Devon and Somerset 2018/19
How effective is the fire and rescue service at keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks?
An effective fire and rescue service will identify and assess the full range of foreseeable fire and rescue risks its community faces. It will target its fire prevention and protection activities to those who are at greatest risk from fire. It will make sure businesses comply with fire safety legislation. When the public calls for help, the fire and rescue service should respond promptly with the right skills and equipment to deal with the incident effectively. Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service’s overall effectiveness is good.
The service has a good understanding of local risk. It uses a wide range of information to determine risk, including population data and incident data. It uses the fire service emergency cover (FSEC) toolkit to identify highest risk areas and to predict the likely demand on the service. The service uses its operational risk information system (ORIS) to manage site-specific risk information. The management and oversight of the system is good, and most risk information is within its review date.
The service has an effective approach to prevention. Both its community safety strategy and delivery plan are clear about where the greatest risks are and the priority the service should give each risk. Community safety technicians carry out prevention activity in people’s homes. The technicians complete comprehensive safe and well visits and are trained to deal with a range of problems. But we found little evidence of any quality assurance to understand whether visits are consistent and done in line with staff training.
The service protects the public effectively through fire regulation. Specialist staff and trained operational crews carry out fire safety audits. Some operational staff, however, were unclear about their role. The service should also improve its arrangements for providing specialist protection advice out of hours. It is on target to inspect its identified high-risk premises within three years.
How the service responds to emergencies should be improved. Crews and incident commanders are well trained and the service has effective systems in place to review and manage fire engine availability. But, despite these systems, matching staff availability to resource requirements remains a challenge and on-call engine availability is a problem. Nor is the service meeting its response standard.
More positively, the service has a joint mobilising function with Hampshire and Dorset & Wiltshire fire and rescue services. This makes sure there is an effective and efficient cross-border response as the quickest resource will be mobilised. Control room operators all follow the same training programme and operational procedures across the services have been aligned.
How well does the FRS understand the risk of fire and other emergencies?
All fire and rescue services should identify and assess all foreseeable fire and rescue-related risks. They should also prevent and mitigate these risks.
We set out our detailed findings below. These are the basis for our judgment of the service’s performance in this area.
Understanding local and community risk
The service has a good understanding of local risk. It has consulted with the public to create an integrated risk management plan (IRMP). The service held engagement events in its four local council areas to understand how the public sees the service. It is developing an engagement framework to consult and engage with the public as part of its Safer Together programme.
The service recognises some groups of people may be hard to reach. However, it has started to build relationships with partners, like mental health agencies, that represent vulnerable groups.
The service uses a wide range of information to inform its IRMP. This includes population data, incident data and data from credit reporting company Experian.
There are many houses with thatched roofs in the area, so the service works with Heritage England to manage this risk. All this information is reviewed and refreshed every year to ensure the service has an accurate picture of current risks and emerging themes.
The service uses modelling to better understand risk. It uses the FSEC toolkit to identify areas most at risk and the times that incidents are likely to increase.
Having an effective risk management plan
The IRMP meets the Fire and Rescue National Framework for England’s requirements. It covers the service’s assessment of risk and risks from both local and national registers. The service uses its IRMP to explain the area’s key risks to the public. Risks and categories that the service has defined are:
- fires and injury – accidental dwelling fires, ageing population, serious fire in commercial premises, deliberate fire, heritage property fires;
- road traffic collisions – road collisions causing death or serious injury;
- health and wellbeing factors – people who have two or more of the seven identified risk factors are more likely to be at risk from fire, increasing demand for the service;
- environment – flooding, hazardous materials site and incidents;
- rescues – height, confined space and entrapments, drowning and open water safety; and
- resources – unavailability of on-call appliances, distribution of service delivery resources, attending too many false alarms.
For each risk, the service records what it is doing to mitigate it. It also explains what it will do to reduce it further through either prevention, protection or response activities. It then describes the expected results of these activities.
Maintaining risk information
Firefighters need up-to-date information about complex buildings with hazards such as chemicals. This helps them respond effectively with the right people and equipment if there is an incident. Firefighters get this information from mobile data terminals (MDTs) mounted in fire engines.
