Fire

Taking stock of the CFOA operational response business stream--part two.(Current feedback operational amplifier)

Introduction

This is the second part of the focus into the CFOA Operational Response business stream, looking into the remaining key areas of work undertaken.

National Command and Control Working Group

The current National Command and Control Co-Ordination Group (NCCCG) has been in transition through the end of the 2007-08 planning cycle. Roy Wilsher took over as Chair in September 2007, following on from Kevin Arbuthnot who achieved many things as Chair and continues to sit on the group as FSC representative.

NCCCG was formed to assist with developing procedures to coordinate national response to major emergencies. The group played a significant role in developing the Fire and Rescue Service National Coordination Centre and national mutual aid arrangements, the first draft of the National Coordination Advisory Framework, strategic holding areas, enhanced command support and the NSAT concept. The transition has seen the introduction of CFOA regional representatives to the group, and current drafting of new terms of reference and Action Plan. The group will also be re-named as the National Command and Control Working Group to match the other ND Capabilities and sit as part of the Transitions Board. Enhanced command support vehicles have been delivered to the centre and were tested for the first time at Exercise Orpheus in March 2007. The vehicle locations are now settled and training for local operators is about to start, with vehicles delivered to fire and rescue services between May and July 2008. Once they have been delivered, an ECS User Group will be established working to NCCWG. ECS vehicles are designed to work at Strategic Holding Areas (SHAs) which have been identified across the country.

The first phase of Exercise Orpheus took place at the Fire Service College in March. This was a multi-agency exercise with over 200 fire responders from 13 fire and rescue services testing new paramedic Hazardous Area Response Teams (HART).

The exercise had two separate scenarios, USAR and CBRN and also tested ECS, SHA and Fire and Rescue Service NCC procedures. The exercise was a success, with a second phase taking place in July 2008.

Major issues facing NCCWG for 2008-09 are clarification of the role and responsibility of capability advisers, consultation on the concept of operations for the Fire Resilience Project, qualifications for incident command and integrating command interface into the RCC project.

CBRN and Resilience

Building on the success of the Inter Agency Liaison Officer concept first introduced in London in 2001, on behalf of CFOA, the London Fire Brigade are leading the introduction of an ILO cadre across the UK. This follows a request from the Counter Terrorist Command who saw this as a key multi-agency component in addressing the enduring threat of terrorism. Work is continuing on developing this concept with a number of fire and rescue services expressing an interest in being part of a national cadre.

The LFB are also leading on behalf of CFOA the development of the Fire and Rescue Service component of the Recovery, Identification and Decontamination of CBRN Contaminated Fatalities (RID) Project, which is being managed by the Home Office. …

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