Managing major incidents: Buncefield: the theme of the morning of the first day of the conference was the management of major incidents and naturally, the incident still at the forefront of the UK Fire Service's mind is the Buncefield fire.(Fire Conference 2006)

Launching Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service's report on the fire and the lessons learned CFO Roy Wilsher was joined by Jon Boulter, emergency planner for Hertfordshire County Council and Mike Wilson of Angus, responsible for the supply of most of the 600,000 litres of firefighting foam used at the incident.

CFO Wilsher emphasised the economic costs of the incident and pointed out that still one year on from the explosion, the number of people out of work as a result is still in the order of 6,000 and the local economy is stilt bearing the brunt. The report into the fire (available from the TSO at 45 [pounds sterling]), from Hertfordshire's own perspective identified a number of key lessons learned by the FRS at the incident and included:

* Communications between Silver and Gold can only be achieved by the use of robust technology and systems

* Continual engagement and exercising with the local resilience forum paid dividends at the real thing

* Incident liaison officers and loggists aided recollection of decisions made for any future enquiry

* Co-ordination of the health sector at gold is needed--five representatives from the health sector sat at gold--rationalisation was required as it became difficult to get authoritative health advice

* The environment will become a bigger operational consideration than people think it will be

* Use appropriate experts to carry out work that firefighters are not necessarily best suited for, eg, laying roads (they laid a temporary road to access open water)

* Consider how you will feed shelter and rest over the border resources at an incident

* Do not permit self mobilisation and deployment at incidents. …

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