The service uses its ORIS to manage site-specific risk information. As at 31 December 2018, the service had 767 risk sites. The service’s recommended review period for risk sites varies depending on several factors. For example, the level of risk information (from a low-risk site to somewhere that needs a multi-agency plan) and any vulnerable people there. In the nine months to 31 December 2018, the service had completed 592 risk site visits.
The majority of risk information held was within its review date. If sites weren’t reviewed, the service recorded why. The service manages and oversees the system well.
Operational staff at wholetime stations are responsible for visiting sites and gathering or reviewing site-specific risk information. On-call staff don’t do the same range of site visits.
However, the service has trained some staff to carry out risk visits. These risk inspectors have risk visits given to them by the central ORIS administration team. Inspectors were given examples of on-call staff visiting sites to familiarise themselves and ensure crews were aware of risks.
The service has systems to communicate risk information. We saw risk information passed on using a variety of methods. These included face-to-face handovers between watches, briefings at the start of shifts and drill sessions, and notice boards.
If prevention or protection staff see any risks during a visit they can tell fire control who will update the mobilising system. For example, if a resident is hoarding belongings.
This information will then be available to crews if they go to an incident there.
How effective is the FRS at preventing fires and other risks?
Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service is good at preventing fires and other risks. But we found the following areas in which it needs to improve:
Areas for improvement
- The service should assure itself that the home fire safety checks that are conducted by staff are consistent.
- The service should evaluate whether prevention campaigns can be better supported by operational crews.
We set out our detailed findings below. These are the basis for our judgment of the service’s performance in this area.
Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service has an effective prevention strategy. The Community Safety Strategy and Delivery Plan is clear about where the greatest risks are and the priority the service should give each risk. The strategy explains how the service will allocate resources to prevention activities. The service has created service maps describing the four levels of service the community can expect. These are:
- universal/preventative services – aimed at people, communities and businesses that actively address their risk and support others to manage theirs;
- early support services – aimed at people, communities and businesses that are not proactively addressing their risk and need some guidance and education to help them;
- target services – aimed at people, communities and businesses that need support to start addressing and reducing risks; and
- specialist services – aimed at people, communities and businesses that need direct intervention from the service to reduce risk.
The service uses defined risk factors to ensure it concentrates its work on members of the community who may be most vulnerable to fire. These risks factors are: living alone, alcohol, prescription or illegal drugs, limited mobility, poor housekeeping, smoking and mental health.
In the year to 31 March 2018, the service did 10,864 safe and well checks (known in the service as home fire safety checks). That is 6.2 checks per 1,000 people – below the England rate of 10.4. These checks include fire safety activities like identifying and reducing fire risks and fitting fire alarms. Checks also include welfare-related activities such as advice on health prevention, social welfare and how to avoid trips and falls. The service targets checks at people it has identified as at higher risk, such as the elderly (65+). This was reflected in the data. In the year to 31 March 2018, 65.4 percent of checks were targeted at households occupied by an elderly person, above the England rate of 54.1 percent. The service targeted 20.4 percent of checks at households occupied by a person declaring a disability, slightly below the England rate of 24.7 percent.
The service runs a contact centre where members of the community and partner organisations can request a home fire safety check. During the call, requests are risk assessed to find out if they meet the service’s defined risk factors.
We found that all referrals made to the service had been assessed against the criteria. The service then targets interventions using the most appropriate resources. They range from sending standard letters to sending trained technicians to do a home fire safety check.
Community safety technicians carry out prevention activity in people’s homes. The technicians do comprehensive safe and well visits and are trained to deal with a range of issues. If a resident has more complex needs, technicians can refer them to a specialist agency. A central team is responsible for allocating the visits.
We found little evidence of any quality assurance to understand whether home fire safety checks were consistent and done in line with staff training. The service has evaluated some of its prevention activity using an external agency. They conducted a literature and data review. Following this, the service changed the scope of one of its road safety education programmes.
Promoting community safety
Community safety information and campaigns are centrally planned and co-ordinated by the community safety team. The service follows the National Fire Chiefs Council’s calendar to plan its prevention campaign activity, like road safety. The campaigns are carried out by home fire safety technicians and community safety advocates.
Staff based at fire stations don’t often get involved with working with the community on prevention. Inspectors found limited local examples of operational crews hosting station events or attending schools to give fire safety information.
