Monday December 17, 2018
Late last year, SFRS (Scottish Fire and Rescue Service) launched a Community Asset register (CAR) across all three of Scotland's regional resilience Partnership areas in the North east and West of the country. This constitutes a huge step forward to improve joined up emergency response arrangements involving the third sector, private sector and statutory responders.
Details of Voluntary Sector (VS) organisations, businesses and individuals as well as their skills and assets, which could assist the 'response to' or 'recovery from' an emergency event, can now be held centrally (electronically) on the CAR assuming basic standards can be met and maintained.
The sort of specialist skills, vehicles, equipment and accommodation that can now be centrally captured and listed, for use in emergencies, are such as the following:
- Assets (certified & safety inspected)
- vehicles to cross water
- vehicles for rough and rural terrain
- boats for flood events
- marquees, generators, outdoor lighting
- Volunteers (experienced and qualified to operate their equipment)
- 4x4 groups
- White water rafters
- people with access to buildings/community halls;
- as a base for emergency personnel
- for warmth and shelter for volunteers
- for displaced members of the community
This significant development allows assets to be quickly identified and deployed to assist multi or single agency incident response and recovery in an appropriate and co-ordinated way.
It offers a great opportunity for Scotland to build on existing good resilience arrangements and, as improvements are made going forward, will be an increasingly important resource.
It was successfully trialled during the 'Beast from the East' severe weather event in February and March 2018 and allowed needs to be prioritised and assets to be deployed in the best possible way.
Now that the CAR is up and running, the SFRS and its partners, such as the Police, Ambulance Service, NHS and Local Authorities - who may also need to use the assets in emergency events - are keen to highlight the opportunity the system offers to improve support to resilience arrangements in Scotland at a national, regional and local level.
Bruce Farquharson, the SFRS Area Manager who led the project said:
"The Community Asset register is yet another example of collaborative working that benefits everyone.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service exists to save lives and emergency responders will always respond to every emergency with the right resources, in the right place, at the right time.
But we are always looking for new and innovative ways to improve arrangements to better keep our communities safe.
If we can combine public sector resources with private and third sector assets and expertise and tap into the community spirit that never fails to emerge during emergency events, we can really make a difference.
We are calling upon those with specialist skills, vehicles and equipment to work alongside emergency responders, when needed, to help emergency response and recovery and to keep people safe.
There are very experienced and knowledgeable individuals who proved more than adept at handling their equipment, such as white water rafters, mountaineers and 4x4 enthusiasts and countless businesses who have assets and equipment to offer for particular emergencies.
There are also people, groups and businesses who can offer access to usable buildings - these can be hugely helpful to cater for displaced people in need of temporary warmth and shelter or as a temporary base for emergency personnel.
These everyday volunteers, with a very keen community spirit, who wish to help their communities and we commend their selfless contributions.
We are now seeking to follow their example and sign up to this potentially lifesaving register.
I would encourage individuals, Volunteer and other organisations to sign up to the CAR by emailing SFRS.CommunityAssetRegister@firescotland.gov.uk "