UK Civil Contingency Act 2004: What category of responder are you?
The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that establishes a comprehensive framework for emergency planning and response, ranging from a local to national level.
The Act is divided into three parts. Part one defines the obligations of certain organisations to prepare for various types of emergencies. The Act places a legal obligation upon emergency services and local authorities to assess the risk of, plan, and exercise for emergencies. Responders are also responsible for warning and informing the public in relation to emergencies. It also places legal obligations for increased co-operation and information sharing between different emergency services and also to non-emergency services that might have a role in an emergency, such as electric companies.
Part two provides additional powers for the government to amend regulations to use in the event of a large scale emergency. Such regulations are limited in duration to 21 days, unless Parliament votes to extend this period before it expires. The only Act of Parliament which may not be amended by emergency regulations is the Human Rights Act 1998.
Part three provides supplementary legislation in support of the first two parts. So, what are the different categories of responder?
Category One Responders
Category One responders are known as core responders and they include the usual "blue-light" emergency services as well as others:
- Local authorities
- Police forces
- Fire services
- Ambulance services
- HM Coastguard
- NHS primary care trusts
- Health Protection Agency
- Port health authorities
- The Environment Agency
Category Two Responders
Category Two responders are key co-operating responders that act in support of the Category One responders. Category Two responders are mostly utility companies and transport organisations:
- Electricity distributors and transmitters
- Gas distributors
- Water and sewerage undertakers
- Telephone service providers
- Network Rail
- Train operating companies
- London Underground
- Transport for London
- Highways Agency
- Airport operators
- Harbour authorities
- NHS strategic health authority
- Health and Safety Executive
- Voluntary Agencies
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