The service works with partner agencies to prevent fires and keep people safe. It has a range of partners, whose staff can make referrals to the service if they think someone is at risk from fire. The service gives training allowing partners to identify whether a referral for a home fire safety check is appropriate. The service could think about whether partners could do home fire safety checks on the service’s behalf.
The service also works in partnership with other organisations to give safety messages. For example, water safety with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. This activity is limited. But we recognise the service has no legal responsibility to do this wider safety work.
Operational staff and community safety technicians have all had safeguarding training. Staff had a good understanding of how to identify vulnerable people and make a safeguarding referral when they needed to. The service has a dedicated safeguarding team who manage referrals and share information. Members of this team sit on local safeguarding boards. Inspectors were given examples where crews had made referrals and been given feedback on what happened next. Staff were positive about this.
The service has a fire-setter intervention programme aimed at people who show a fascination with fire. The programme gets referrals in several ways. This includes after an incident, through their website, from the police, from youth offending teams and schools. The service gives an immediate response and sends someone trained to deal with fire-setting behaviour. The person will then be put on the next fire-setter’s intervention programme, if appropriate. Since January 2019, the service has referred 54 cases.
The service is an active partner in the South West Accident Reduction Group. The group used road accident and injury data to discover that young people and motorcyclists are most at risk on the roads in Devon and Somerset. As a result, the group developed targeted campaigns. For example, the service’s Biker Down campaign run with the local authorities and police.
Partners in the south west also developed the Survive to Drive campaign after an increase in incidents involving the military. The service’s role in this was recognised by a national award from the Ministry of Defence.
The service is involved in partnerships to promote road safety and reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on the road. However, the number of staff in fire stations actively involved in road safety prevention activity was inconsistent.
How effective is the FRS at protecting the public through the regulation of fire safety?
Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service is good at protecting the public through fire regulation. But we found the following areas in which it needs to improve:
Areas for improvement
- The service should ensure that operational crews are aware of their requirement to conduct fire safety checks.
- The service should ensure it has effective arrangements for providing specialist protection advice out of hours.
- The service should ensure that business engagement is conducted consistently across the service.
All fire and rescue services should assess fire risks in buildings and, when necessary, require building owners to comply with fire safety legislation. Each service decides how many assessments it does each year. But it must have a locally determined, risk-based inspection programme for enforcing the legislation.
We set out our detailed findings below. These are the basis for our judgment of the service’s performance in this area.
Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service’s risk-based inspection programme is informed by local risk. It meets the service’s statutory requirements.
The service uses Experian data and the Fire Risk Event Database to work out which premises it will inspect in its risk-based inspection programme. This data gets refreshed every 14–16 weeks. The service assesses the data and then selects the high-risk premises that need inspecting, for risks like sleeping risks (in places such as hotels and bed and breakfasts, for example).
As at 31 December 2018, the service had identified 4,000 high-risk premises that would require a fire safety check.
The service does fire safety checks using specialist staff and wholetime operational crews. Both specialist staff and operational crews are trained to the right national standard for the premises they are likely to audit. Specialist fire safety staff will do fire safety audits at more complex premises and at premises where a fire safety check has identified there are compliance issues. The service is currently on target to inspect those premises it has identified within a three-year period.
However, those premises that require a full fire safety audit are taking longer to complete than the 28-day target the service sets. Staff told us that reduced staffing levels are part of the reason the audits aren’t being done in time. As at 31 December 2018, the service reported having 31 dedicated protection staff. However, more recent data shows that as at 31 March 2019, the number had fallen to 26. This is as a result of retirements and secondments ending.
We also found some inconsistencies where wholetime staff were unsure of whether they were required to complete fire safety checks. The service will address this in its Safer Together programme.
The service can respond to fire safety complaints. However, the service can’t offer an effective response to out-of-hours complaints. This is due to limited staff availability, contractual arrangements and that not all staff have the right training to respond out of hours. As a result, it has to rely on recalling officers back to duty or pay overtime to provide this cover. This can cause a delay if the service needs to restrict premises’ use outside normal business hours due to the time taken to complete necessary documents. The service is currently reviewing plans to address this.
The service uses the National Fire Chiefs Council’s audit form to make sure audits by specialist inspectors are consistent and robust. The service records audit information on the Community Fire Risk Management Information System database. Inspectors reviewed this database and found examples where information from audits had not been fully completed. There were also audits that had passed their due date.
