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Ex-Military Emergency Emergency Response Charity - Thoughts?

napier

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
BLUF - I'm doing some feasibility work to look at the possibility of establishing a charitably funded ex-military emergency/disaster response organisation which will:

Augment emergency/disaster response capability in the UK (and abroad?)
Give former servicemen and women a sense of belonging to something useful
Deliver a positive message about veterans to society (employers, communities, etc.) through service to the community

Why?

The UK, while not a disaster-prone country, has its fair share of emergencies:

2003 - European Heatwave
2004 - Boscastle Floods
2007 - Summer Floods
2007- NW London Tornado
2011/12 - Snowfall
2012/13 - Floods

Local authority ability to respond in a timely and effective basis cannot be guaranteed (capability, cost, etc.)

Military ability to respond is limited and constrained

Civil resilience capability at lower levels (towns, parishes) is minimal and patchy

Also:

20K personnel leave the armed forces every year – this represents a significant pool of resources and talent (managers, medics, engineers, police, logisticians, etc.)

The predominant media and social perception of veterans, reinforced by many military charities, is negative (damaged heroes)

Many veterans report a sense of loss and a desire to belong to something, but serving in the Reserve Armed Forces may be incompatible with their new lives (time, commitment, deployment, employers’ attitude)

So why not:

Take the pool of talent and create:

A core organisation (G1-9) that:
Plans
Coordinates
Liaises
Fundraises
Calls out/manages

A register of veterans with skills, traits and a desire to help who can deploy to give aid and assistance in the event of civil emergencies across the UK

How?

Conduct planning based on likely disasters (National Risk Register)

Identify, in concert with the appropriate Local Resilience Forum, the skills, numbers & capabilities required to respond

Match the requirement with the pool of available resources and conduct local liaison and training to enhance both local/community resilience (proactive) and response capability (reactive)

Carry out targeted callout based on requirement (social media)

Conduct (in cooperation with Category 1 responders) search and rescue, medical care, debris removal, command and control support, logistical assistance, home repair, other tasks as directed by the incident commander

Dosh:

Low cost, Not for Profit, organisation
Minimal permanent staff
Maximum use of volunteers
Training and deployment to attract remuneration of expenses (no pay)
Funding options:
-Public charitable giving
-LIBOR
-Corporate social responsibility – sponsorship
-Donation of training – (Emergency Planning College, local authorities, etc.)

This has been done in the States (google Team Rubicon) and no, this is nothing to do with the LoF Gryphon Squadron

So, would any of the ex-military guys on here countenance joining such an organisation?
 
I'm for it but you'll be aware that the Army Reserve is supposed to be picking some of that stuff up and the FANY have been doing it in the London area for decades.
 
You'll have to be quick with claiming the LIBOR gift, applications for funding have to be in for 16th October.
 

napier

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
Ack, There are loads of civil orgs (Red Cross, WRVS, St John Ambulance) and plenty of smaller groups with local agreements in place, but there's always room for more. As to the reserves, CCRFs are smoke and mirrors and all defence assistance is done at full cost to the local authority unless its real life or death stuff. This is as much about giving those 'veterans', who want one, a worthwhile/rewarding role in society without joining the TA/having a big, time consuming commitment. Should look good on the CV too. Think RNLI without the seasickness.
 

napier

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
You'll have to be quick with claiming the LIBOR gift, applications for funding have to be in for 16th October.

That's for the armed forces covenant - there's still plenty in the pot
 
It might well be worth having a look at how some of the 4x4 Response Orgs are set up - there are quite a few in the West Country. They do a decent job once you get past the gungho surface bit.

It really depends on whether you want to concentrate on strategic planning and ops management or boots on the ground.

I'm a photojournalist if that's of any use.


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Programme Management by ARRSE - What can go wrong, who's got the keys to the Project Management Office?
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Nice idea, but we already have: Mountain Rescue, RNLI, first responders, Bay Search and Rescue, 4x4 response, high ropes rescue etc etc. and that's just where I live.

All these things already exist. Some of them never get used as is.

Personally I'd rather see the money and manpower for this going towards the MRTs, first responders and RNLI.





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Programme Management by ARRSE - What can go wrong, who's got the keys to the Project Management Office?

Look if we can shift a sponge cake in the shape of a pair of gonads across god knows how many counties without it getting overly damaged (ish), then who knows what we can achieve! :-D


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napier

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
It might well be worth having a look at how some of the 4x4 Response Orgs are set up - there are quite a few in the West Country. They do a decent job once you get past the gungho surface bit.

