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Community Liasion work praised for defence facility management

QinetiQ : 08 March, 2013  (Company News)
QitetiQ has received official praise for its management of a test facility owned by the UK's MoD at Foulness in Essex

QinetiQ, the company that manages the Ministry of Defence test and evaluation Range at Shoeburyness and Foulness Island, has been praised by Essex County Council for its public information services.   

A scrutiny review of the five top-tier Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) sites in Essex (of which MOD Shoeburyness is one) examined the effectiveness of their emergency preparedness plans and public ‘warn and inform’ communications. The resulting report holds QinetiQ as an exemplar for its efforts to engage with the local community and keep them informed about what types of hazards are associated with work on the Range and what to do in the unlikely event of an incident that may affect them.

The report commented: “The QinetiQ COMAH Site at Shoeburyness/Foulness provides an illustration of good practice in the way that it has sought to engage the community as part of its public safety information campaign and fulfil its obligations under the top tier COMAH regulations. In recognition of the success of its Emergency Alert Service, the site is being used as a case study to promote the use of similar systems to other COMAH operators.”

The report then goes on to recommend that the Cabinet Member for Communities and Planning urge all COMAH site operators in Essex to provide public safety information as demonstrated by QinetiQ at its Shoeburyness site.     

QinetiQ launched its public warn and inform service, known as the Shoeburyness Emergency Alert Service (SEAS) in 2010. Members of the public living or working near to the Range can sign up to the service and receive free emergency alerts by landline telephone, SMS Text and e-mail.

QinetiQ Community Liaison Officer, Nicki Uden said: “We have been delighted with the response we’ve had so far, but would urge anyone living or working close to the Range who hasn’t signed up to SEAS yet to do so. The possibility of an incident occurring on the Range and affecting members of the public is very remote, but we do encourage people to take personal responsibility for being prepared for all types of emergencies that may affect them and their families.”

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