*edited – power and water supplies as a result of the storms have now been resolved.
SRF leadership changes
The new year has seen changes at the helm of Sussex Resilience Forum.
Assistant Chief Constable Dave Miller, who has chaired the Executive Group for two years, retires from Sussex Police and the role assumed by his replacement, Assistant Chief Constable Lisa Bell.
At the same time, Assistant Fire Officer Mark Matthews, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, takes on the role of Delivery Group Chair from AFO Mark O’Brien.
All changes took effect from 1 January 2022.
Forum partners are continuing to work closely together to support the NHS response to the Omicron wave of COVID-19.
To book a booster jab or your first or second vaccine visit www.nhs.uk
Get your booster now
People across Sussex are urged to ‘get boosted’ to help protect themselves and others in light of a surge in the new Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Every adult is now eligible for a booster vaccine three months after their second vaccination.
Across Sussex, the NHS and partners are working extremely hard to roll out the COVID-19 booster vaccination programme to our communities.
You can book your booster for three months from the date of the second vaccine, and you can access the National Booking System to book the appointment from two months.
New appointments are being added every day across NHS vaccination services.
The Sussex Resilience Forum (SRF) continues to meet to help co-ordinate the response to the pandemic across Sussex, in support of the lead agencies – the NHS and upper tier local authorities.
SRF Chair, Assistant Chief Constable Dave Miller said: “The single most important thing anyone can do, to help protect themselves, their loved ones and our NHS services, is to get their booster vaccine. Or if they haven’t yet been vaccinated, to book their first appointment.
“Emergency and public sector services across Sussex continue to work together to minimise the impact of the Coronavirus public health emergency and we urge everyone to play their part.”
Motorists are urged to only buy fuel when they need it.
“The government message remains that there is not a shortage of fuel,” says George O’Reilly, on behalf of the Sussex Resilience Forum.
The Sussex Resilience Forum, made up of partner agencies across Sussex, is meeting regularly to assess any impact and provide support and consistency in its response.
George O’Reilly, Group Manager for East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said: “The important thing is to buy fuel as normal. We understand the challenges and are working together to provide support. By the community playing their part and buying fuel as normal this will help allow the supply chain to catch up.”
People are advise against storing petrol at home to prevent fire risk. Petrol is a dangerous substance and must be stored in suitable containers and in line with the advice from the Health & Safety Executive.
Fuel availability update
“We urge motorists to think carefully and not to buy fuel unnecessarily”, says George O’Reilly, on behalf of the Sussex Resilience Forum.
The Sussex Resilience Forum is made up of partner agencies across Sussex which are currently working together to assess and respond to any impact on services in Sussex.
George O’Reilly, Group Manager for East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The demand for fuel is outstripping delivery at this time and while we understand how unsettling it is, panic buying and stockpiling, when the fuel is not needed, is impacting on others. In particular, consideration must be given to key worker colleagues, unpaid carers and those looking after the most vulnerable in our communities.
“The government says that there isn’t a shortage of fuel. While we await to hear how deliveries will improve we ask people to play their part and take only what they need.
“We also advise against storing petrol at home to prevent fire risk. Petrol is a dangerous substance and must be stored in suitable containers and in line with the advice from the Health Safety Executive.
“We would like to reassure residents that agencies are working together and with the community we aim to help reduce any impact at this time.”
The Roadmap out of lockdown – Step 4
Message from Sussex Resilience Forum Chair, Dave Miller:
“The lifting of restrictions has been long-awaited by all of us, but it is essential we recognise that the pandemic is not over.
“Cases of Covid are rising across Sussex in line with the national picture, so we must use caution and judgement in our approach to the coming weeks and months.
“We have all gone to incredible lengths to keep each other safe since the onset of the pandemic, and I thank every member of the public and every key worker for the sacrifices they have made. Every one of us still has an important role to play in protecting those around us, so we cannot let our guard down whilst we enjoy these new freedoms.
