Dealing with Emergencies
In the event of an emergency, Council may be called upon to assist emergency response agencies either through the local Emergency Management Committee (LEMC) or by acting on direct requests from emergency response agencies for assistance by providing plant, equipment or personnel. The roles and responsibilities of local government in emergency management are detailed in the State Emergency and Rescue Management Act 1989.
Specific agencies are responsible for certain types of incidents, and these agencies often require the assistance of other agencies to resolve the issue. In the first instance, the problem of dealing with an emergency is the responsibility of the individuals who are directly involved. When it becomes apparent that they cannot reasonably cope, they seek help, normally from the local emergency management organisations which include the local government authority. Thus, responsibility for response, containment and restoration starts at the lowest level of government and passes up through the District to State and even National levels as capabilities, capacities or access to resources are exceeded.
The LEMC is responsible for the preparation of plans in relation to the prevention of, preparation for, response to and recovery from emergencies within the local government area. These responsibilities include such activities as emergency risk management, multi-agency training and exercises, and supporting combat agency public education programs. The Chair of the LEMC is a Council appointed staff member who also sits on the District Emergency Management Committee.