Teignbridge tackles flu emergency plan
Teignbridge District Council and Teign Housing put their emergency plans into action during a simulation exercise held at Teign Housing.
Their emergency procedures were put to the test during a life-like exercise aimed at preparing Teign Housing staff in the event of a real emergency. The day proved to be a success after staff learned how to deal with a national influenza pandemic.
One of the roles for Teignbridge District Council under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 is to provide business continuity advice and assistance to local businesses. As part of that, the Council’s environmental health team linked up with Teign Housing to carry out the emergency response exercise at the social housing provider’s Newton Abbot headquarters.
It put into practise Teignbridge’s Emergency and Business Continuity Plan, recently approved by the ruling executive. The detailed plan sets out how the district will respond to emergency situations such as pandemics, extreme weather, pollution spills and more. The exercise also builds on the Council’s solid history of emergency planning which has seen it deliver life-like training scenarios to staff, councillors and partner organisations including other Devon councils.
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During a major emergency response, Teignbridge District Council has a significant role in supporting and co-ordinating the response of a large number of services and organisations while making sure communities are kept informed of the situation every step of the way. Its role involves providing support to the affected community by making sure rest centres have been set up; it works closely with partners such as the emergency services, the NHS and the Environment Agency, and ensures that other vital Council services remain unaffected.
Cllr Kevin Lake, Teignbridge District Council Executive Spokesperson for Environmental Services, said:
“The life-like exercise hosted by our officers provided realistic and valuable experience in putting our Emergency and Business Continuity Plan into action.
“The exercise helps us ensure the plan is robust, that resources are in the right place if we should ever need them, our customers are kept informed and that we can restore services afterwards.
“We are pleased to have been able to work in partnership with Teign Housing on this scenario and pass on the expertise so others can benefit from it. The Council carried out a similar pandemic mock-emergency in 2009 and we will continue to conduct them in the future with our partners. It shows we are well prepared for emergencies and we are actively practising it in case there is a real-life situation.”
Paula Birbeck, Teign Housing’s Director of Services, said:
“Karen Johnson, our head of customer and corporate services, has been working with Ian Flood Page at Teignbridge to look at our approach to business continuity.
“As a landlord of over 3,500 properties, it is vital that we have good plans in place which gives us the confidence to manage our services efficiently in the event of a disaster.
“Members of staff completed the training session which allowed us to test how our plans and processes would work in a simulated disaster. The training showed us our strengths and also highlighted some important improvements we could make when dealing with disaster.
“We are very grateful to Ian and Teignbridge District Council for their help with this project. We have been able to demonstrate that if a real incident were to happen, we would work in an effective partnership to make sure that we minimised disruption and difficulty for people living in Teignbridge.”