“We urge everyone to book in for both their vaccinations, which not only provide individual protection but help minimise the risk of transmission. This, along with regular testing and isolating where appropriate, is our strongest form of defence against the virus. I would also ask for continued understanding of the rising demand facing our emergency services and ask everyone to only use 999 in an emergency.”
Message of thanks to all Sussex Volunteers
As we celebrate National Volunteers Week, I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to all of you who have done so much to keep the communities in Sussex safe through the COVID response to date.
While the pandemic has been unprecedented and challenging, it has also bought out the best in people and we have seen so many of you volunteer and support the community through the Local Resilience Forum. As the Chair of the Local Resilience Forum (LRF) and the chair of the Strategic Coordinating Group (SCG) I would like to acknowledge each of you who have volunteered to help the community.
Even though the lockdown earlier this year may have hampered some of your efforts, as soon as the lockdown started to ease you continued to give up your time with the same determination and selfless service as before. The multi-agency effort throughout the pandemic has been second to none and your hard work has been a critical part of that response.
As we head towards the recovery phase, there are many unanswered questions as to what the new ‘normal’ will be. Whatever this ‘normal’ is, there will always be a need to protect our communities and I know that we will continue working side by side to achieve this.
Your commitment and dedication is an inspiration to us all. I thank you again for all your support and for giving up your time to deliver a vital service to both Sussex Police and the residents of Sussex.
Sussex Resilience Forum Chair Dave Miller
Sussex volunteers help with vaccine roll out
Sussex Community Search Team is a voluntary organisation who have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support the NHS in the covid vaccination process.
The team is made up for around 130 volunteers who are trained primarily to help the police with thorough searches for high risk missing people. However, they are also available to help out in other situations, such as providing help to the Hospital Documentation Teams in the event of a mass casualty incident.
I write to you on behalf of the Sussex Resilience Forum (SRF) Co-ordinating Group to mark our recognition and gratitude for the role you have played in what has been an unprecedented multi-agency response to the Covid pandemic in Sussex.
It is now one year on from the SRF’s first Strategic Executive Group meeting (March 2020) to bring all of Sussex’s public sector agencies together to discuss and agree our joint response to the emerging threat. The multi-agency effort that has taken place in Sussex since then has been second to none. I don’t think any of us have ever seen this level of emergency response and, indeed, nor would we wish to.
While we continue working to protect our communities, it felt important to take a moment to pause and consider the mammoth effort made to date, as well as those of our volunteers, third sector partners and the public.
The SRF continues to co-ordinate the county’s response, resilience and recovery plans for Sussex.
I am proud of how our services have worked side-by-side during the longest emergency response Sussex has ever seen and we will continue to work closely together as we recover from Covid-19.
This year looks to be another challenging one but I am pleased to be working with such brilliant colleagues to address some of the challenges we will face. You have all demonstrated the strength of partnership and collaboration. I thank you all for your dedication and hard work in what has been the most challenging year.
Sussex Resilience Forum Operations Department Sussex Police Headquarters Church Lane Malling Lewes BN7 2DZ
The Sussex Resilience Forum (SRF) is a multi-agency partnership whose members have statutory responsibilities under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, to work together to prepare, respond to and recover from emergencies and major incidents.
A major incident is a widely used term recognised nationally and locally within the SRF and is defined as:
“An event or situation with a range of serious consequences which requires special arrangements to be implemented by one or more emergency responder agency”
The Sussex Resilience Forum consists of members from the Emergency Services, National Health Service / Public Health England, Local Authorities, Environment Agency and Military and other government representatives, with comprehensive support from the Voluntary Sector coming together with the principle aim of ‘Making Sussex a Safer Place’
The SRF Executive Committee meets tri-annually to discuss SRF activities and set the strategic direction.
Preparing for emergencies is part of the day-to-day job. This involves:
Risk assessments to assess the type of hazards that might affect Sussex.
