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Emergency Planning exercise on major incident media strategy 22 September 2009

MORE than 50 members of the emergency services and other professionals helped to develop the Island’s media strategy for major incidents at a recent seminar.

Steve Gregory and Assistant Emergency Planning Officer Ian YThe training exercise led by Major Incident Specialist Steve Gregory on Wednesday (September 16) was part of an on-going review of all aspects of the Government’s Emergency Planning Manual, hosted by the Emergency Planning division of the Department of Home Affairs.

Assistant Emergency Planning Officer Ian Young explained:

‘Public relations are a crucial part of any major incident and we are aware that media requirements have changed enormously in recent years. The course provided an opportunity to examine today’s media requirements, and proved thought provoking in terms of better informing operational staff and public relations officers of each other’s responsibilities in the event of a major incident occurring on the Isle of Man.
‘Steve Gregory will review all the key points made by participants in the exercise and give us the feedback to incorporate in an updated media strategy.’

With more than 30 years experience as an officer in the Metropolitan Police, Steve Gregory is currently tactical adviser to the London Mortuary, including press liaison. He was called in following the Paddington rail crash (Oct 5, 1999) and again for the 7/7 London bombings, when he was involved in building the ‘tented’ mortuary to deal with the victims of four crime scenes, plus handling the media enquiries about it.

Home Affairs Minister Adrian Earnshaw said:

‘I am grateful for the input of both government staff and outside professionals who are assisting us in ensuring the Isle of Man maintains a level of preparedness on all aspects of dealing with the consequences of a major incident, although we all hope and pray we do not have to put such training to the test.’

Photo caption: Major incident specialist Steve Gregory (left) with the Island’s Assistant Emergency Planning Officer Ian Young at Wednesday’s training exercise.

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