If an emergency situation arises, including firearms incidents, terrorism and disasters, the emergency services, local authorities and other public services have a number of detailed protocols in place to make sure that there is no confusion or overlap of responsibilities.
Depending on the nature of the incident, it is usually either Thames Valley Police or Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service that would take the lead and deal with the incident on the ground, the response phase of the operation.
An appropriate command and control structure would be set up, supported primarily by the Duty Emergency Planning Officer (EPO) from Oxfordshire County Council.
The City Council’s role generally occurs during the recovery phase, i.e. after the incident has ended. However, if at any time during an incident the assistance of the City Council is needed, the lead emergency service and/or the EPO will contact with the City Council to make the necessary arrangements.
For example, as the local housing authority, the City Council is often asked to provide temporary emergency accommodation for families if, as a result of an incident, their normal home is inaccessible.
The City Council also has a significant responsibility for the operational plans that are implemented to mitigate the effect of river flooding.
The City Council’s Emergency Planning Lead follows appropriate escalation and activation procedures to ensure the relevant teams are notified and action is taken. A contact officer is available 24 hours a day, and senior management can be notified and a response can be coordinated at any time.
Operational staff are on call on a rota basis to respond to an incident that happens out-of-hours.