17 June 2014
The emergency services across Jersey and Guernsey are standardising the processes and terminology they use when managing major incidents.
Standard models for decision making, risk assessing, command, communications, and terminology are being introduced across all services.
Jersey’s Emergency Planning Officer, Joseph Carnegie, believes the change will enable emergency services to respond more efficiently to major incidents.
“All emergency services use different processes so that, for example, the fire service and ambulance service will both carry out a risk assessment of a situation but using different methods,” he said. “Having standardised systems is likely to speed up the process of decision-making as an incident escalates because if we have the same terminology and the same briefings, decisions will take less time to make.”
UK national models
The standardisation is being based on the UK’s national models developed by the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme (JESIP). JESIP has developed the standard practices as a result of reviewing major incidents such as the 7/7 bombings and they are now adopted nationally.
Trainers from JESIP are in Jersey today (Tuesday 17 June) to deliver a course on the national standards. Around 30 representatives from across the emergency services are attending and will then pass on their training. Over the next few months all emergency services staff will be trained, and a major incident exercise is planned for 2015 so that the standardised processes can be tested.
Better response to major incidents
“We are training the trainers today, and they will then cascade the information through all staff at a level that is suitable for their position in the command structure,” Mr Carnegie said. “Building on our experience and developing procedures based on best practice enable the emergency services to operate together in a more organised, structured and practiced way at a major incident. We won’t necessarily adopt all of the UK’s standards; we will tailor them to our needs and our intention is to adopt the same principles across the Channel Islands.”