The Silver Commander is the senior member of the organisation at the scene, in charge of all their resources. They decide how to utilise these resources to achieve the strategic aims of the Gold Commander; they determine the tactics used.
In the United Kingdom the principle of Police primacy means that the Police will be the organisation in ultimate charge of the incident, over the other organisations that may attend. A limited exception to this occurs if the incident involves a fire or other dangerous hazard, in which case the fire service will have overall charge of the area inside the inner cordon where fire fighting or rescue is taking place.
A series of massive explosions early this morning has led to an enormous fire at one of Britain's largest oil depots sending thick black smoke drifting up to 40 miles away. Police say 43 people were injured, two of them seriously, after flames shot hundreds of feet into the sky at the Buncefield oil depot near Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire.
The 2005 Buncefield fire can be used as one of many examples to show how the command structure functions. After the explosions on Sunday 11 December 2005, the strategic operation to bring the incident under control was located at Hertfordshire Constabulary's headquarters in Welwyn Garden City - some distance from the incident. Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service's Chief Fire Officer (CFO) Roy Wilsher was based at gold command "within one hour of the incident".
The location of silver command was initially located close to the incident then moved to Watford.
Bronze, was situated on the fire ground and was a Herts fire service control unit. Each of the services had its own senior officers who assumed the roles of gold, silver and bronze.
The Act and the regulations lay out what is required;
“ The chief requirement of the Act in regard to emergency planning is to maintain plans to ensure that, if an emergency occurs or is likely to occur, each Category 1 responder body can deliver its functions so far as necessary or desirable for the purpose of preventing the emergency, reducing, controlling or mitigating its effects, or taking other action in connection with it.” Kevin Arbuthnot
Emergency management (or disaster management ) is the discipline of dealing with and avoiding risks. It is a discipline that involves preparing, supporting, and rebuilding society when natural or human-made disasters occur.
In general, any Emergency management is the continuous process by which all individuals, groups, and communities manage hazards in an effort to avoid or ameliorate the impact of disasters resulting from the hazards. Actions taken depend in part on perceptions of risk of those exposed.
The nature of emergency management is highly dependent on economic and social conditions local to the emergency, or disaster. This is true to the extent that some disaster relief experts such as Fred Cuny have noted that in a sense the only real disasters are economic. Experts, such as Cuny, have long noted that the cycle of emergency management must include long-term work on infrastructure, public awareness, and even human justice issues. This is particularly important in developing nations. The process of emergency management involves four phases: mitigation, preparation, response, and recovery.
The act places a risk assessment duty on all category 1 responders, and to make plans for such risks that are identified. The act also places a duty on all category 1 responders to cooperate in producing and maintaining a ‘Community Risk Register’.
The fire service is well placed for this, having a mixture of generic and specific plans, along with multi-agency plans, covering a very wide aspect of emergencies.
For example, West Yorkshire has a multi-agency plan in place called ‘Who does what in an emergency’, produced and maintained by the emergency planners’ forum, and further work is now in place developing other multi-agency plans by the formation of sub working groups to the forum.
Physical risk assessment refers to the process of identifying and evaluating hazards In risk assessment, various hazards (e.g. earthquakes, floods, riots) within a certain area are identified. Each hazard poses a risk to the population within the area assessed.
The hazard-specific risk ( R h ) combines both the probability and the level of impact of a specific hazard.
The equation below gives that the hazard times the populations’ vulnerability to that hazard produce a risk.
The response phase includes the mobilization of the necessary emergency services and first responders in the disaster area. This is likely to include a first wave of core emergency services, such as fire-fighters, police and ambulance crews. They may be supported by a number of secondary emergency services, such as specialist rescue teams.
In the response phase, medical assets will be used in accordance with the appropriate triage of the affected victims.
The Ministry of Defence maintains a Nuclear Accident Response Organisation (NARO) to deal with the consequences of any incident (including one arising through terrorist acts) affecting the UK, or Overseas Territories, involving nuclear weapons, special nuclear materials, nuclear facilities or naval reactors.