What types of Plans are produced?
There are three basic types of plans. The first is generic to be used with any incident. The second is type specific related to any incident of a particular type. The third is site specific and is a plan drawn up for a specific site.
Wiltshire Police hold a number of these plans.
||Direction for these plans is produced centrally by the Association of Chief Police Officers for England Wales and Northern Ireland who produce the Emergency Procedures Manual (Scotland have their own association - ACPOS). This provides continuity nationally between the various forces who all do their own individual incident planning.
Wiltshire Police Major Incident Plan
The plan consists of a number of guidance documents which provides information and guidance about specific areas of Police responsibility in a major incident or emergency. The plan is hyper linked to other agencies documents such as Local Authority Rest Centre Plans and the Wiltshire and Swindon Local Resilience Forum Documents. It is intended as a flexible framework to be applied to any incident. It provides information about all aspects of a major incident such as cordons, role of the Casualty Bureau and also details the roles and responsibilities for specific officers carrying out various functions with the major incident.
The Local Resilience Forum of Wiltshire and Swindon was established as a requirement of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 and is a multi agency Strategic body that ensures planning and preparation takes place against a range of risks. This can be found in the LRF Community Risk Register.
In addition specific information and guidance is provided for dealing with more specialist types of major incident such as aircraft and rail crashes or where hazardous materials are involved.
Site Specific Plans
There are a number of site specific plans that are held at any particular time. An example of this would be a town centre evacuation plan where specific details have to be considered before an evacuation could take place. Details such as who is responsible for moving the public away from danger, and where they are going to go are the types of areas covered in such a document.
How are the Plans created?
Some plans are created by individual organisations as a particular need arises. However it is clear that there is a need to co-ordinate plans where a number of organisations respond to the same incident. Evidence can be seen of this collaboration in the Case Studies section in this site.
How are the plans actually used?
First of all when the plans are produced they are exercised to ensure that they actually do what they are intended to, and that they dovetail with the plans of other agencies responding to the incident. The type of exercise used is usually a tabletop exercise as this is most effective in testing the plan at this stage.
When the plan is finished it is published as either an operational or response order. The document is then circulated to the relevant officers in the force that would deal with such an incident.
An operational order would be produced for a longer term risk that may continue indefinitely. A response order would be produced perhaps for a site specific plan where the risk is for a definite period of time.
The plans are then kept as reference documents, should an incident occur the appropriate plan is used to ensure the most effective response from Wiltshire Police. In order for the plans to remain current, they are reviewed on a regular basis.
It is important that plans are reviewed and developed. The development of the plan should incorporate the experiences and lessons learnt of both the writer and others who have had roles to play in major incidents. To this end a de-briefing process after any incident should take place and the lessons learnt should then be incorporated in future planning and organisational development.