The service does quality assure some of its activities. However, we found limited quality assurance of the fire safety audits that staff are completing. This means the service can’t be sure audits are consistent and robust. We did see quality assurance of building control consultations and enforcement notices.
The service received 1,113 building regulation consultations between 1 April and 31 December 2018. Of these, 93.3 percent were completed within the required time. This level has remained broadly stable over the last three years.
Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service takes a robust approach to compliance with fire safety legislation. In the year to 31 March 2018, of the 502 unsatisfactory audits (73.5 percent of all audits), the service issued:
- 428 informal notices;
- 44 prohibition notices (under Article 31);
- 45 enforcement notices (under Article 30 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RR(FS)O); and
- 6 prosecutions for offences.
Where the service requires remedial action in premises, it works closely with building managers to make sure they take action to deal with any breaches to fire safety regulations. If the premises don’t take remedial action, the service will consider enforcement action.
When the service believes it is necessary to prosecute, it will hold a case conference to ensure consistency and take legal advice. One officer in the protection team will oversee any prosecutions. They will also give support to the protection officer dealing with the prosecution. The service has brought a number of prosecutions in recent years.
The service works with other enforcement agencies to share information on risk and take joint enforcement action where necessary. Members of the protection team collaborate with other services, for example, private sector housing and local authority housing where there is a memorandum of understanding in place.
Working with others
The service has a ‘challenge and non-attendance’ policy on incidents involving automatic fire alarms. This means it challenges callers to work out whether the alarm has been caused by a fire, or something else.
If it can’t confirm a fire, depending on the time of day and type of premises, it will decide whether to send fire engines, and if so, how many. This keeps resources available for prevention and response.
The service will send a full response if a fire is confirmed. In the six months to 31 December 2018, the service received 4,448 requests for assistance to automatic fire alarms. Of these, it didn’t attend 2,412 (54.2 percent).
A dedicated member of staff will contact premises that have had an automatic fire alarm call. They will discuss reasons the alarm activated and whether an informal visit is needed, or a full fire safety audit. The service operates a cost recovery scheme. They will charge an organisation when they have met a certain number of activations.
The extent the service engages with local business and large organisations is inconsistent. Locally, operational crews engage with low-risk premises as part of fire safety checks. However, wider business engagement to share compliance information and expectations isn’t consistent.
The service gave examples of its business engagement events. However, when we visited, some staff said they no longer do them (while others did). The service is planning to provide business engagement centrally as part of a recent restructure.
The service runs primary authority schemes with various businesses based in the south west, including holiday and leisure organisations. Through these partnerships, fire and rescue services advise businesses on meeting environmental health, trading standards or fire safety regulations through one point of contact. A primary authority officer manages them centrally. The service operates these schemes based on a cost recovery model.
How effective is the FRS at responding to fires and other emergencies?
Areas for improvement
- The service should improve the availability of its on-call fire engines.
- The service should improve performance against its response standards.
- The service should assure itself that the learning from lower-level incidents is routinely being captured.
Managing assets and resources
The service takes a risk-based approach to responding to incidents. It has set pre-determined attendances for each of the national incident types. Its networked fire control arrangements with Hampshire and Dorset & Wiltshire fire and rescue services allow it to manage resources effectively and deploy them over the border when needed.
The service has sufficient equipment to respond to incidents that present a risk to personnel, property and the environment. As well as conventional fire engines, it has a range of vehicles that can provide specialist responses. This includes water rescue, wide area flooding and working at height.
All operational staff follow the same programme to maintain the skills they need to do their job safely. The recently introduced Training for Competence system provides staff with a programme of activities they must complete to maintain their operational competence. On-call and wholetime staff who were interviewed praised the training.
The service uses software to manage fire engine availability. This is directly linked to the control room mobilising system. For example, if on-call firefighters amend their availability, the mobilising system will automatically update. The service has also created an Operational Resource Centre (ORC) to manage crewing and appliance availability every day.
The ORC reviews appliance availability across the service. Where there is a gap in fire cover, they will arrange for staff to relocate and crew the appliance. We found this system to be effective.
