Emergency Management, Terrorism and Emergency Plans

18 May 2021
13:30 - 14:10

Emergency Management, Terrorism and Emergency Plans

The Australian Emergency Management landscape is gradually changing and evolving into the current environment. The changing environment now incorporating the current threats. This includes Acts of Terrorism and criminal activities. Fire and Smoke evacuations, Extinguisher and Fire Blanket awareness will always be part of the training that will be provided to clients. This will not change.

However, the emergence of other Emergency Management risks is now embedded within our environment We are currently using the Australian Standards 3745:2010. This is the go-to manual for emergency management. There are a couple of errors in the Bomb Threat segment and this is only presented as an “Informative Guide”.

The terrorism landscape has changed this drastically and the training that is being provided to clients must reflect this in the delivered training as well as its relevancy. The Emergency Plans, under the WHS Act 2017, Section 43 and SafeWork are to be risk based and site specific. For example, most clients and buildings within the CBD are to be assessed for bomb threats and active armed offenders. When there is a risk, training is to be provided for the occupants. Other means of response are to be addressed, as well as the annual Evacuation exercise. This would mean Lockdowns are to be introduced to the clients. Other guides such as Australia’s Strategy for Protecting Crowded Places from Terrorism and the Standards Australia Handbook 188:2020 Physical Protective Security Controls for buildings are to for response guidelines for emergency management.

However, the downfall of this training and consulting is the non-compliance of some providers and trainers to AS3745, section 1.4.5 and the WHS Act 2011 Section 44 – where they have no  qualifications or experience in Bomb Threats, Armed Active Offender, and Hostile Vehicles yet they continue to provide training and advise to clients. This increased the risk profile of the client and the client’s buildings and subsequently increases the likelihood of death and injuries if any such incidents were to happen. When Emergency Plans are developed, they also suffer the same fate – generic plans with cut and paste response procedures for Threat Responses (Active Armed Offender, Bomb Threats and Hostile Vehicles).