Preparing plans to address different types of emergencies.
Training and exercises to test the plans and keep staff up to date.
Plans are written and exercised in order to provide an effective and timely multi-agency response from SRF members and other organisations.
The Sussex Emergency Response and Recovery
The Mass Casualties Plan
The Mass Fatalities Plan
The Resilient Communications Plan
The Sussex Major Maritime Emergency Plan
The Recovery Plan
The COMAH Off-site Emergency Plan for Gatwick Airport Storage and Hydrant Company Limited Fuel Farm
The Animal Diseases plan
The Major Accident Hazard Pipelines Plan
The Sussex Resilience Forum Gridlock Plan
The Civil Contingencies Act (2004) places a legal duty on the wide range of responders to carry out risk assessments and maintain them in a Community Risk Register.
The assessment of the risks in Community Risk Register is the first step in the emergency planning process; it ensures that planning and other work is carried out in proportion to the risk.
A risk register for Sussex has been published which highlights potential hazards in our area. It does not assess every single risk, instead focusing on those that are most likely to happen and the impact these would have across the county.
Following the recent publication of the new National Risk Assessment the Sussex Resilience Forum Risk and Horizon Scanning Working Group is reviewing and updating the Community Risk Register.
In the meantime if you have any questions or concerns regarding a specific risk please email the Resilience Forum at: [email protected] and we will endeavour to respond.
Download our Community Information on Risks in Sussex documents below.
This aims to help you think about what you can do to be better prepared for emergencies which could affect your homes, communities and businesses. It includes information on our top risks.
This has detailed information which aims to help you think about what you can do to be better prepared for emergencies which could affect your homes, communities and businesses. It includes information on our top risks.
The Civil Contingencies Act divides responding organisations into two categories. We are also supported by the voluntary sector.
Category 1 Responders
East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service
West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service
Maritime & Coastguard Agency
South East Coast Ambulance Service
British Transport Police
Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust
East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
Public Health England
Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust
Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
World Health Organisation
Adur & Worthing District Council
Arun District Council
Brighton and Hove City Council
Chichester District Council
Crawley Borough Council
East Sussex County Council
Eastbourne Borough Council
Hastings District Council
Horsham District Council
Lewes District Council
Mid-Sussex District Council
Rother District Council
Wealden District Council
West Sussex County Council
Category 2 responders
These organisations are less likely to be involved in the core planning work but may be heavily involved in incidents.
Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
Transport – Highways Agency, Network Rail, bus companies, train operating companies
Utilities – gas, electricity, water, sewerage, public communication providers
Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group
Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group
Crawley Clinical Commissioning Group
Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford Clinical Commissioning Group
Hastings and Rother Clinical Commissioning Group
High Weald Lewes Havens Clinical Commissioning Group
Horsham and Mid Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group
Queen Victoria Foundation NHS Trust
Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)
Neighbourhood Watch - Sussex
Sussex Community Search Team
St Johns Ambulance
Sussex 4x4 Response
What to do in an emergency
There are important differences among potential emergencies that will affect the decisions you make and the actions you take.
In an emergency, if you are not involved in the incident, but are close by or believe you may be in danger, the best advice is to go inside a safe building (close windows, turn off any air-conditioning or ventilation equipment), stay inside until you are advised to do otherwise, and tune in to local radio or TV for information.
Make sure 999 has been called if people are injured or if there is a threat to life.
Do not put yourself or others in danger.
Follow the advice of the emergency services.
Try to remain calm and think before acting.
Try to reassure others.
Emergency responders may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should watch TV, listen to the radio or check the internet often for official news and instructions as they become available.
Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as making an emergency kit and developing a family emergency plan, are the same for both a natural or man-made emergency.
Businesses can be affected by a whole number of issues including loss of utilities, loss of IT systems and extreme weather. The Business Continuity ToolkitExternal Link could help you recover from a crisis.