The members of the MRF represent leading public bodies (Category 1 and Category 2 responders).

They make up the senior management group who are responsible for undertaking preparations for, and response to, major incidents and emergencies throughout the geographical area covered by the Merseyside Police Force.  The forum meets on a regular basis and discusses the direction and polices relating to emergency planning.

Before the Civil Contingencies Act of 2004, co-operation between responders such as police, fire and ambulance was practised as a matter of routine and necessity, this was an informal process. When the Act came into force, these organisations, referred to as Category 1 and 2 Responders, have a statutory duty to plan for and co-operate with each other.

The MRF fulfils this requirement. The MRF is not a separate legal personality, nor does it have powers to direct its members. It is not a statutory body, but it is a statutory process. Put simply, it is a means by which Category 1 and 2 responders such as police, fire, ambulance, local authority and the utilities can get together and co-operate in the duties conferred on them by the Civil Contingencies Act 2004.

An event or situation that threatens serious damage to:

  • Human welfare;
  • The environment;
  • Security (effectively war or terrorism).

In order to constitute an emergency, an event or situation must additionally require the implementation of special arrangements by one or more Category 1 Responders.

‘An approach to preventing and managing emergencies that entails six key activities – anticipation, assessment, prevention, response, and recovery. Integrated Emergency Management (IEM) is geared to the idea of building greater overall resilience in the face of a broad range of disruptive challenges. It requires a coherent multi-agency effort'. (Emergency Response and Recovery – HM Government, 2005)

A plan is a written record of agreed future actions intended to be taken to prevent an emergency, or to respond to a disaster or emergency.

Contents of a typical plan:

  • Risk and consequence assessment;
  • Alerting and mobilising procedures;
  • Resources required;
  • Roles and responsibilities of responding organisations and personnel;
  • Incident management structures and processes;
  • Communication;
  • Strategies, tactics and operational responses;
  • Public Information.
  • Prepare for unusual circumstances;
  • Ensure delivery of pre-planned responses;
  • Formulate a ‘check list';
  • Control the actions of others;
  • Protect oneself and organisation(s);
  • Fulfil a legal requirement;
  • Create a comprehensive reference document.

Through carrying out joint training and exercises partner agencies and stakeholders are able to provide an integrated and coordinated response. This collaboration familiarises all parties with the management framework during a response, highlights problems, ensures plans and procedures are up to date and formulates working relationships.

The Act requires leading public bodies to work together to identify, plan and deal with major emergencies.

In our area, the Local Resilience Forum has been created to administer the legislation across the counties of Merseyside. 

The Act requires the development of risk assessments in a published Community Risk Register. Risks in this context are those that could result in a major emergency and this Community Risk Register is the first step in the emergency planning process.

The CRR lists hazards that are a potential risk to the population and infrastructure within the MRF area. The hazard topics were identified on a national level by the Cabinet Office, then modified and adapted to make them specific to local hazards. 

The hazards have been determined from studying historical data, and assessing the likelihood of their occurrence. The potential impacts of the risks posed by the hazards have been measured by using health, social, economic and environmental indicators, in accordance with the Emergency Preparedness guidance.