding locally is a legal duty.
Co-operation in response, as well as in policy and planning, has long been the work of the emergency services. Over the last 20 years Local Authorities have joined them in formal, strategic level policy and planning arrangements and more recently the range of responder bodies covered by the Act has also been gradually better engaged in such processes.
Co-operation on a day-to-day basis between responder bodies forms the backbone of civil protection work- regular communication, training and joint projects, including the exercising of emergency plans and procedures, provide an excellent basis for the new framework laid out in the Civil Contingencies Act.
Local Resilience Forums
The principal mechanism for co-operation and multi-agency planning at the local level will be the Local Resilience Forum (LRF) process. Local Resilience Forums, or their equivalents, will exist on the geographical basis of Police force areas. The purpose of the LRF process is to enable and ensure the effective delivery of duties under the Act that need to be developed in a multi-agency environment. Organisations that do not have a legal duty under the Act will also be involved in the LRF process, but this will be determined on the basis of the need locally- reinforcing the principle of subsidiarity in civil protection and allowing the local responders to determine local priorities.
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