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The North East's Front Line

The Grampian Strategic Co-ordinating Group is the integrated, executive level organisation responsible for strategic level civil contingency solutions in the North East of Scotland. The Moray Liaison Committee is a sub-committee composed of a number of organisations whose function is to respond to the needs of the Moray community in times of extreme environmental conditions or in the event of a civil emergency.

Grampian Police is the senior Category 1 responder and as such A Police patrol vehicle on exercise co-ordinates the tactical and operational level response of those organisations who may be called upon to play their part. The focus of the Moray Division of Grampian PoliceLink to external site is on working with partner organisations to foster meaningful engagement with the community and address quality of life issues.

Mudslide at Pennan, the type of incident Grampian Emergency Planning Unit has to deal with. Grampian Emergency Planning UnitLink to external site is an expert function formed by the three local authorities which cover the North East of Scotland. Charged with a planning and co-ordinating role the team's ongoing task is to manage risk situations and minimise loss to the wider community.

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Grampian Fire & Rescue ServiceLink to external site serves communities in the North-East of Scotland in the Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen City and Moray Council areas. A Fire & Rescue team during fire behaviour training In addition to accident and emergency duties the Service protects a number of significant risk areas including a busy industrial harbour, major oil and gas terminals and the busiest heliport in the country. The largest single site hospital in Europe, two operational RAF bases, two prisons and the Royal Residence at Balmoral Castle are also located in the Grampian region.

With a base in Elgin the Scottish Ambulance ServiceLink to external site A Scottish Ambulance Service vehicle delivers accident and emergency care to patients across all of Moray. The service responds to emergency calls and requests for immediate response by clinicians. Accident & Emergency (A&E) care is delivered by specially trained paramedics and ambulance technicians who attend hundreds of calls throughout Moray every year. The specially equipped ambulances are dispatched from Emergency Medical Dispatch Centres (EMDCs).

In a medical emergency it is often the simple first aid skills applied early, Moray First Response crew members at their Lossiemouth base like making sure an airway is clear, that can save a life. Moray First ResponseLink to external site is a fast response team of highly experienced and qualified medics who are able to reach casualties quickly throughout the area. The team work in conjunction with the Ambulance Service and have responded to over 200 emergency calls since July 2004.

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The Maritime & Coastguard AgencyLink to external site is responsible throughout the UK MCA members training with RAF Search and Rescue. for implementing the Government's maritime safety policy which includes co-ordinating search and rescue at sea through HM Coastguard. With 10,500 miles of beautiful and sometime treacherous coastline, the MCA work tirelessly to prevent the loss of life at the coast and at sea.

The Aeronautical Rescue Co-ordination CentreLink to external site based at RAF Kinloss exists to assist in the saving of life through the efficient co-ordination of information and assets. With SAR Sea King helicopters, Nimrod patrol aircraft and Mountain Rescue teams to call upon, the ARCC plays a vital role during UK rescues. Day and night, 365 days a year, the ARCC is standing by to task Search and Rescue assets within the UK's Search & Rescue region which covers approximately a million square miles.

Parts of Moray form a portion of the newly established Cairngorm National Park wherein lies Scotland's second highest mountain. It is no coincidence, therefore, that RAF Kinloss in Moray is an operational base for the RAF Mountain Rescue TeamLink to external site from where they provide an expert rescue service for walkers, climbers and others who enjoy outdoor activities in our area.

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Ordinary People doing Extra-ordinary things!

Many long established, specialist voluntary organisations provide round-the-clock emergency cover in this corner of the far north-east of Scotland. COTAG 4x4 Response therefore has some excellent examples to emulate and much to learn.

While the many small harbours of the Moray coastline are home A RNLI vessel in treacherous seas to a dwindling fishing fleet there is also a growing maritime leisure industry. With a fine tradition of nearly 150 years, the present volunteer crew of the Buckie RNLI StationLink to external site is ready to deal with any emergency in the waters of the Moray Firth.

Sky Watch volunteer pilots planning a sortie With over 150 volunteer pilots available nationally the Sky Watch CAPLink to external site (Civil Air Patrol) initiative has numerous successes under its belt. Acting as an extra set of eyes for the Emergency Services, Sky Watch pilots provide valuable support to the professional search and rescue teams. COTAG 4x4 Response is pleased to be able to offer vehicle support to the No.23 (Moray Firth) CAP Unit, as required, beginning in 2008.

Red Cross crew and ambulance Best known for their presence at many international emergencies, The British Red CrossLink to external site also has a network of volunteers willing and able to assist on a local basis. Indeed, the Moray branch were heavily involved during periods of devastating flooding in Elgin in 2002.

WRVS volunteers helping to fill sandbags during flooding With over 95,000 volunteers the WRVSLink to external site is the largest volunteer group able to deal with crisis situations anywhere in the UK. This highly regarded organisation specialises in the fast provision of temporary accommodation and hot meals in the event of a crisis on any scale.

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St Andrews First Aid Joint authors of the original first aid manual, St Andrews First AidLink to external site has a long and distinguished history of service to the community. Widely regarded as a leading charity, this Scottish organisation is responsible for training over 20,000 people in first aid skills every year.

British Association of Ski Patrollers The British Association of Ski Patrollers (BASP)Link to external site was formed in 1987 with the main aim of providing rescue and First Aid services to British ski areas. BASP has now developed a high quality First Aid and Safety Training Scheme designed specifically for the outdoor user which draws upon the skills and experience of their trainers, all of whom are Ski Patrollers and/or experienced rescue personnel with a wealth of mountain and First Aid knowledge. The trainers are HSE First Aid Instructors, many of whom are qualified BASI ski instructors, Mountain Leaders or Instructors, RYA instructors, EMTs or Paramedics.

RAYNET vehicle providing communications in a remote area RAYNETLink to external site was formed in 1953 following the severe East coast flooding and still provides a valuable resource to the community. The skilful use of amateur radio by dedicated volunteers gives the emergency services additional communication possibilities in the event of serious crisis.

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All images courtesy and Copyright of the respective organisation unless otherwise indicated. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.