Despite these systems to manage and relocate resources, matching staff availability to resource requirements remains a challenge. On-call appliance availability is an issue. Between 1 April and 31 December 2018, on-call monthly engine availability ranged from 77.2 percent to 84.2 percent against a service target of 100 percent. On occasions, there would be fire engines that would drop below 20 percent availability for a month.
The service recognises the need for improvement and has made proposals to change its current operating model.
The service has determined how many engines and staff are needed and where they should be deployed if engine availability drops beneath a certain level. The plan considers historical data, computer and data modelling.
The service has done a gap analysis against their own operational procedures and national operational guidance. It has identified in which areas they are ‘compliant’, ‘partially compliant’ or ‘non-compliant’. The service has an action plan to implement national operational guidance. But there are no deadlines for this.
The Home Office collects and publishes data on response times by measuring the time between the call being made and the first fire engine arriving at the scene. This provides consistent data across all 45 services. However, services measure their own response times in different ways.
In the year to 31 March 2018, the service’s average response time to primary fires was 10 minutes and eight seconds. In the previous year it was 10 minutes 22 seconds. This improvement has been achieved by reducing average call handling and crew turnout time. The service’s average response time is quicker than the average for other predominantly rural services (10 minutes 32 seconds in year to 31 March 2018).
The service has two response standards: one for residential premises and one for attending road traffic collisions. This response time includes call handling, mobilisation and travel to the incident.
The service’s standard is that an engine should arrive at a fire at a residential premises within 10 minutes, and within 15 minutes for road traffic collisions. The service has not set a target percentage.
Between 1 April and 31 December 2018, the service only achieved these times in 72.4 percent of fires at residential premises, and 75.4 percent of road traffic collisions. So it didn’t always meet the response times it set itself.
In the year to 31 December 2018, the service attended 10.2 incidents per 1,000 population. This compares to the England rate of 10.4 over the same period.
Devon & Somerset FRS has formed a partnership with Hampshire and Dorset & Wiltshire fire and rescue services: The Networked Fire Services Partnership (NFSP).
This partnership aims to provide effective joint working across the services. As part of NFSP arrangements, the three services can receive and manage emergency calls in any of their areas. This ensures that fire control staff handle emergency calls in the shortest time possible. Plus, the partnership allows the quickest appliance from any service to be mobilised to incidents. All three services can provide immediate support in a major incident or when call numbers rise due to exceptional weather (like flooding).
The service has a mixed fleet of fire engines. It operates the conventional size engine and a mix of rapid intervention and light rescue vehicles. These vehicles are different sizes and can respond more effectively in the more rural parts of the service. It also has some vehicles with a specialist capability, for example, aerial ladder platforms that support safer working at height. The service responds to certain categories of medical calls on behalf of South West Ambulance Service Trust and has dedicated vehicles for this.
Frontline fire engines have MDTs installed. These are mobile computers holding information that firefighters can use while responding to an incident. The MDT allows crews to get site-specific risk information, hydrant location, operational procedures and vehicle construction information en route or at an incident. Staff can competently access this information. To support staff, the service has developed an app, accessible on desktop computers, allowing them to practise using the MDT.
Managers are assertive, confident and knowledgeable. They can command fire service assets effectively and safely at incidents and have a good understanding of incident command.
This was supported by results of our staff survey (please see Annex A for more details). Of the 213 firefighters who responded, 85.9 percent agreed that the last incident they attended (where they were not the incident commander) was commanded assertively, effectively and safely.
Incident command is part of the service’s ‘Training for Competence’ system. The service’s training system shows when an incident commander needs to attend an incident command refresher so that the service can take action to ensure the individual remains competent to perform their role. A sample of service training records found that commanders had been assessed within the required two-year period.
Control room staff have a key role in managing an incident. For example, mobilising supporting resources and recording critical incident information. Control room staff are confident using their discretion to vary resources they send depending on information from the caller.
Keeping the public informed
The service uses its website to tell the public about incidents. Fire control staff are trained to update the website and social media channels. Staff that command incidents have some form of media training.
The communications team does out-of-hours media coverage. The team will be used depending on the size and type of incident. Social media use varies across the service. Some stations are more proactive than others on giving incident information and recruiting on social media. Others feel uncomfortable using it, so don’t.
