Across Northamptonshire there are a number of category 1 responder agencies, include both Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue and Northamptonshire Police who have a regular requirement to rapidly mobilise volunteers and community based personnel tor respond to incidents and emergencies.
The responder groups in question include roles such as:
- Search and Rescue teams
- Police Specials
- Community Wardens
- Reception Centre Staff
- 4×4 teams
- Flood Wardens
- Highways Wardens
- Boat Teams
- Command Support Teams
- Voluntary Agency emergency contacts
- And many more…….
Although existing systems functionally work they can be time consuming and inefficient, leading to delayed and potentially less effective responses. The systems currently employed also provide little scope for mutual coordination and/or verification of skills amongst responders as training records are disparately maintained which makes it difficult to reflect the multi-skilled nature of many volunteers. Equally each agency manages their own directories of contact information in a variety of different ways.
The disparate and labour intensive nature of the various systems can lead to substantial uncertainty when mobilising volunteer responders and have consequences such as duplication of effort as well as some highly skilled and available responders potentially being missed.
The concept behind this project is to develop a collaborative online platform for the organisation, management and coordinated mobilisation of responders across a range of agencies. In doing so both the efficiency and effectiveness of mobilisation will be improved and should lead to better responses to incidents and emergencies across the county. We have devised an initial draft interface, and now would like to develop this further by developing the actual system.
Individual agencies currently notify and mobilise responders by a variety of methods. In some situations, staff in an emergency control rooms will alert responders directly, but at other times, due to capacity, etc, they will alert another agency who co-ordinates the notification and mobilisation of the same and in some cases different, responders through their own procedures and systems. Due to issues around managing the response by the responding agencies, there is often limited collaboration between all the agencies involved when responders are notified and/or mobilised.
This can lead to:
- Duplication of resources by coordinating agencies to coordinate and manage requests
- Many systems and procedures in operation across coordinating agencies
- Systems in use don’t enable targeted or auditable coordination
- Limited collaboration between coordinating agencies
- Very often a manual and time consuming process
- Some requests will be repeated
- Not all responders notified
- Responders with multiple skills not fully recognised or mobilised.
The implementation of a Community Resilience Hub will:
- Deliver a Northamptonshire focused and led system
- Be coordinated by the blue light control room staff and Category 1 responders in the county
- Enable a collaboratively managed system
- Be intuitive and easy to use
- Improve accessibility through mobile devices,
- Allow auditable coordination of individual and organisation response
- Enable deployment based on selected criteria so appropriate responders and resources are mobilised
- Provide role-based interfaces for improved collaboration and usage
- Comply with data protection and information management rules and procedures
- Allow user self-management
- Have future adaptability built into the system design
- Agile for teams