Improving catastrophic incident command: the dynamic suppliers' role: the oil refinery fire at Buncefield underlined the importance of close interaction between fire and rescue services and equipment suppliers. The author of this paper claims that the bar can be raised higher, with fire and rescue management teams now in position to reduce or totally remove a big part of their corporate risk in partnership with their suppliers.(Oil Depot Inferno)

IN RISING TO THE CHALLENGE of the UK government's National Procurement Strategy for the Fire and Rescue Service: 2005-2008 and the subsequent FiReBuy Ltd structure now established to drive change within the procurement functions of the fire and rescue services, equipment suppliers now really need to appreciate and understand that the goal posts moved in their market. Equally they have changed shape and format and will continue to do so as the new demands of servicing the developing 21st century responses to disasters evolve.

Role of Suppliers at Catastrophes

Thirty years ago no one could have foreseen the new threats that emergency responding agencies would be now facing and having to respond to in 2006. Planes full of passengers being purposely flown into buildings; chemical and germ warfare being instigated against civilian populations; an earthquake causing a tsunami which would cause death and destruction in countries thousands of miles apart; and bombs being placed on underground transportation systems with intent to kill anyone regardless of colour, race, faith or age.

Within this new threatening environment, new government legislation was rapidly required to try and prepare all emergency services to combat and challenge these new threats to our civilians. The Civil Contingency Act(s) of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland (CAA) has gone a long way to ensure that all agencies who respond during a crisis are now correctly organised, prepared and able to meet whatever human or natural induced disaster they may encounter. …

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