Control room staff showed good awareness of the service’s safeguarding protocol. We were given examples where staff had made referrals. However, we found inconsistencies in how and when staff had been trained to deal with safeguarding. Some staff told us they had received training over three years ago. Others had reviewed an eLearning package recently.
We found that control staff are confident getting fire survival guidance. The fire control mobilising system gives the operator information about fire survival so they can give the right advice to callers trapped by fire.
Evaluating operational performance
The service has a system to evaluate operational performance. It also has an operational assurance process in place. This lets staff give feedback and share learning from incidents they have attended. All staff can get information to see what action the service has taken. The operational assurance team oversees the process and monitors the information submitted.
Any learning from operational debriefs is shared across the service. The operational assurance team publishes learning from debriefs in different formats. We saw examples of operational bulletins and posters showing safety information.
Staff described incidents with local hot debriefs (debriefs shortly after the incident). However, this learning wasn’t routinely recorded by staff on the operational assurance system.
Operational assurance officers actively monitor incidents. The service has an established process where officers attend an incident and assess whether they will assume command or carry out operational assurance.
If an officer conducts operational assurance, they are expected to record the outcome on the operational assurance system and provide feedback to the incident commander. Staff told us that they did not always receive feedback from the attending officer.
There is evidence the service has made information available through the national joint operational learning platforms. Staff can also access any joint or national learning published through the operational assurance system.
How effective is the FRS at responding to national risks?
Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service is good at responding to national risks. But we found the following areas in which it needs to improve:
Areas for improvement
- The service should ensure that its procedures for responding to terrorist-related incidents are understood by all staff and are well tested.
- The service should make sure it has effective arrangements in place to monitor service-wide and cross-border exercises.
All fire and rescue services must be able to respond effectively to multi-agency and cross-border incidents. This means working with other fire and rescue services (known as intraoperability) and emergency services (known as interoperability).
The service has arrangements to draw on extra resources if it needs to. This includes the conventional mutual arrangements with some of its neighbouring fire and rescue services. It can request more specialist assets and resources through the national co-ordination and advisory framework. Inspectors saw examples of this. Staff showed understanding of how to request these resources.
The service can support the response to a regional or national incident. The service has a range of specialist national resilience assets. These are crewed by a dedicated team. They include a high-volume pump and urban search and rescue capability. This team is also trained to respond to and deal with a marauding terrorist type attack. However, elsewhere operational personnel’s understanding and awareness was limited. They couldn’t describe the actions they would take if confronted by a marauding terrorist type attack.
Fire and rescue services plan exercises to test response plans, maintain competence and ensure staff are familiar with risks faced when responding to an incident. The service maintains an exercise calendar to monitor and assess the benefits and resources required at exercises. Inspectors found that exercises were not consistently carried out across the service. Some stations did exercises, others didn’t.
The service has site-specific response plans for high risk sites including a control of major accidents hazard site.
Working with other services
The service has a joint mobilising function with Hampshire and Dorset & Wiltshire fire and rescue services. The NFSP control rooms have the same hardware and software and can mobilise appliances and officers based on how close they are to the incident.
This ensures an effective and efficient cross-border response as the quickest resource will be mobilised. Control room operators all follow the same training programme. Operational procedures across the services have been aligned.
Risk information from all the fire and rescue services bordering Devon & Somerset is available on the MDTs. Stations train with their neighbouring stations across the border. However, data from the staff survey shows that of the 250 firefighters and support staff that responded, only 18.4 percent said they regularly train or exercise with neighbouring fire and rescue services.
Working with other agencies
The service is an active member of the local resilience forums. A senior fire officer is the vice-chair of the executive group and other officers are involved in some sub groups. The local resilience forum keeps up a training schedule, which the service supports and attends training events where appropriate. The most recent was an exercise to test multi-agency response plans should an incident happen at the Glastonbury festival.
Strategic and tactical incident commanders described what they are required to do and what action they would take if they were told about a major incident. They also explained how they would communicate with other blue-light agencies.
The service is well prepared to be part of a multi-agency response to a community risk. Fire control staff were able to describe what actions are required should they be told of a marauding terrorist attack. This is supported by action notes on the mobilising system ensuring action is taken in line with national guidance. The specialist teams that respond to this type of event are well trained and have completed joint exercises with other emergency services.