At Some point following the vast failings of emergency service inter-operability during the 7th of July London Bombings, the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Program was conceived.
Running from 2012-2014, JESIP was a series of consultation and training on how different responders can be made to work together whether they damn well like it or not! The 'P' has now been renamed 'Principles'; which, supposedly, are utilised by the Police, Fire, and Ambulance services.
Co-location - All partners should meet in a single safe location to facilitate discussion.
Communication - Different terminology and communication between the services has proved an issue in the past, an as such responders should use plain English, free from acronyms and jargon, and create a multi -agency talk group on their Airwave Radios.
Co-ordination - A lead agency should be agreed based on the type of incident (Police for terrorism, Fire service for... well, a fire), and responders should work together to establish priorities, capabilities and resources.
Jointly Understand Risk - Pool understanding and ensure all responders have a good working knowledge of the hazards and threats present.
Shared Situational Awareness - All responders should accurately understand the situation, using METHANE sitreps, and the Joint Decision Model.
Despite being a fantastic example of the acronyms and jargon that the principles say to eliminate, this one is apparently acceptable because all responders should understand it.
Major Incident Declared, Y/N? - Is the incident 'Major', ie, does it overwhelm a particular agencies day to day resources?
Exact location - Where the incident is located.
Type of incident - A fire, a gas leak, a road traffic collision...
Hazards - Hazards that may affect responders at the scene, ranging from an armed assailant to broken glass.
Accsess - How best to reach the scene, including details of any traffic congestion or closed roads.
Numbers - of casualties, fatalities, and unharmed survivors.
Emergency services, present or required - a list of agencies present, and any more that may be required.
And the Joint Decision Model?
Ah yes, the good ol' JDM. The joint decision model is a five step approach to reaching decisions as a collective.
Step 1: Gather information and intelligence
Step 2: Assess risks and develop working strategy
Step 3: Consider powers, policies, and procedures
Step 4: Identify options and contingencies
Step 5: Take action and review what happened
If this seems overly familiar to any of you police-y types, it should! this is because the JDM is exactly the same as the Police National Decision Model. This could potentially have the unwanted effect of making decisions more police-centric, rather than shared, as the police are more likely to rattle through the model quickly due to familiarity.
This of course isn't the only criticism of JESIP.
-It's questionable how risks can be identified BEFORE options have been, or how a working strategy can be developed without knowing what powers are usable.
-I'ts utilisation is not ubiquitous across the country, with some police forces still using the old sit-rep mnemonic, SADCHALETS in their day to day business and then transitioning to METHANE during a major incident. The role of other agencies, such as charities, the Local Authority, and even the Coastguard has also been disregarded, despite the crucial and central role they may play in an emergency.
-Even the governments own reports on the matter identify that implementing such a top down approach across agencies that are so widely culturally different is a challenge.
-Shared situational awareness appears to be based in step one of the JDM. Does this mean that such briefings will only take place one there is a joint decision to be made, and if so, what repercussion would this have on single-agency decisions made before hand?
Despite the criticisms, all sources indicate the continuation of what in general is seen as, at the very least, a step in the right direction.