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Control measure
Liaise with local emergency planning groups

Control measure knowledge

Information is critical to emergency response and recovery, yet maintaining the flow of information between agencies, with partners, and to the wider public, is extremely challenging under emergency conditions. The importance of information for emergency responders and those affected by events must not be underestimated.

Effective information management depends on the appropriate preparatory measures being in place to build situational awareness and on developing a Common Recognised Information Picture (CRIP) at the local, sub-national and national levels (if appropriate). Such measures will need to support:

  • Transmitting and collating potentially high volumes of information from multiple sources
  • Assessing collated information to ensure its relevance, accuracy, timeliness, accessibility, interpretability and transparency
  • Translating available information into appropriate information products; for example, briefing the Strategic Co-ordinating Group or national groups, or releasing it to the media for public information

Particular challenges that may need to be addressed in collating, assessing, validating and disseminating information under emergency conditions may include:

  • Information management procedures varying between agencies
  • Perspectives on the event or situation differing
  • Mistakes and misunderstandings occurring under pressure
  • Overloaded communications

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Work with others to establish systematic information management systems and embed them in multi-agency emergency management arrangements to enable the right balance to be struck - in particular, sharing information in a way that is responsive to the needs of emergency responders, and is compliant with data protection and other legislation, needs to be thoroughly understood and tested
  • Ensure terms and definitions come from national standards and publications rather than local initiative and invention - parochial usage may interfere with interoperability and co-operation with local partners and neighbouring areas, and may hinder co-ordination at the sub-national and national levels, which also applies to concepts of operation, doctrine and structures
  • Expect a shared understanding of respective roles and responsibilities, operational capabilities, procedures, guidance and terminology - this may be further enhanced with robust multi-agency plans for managing the foreseeable risks identified in the National Risk Assessment and Community risk registers

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Use common terminology contained in the Cabinet Office Lexicon
  • Be familiar with the responsibilities of other Category 1 and 2 responders and the roles of their representatives that may attend operational incidents
  • Consider requesting information that may be held by other category 1 and 2 responder agencies