Monday 12 October 2020

In August, the Blue Light Committee said farewell and best wishes to our former Chair, Sabrina Martin, who did a sterling job driving the Blue Light Group forward. Sabrina has left Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service for pastures new, and still continues to support our monthly events.

I am delighted to announce that Penelope Page from Hampshire Constabulary has taken over the role of Chair, after serving as Vice Chair for the Group. Laura Gribbins from Kent Police has stepped into the role of Vice Chair. In addition, we have welcomed a new committee member: Helen Woolford from London Ambulance Service. We now have committee representation from police, fire and ambulance services. If anyone is interesting in joining the Committee, please feel free to contact me. Anyone is welcome to attend one of our meetings to see what we are all about.

The Blue Light Committee continue to hold monthly meetings to plan future events, taking into consideration the feedback we receive. Since COVID-19, we have continued to hold monthly lunchtime meetings via Teams to continue networking and sharing best practice. So far, we have delivered sessions on:

  • Risk visualisation and horizon scanning
  • COVID-19 and business continuity management
  • Risk appetite.

We have also planned future sessions on:

  • Risk frameworks – 29 September 2020
  • Insurance – October
  • Risk culture – November.

Blue light horizon scanning

The most significant risks for our Blue Light members currently are:

  • Preparing for a second wave of COVID-19 in December and gold structures reactivated including an influenza epidemic and other infectious diseases.
  • Failing to secure sufficient external funding to ensure future financial sustainability due to insufficient capital and revenue funding to meet demand.
  • Long-term impact on the delays on case progression in the judicial system as a result of COVID-19. This may result in witnesses and victims disengaging and impact on public confidence and performance.
  • Loss of data assets or access to data assets due to the accidental damage or malicious exploitation of internal and external cyber threats. This as escalated due to the increase of agile working.
  • Poor quality data leading to flawed management information and suboptimal decision-making. We need to effectively and fully utilise ‘big data’ to better understand the environment and make informed decisions.
  • Continued increase in poor staff mental health due to a combination of work-related risks and pressures. This has escalated since COVID-19 and agile working.
  • It is likely that the lack of progress in Brexit negotiations will lead to an imminent breakdown of talks. Hard Brexit on 31 December 2020 will follow. Gold structures reactivated to ensure preparations are on track.
  • Failure of the Home Office to deliver the Emergency Services Network mobile based communications system to replacing the ageing software airwave system used by emergency services by the target date of 2024.
  • Inability to prevent an act of terrorism as the UK faces a significant threat from both extremism and terrorism.

If you would like to discuss any of these matters further or join one of our monthly discussions, please do not hesitate to contact me or any other member of the Blue Light Committee.

Beverley Nichol-Culff, ALARM Board Director and Blue Light Lead.


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