Promoting emergency service co-operation to improve response to major incidents

James Brokenshire has praised the commitment and bravery of emergency service responders during a Parliamentary debate promoting more effective joint working between police, fire and ambulance services. James set out a new programme of work to ensure that blue-light services work together effectively in response to major incidents such as fast-moving terrorist scenarios and help save lives.

During the debate in Westminster Hall the Minister for Crime and Security said that the Government would be working with the emergency services to ensure that responders have effective communications, guidance, training and exercises to support their response to a major incident.  The programme would be led by the emergency services through a joint forum to enable them to systematically plan, test and learn together. The Government would support the delivery of the programme and provide dedicated resources to look at how future improvements could be made.

Commenting on the plan James told MPs:

“The emergency services face significant challenges in responding to major incidents, particularly in the initial stages of a complex and fast-moving situation when the picture can be confusing and there may be unseen dangers. The three services must be able to come together as quickly as possible to share information about what is going on, to manage the risks and rescue any casualties. When the emergency services work together in that way, they save lives.

“We continue to learn from events, such as the 7/7 London bombings and the shootings in Cumbria, and from regular national exercises designed to test the joint response. The severe impact and complexity of major incidents and other civil emergencies mean that we must strive for continuous improvement in the combined performance of the emergency services in joint operations.”