It really depends on whether you want to concentrate on strategic planning and ops management or boots on the ground.

I'm a photojournalist if that's of any use.


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Good to know. A mate is an emergency/resilience planner for a local authority and has given me a few pointers. I will be speaking with 1st responders and local authorities at various levels to establish the requirement (if indeed there is one) in more detail, but at first consideration outputs could include: up front help at the town/parish level with preparing their resilience plans; giving organisational assistance to disparate individuals and groups; and providing specialist and non-specialist 'boots on the ground'
 
Napier, have a look at RedR, a charity that was set up in the 90s to provide engineers for disaster relief internationally. I've always thought there was space for a similar venture within the UK. Incidentally, the problem with RedR is that they have become very much a part of the third sector; you cannot get on their register without experience within NGOs. Unbelievable really; they turn down ex-militiary engineers with a wealth of experience because they haven't worked in an NGO.....
 

napier

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
Nice idea, but we already have: Mountain Rescue, RNLI, first responders, Bay Search and Rescue, 4x4 response, high ropes rescue etc etc. and that's just where I live.

All these things already exist. Some of them never get used as is.

Personally I'd rather see the money and manpower for this going towards the MRTs, first responders and RNLI.

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Quite agree, but not every area is so well served. Much of what I will be doing is establishing if there is a need - and it is likely that some areas are particularly well sorted, others not so much.
 

napier

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
Napier, have a look at RedR, a charity that was set up in the 90s to provide engineers for disaster relief internationally. I've always thought there was space for a similar venture within the UK. Incidentally, the problem with RedR is that they have become very much a part of the third sector; you cannot get on their register without experience within NGOs. Unbelievable really; they turn down ex-militiary engineers with a wealth of experience because they haven't worked in an NGO.....

From my experiences with NGOs abroad I don't doubt it. have a look at Disaster Response Veterans Service Organization | Team Rubicon for what's been done in the States
 
Good to know. A mate is an emergency/resilience planner for a local authority and has given me a few pointers. I will be speaking with 1st responders and local authorities at various levels to establish the requirement (if indeed there is one) in more detail, but at first consideration outputs could include: up front help at the town/parish level with preparing their resilience plans; giving organisational assistance to disparate individuals and groups; and providing specialist and non-specialist 'boots on the ground'

My OH is a town clerk in N. Wilts if you want to sound the waters down there.


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napier

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
My OH is a town clerk in N. Wilts if you want to sound the waters down there.


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PM en route
 
From my experiences with NGOs abroad I don't doubt it. have a look at Disaster Response Veterans Service Organization | Team Rubicon for what's been done in the States

A few years ago, I could have brought them a substantial corporate donation and access to some of the best engineering and project management tools in the world, plus a cadre of ex-military engineers with third world experience. They simply were not interested and were downright arrogant.......I no longer donate.

I think your concept has a great deal of legs. It really fits with Cameron's now defunct "Big Society" idea and harnesses an untouched pool of resources and expertise. There is, of course, an army of consultants in this space, offering not very much for to much money. I tried to penetrate UK resilience from a business perspective in a previous role and was amazed how the space has been tied up by the consultancy crowd, all of whom can write a good document but deliver nothing.
 
Quite agree, but not every area is so well served. Much of what I will be doing is establishing if there is a need - and it is likely that some areas are particularly well sorted, others not so much.

Local Authorities are supposed to come up with contingency plans for foreseeable incidents and may well have contracts in place for emergency assistance. They should also be aware of shortfalls in their planning, a void that such an organisation as the one you're proposing may well help fill. I presume that you're looking more toward a rapid reaction team for the unforeseeable emergencies but I'd suggest that a database of volunteers listing their skills and equipment would be more useful. Then offer a liaison team who would take the burden of calling out the required volunteers and arranging logistics thereby reducing the workload on the LA.

I foresee a problem with regard to H&S though. The LA probably won't be happy with a bunch of people of unproven competency getting under the feet of their own rescue workers so the first hurdle will be to assess the volunteers to documented civilian standards. MATT3 BFAT 5 years ago is unlikely to be very encouraging.
 
I foresee a problem with regard to H&S though. The LA probably won't be happy with a bunch of people of unproven competency getting under the feet of their own rescue workers so the first hurdle will be to assess the volunteers to documented civilian standards. MATT3 BFAT 5 years ago is unlikely to be very encouraging.

The thing is that there are already charities out there who have crossed this hurdle. The 4x4 response teams that I mentioned earlier already work with the LAs and some of them support their county Air Ambulances. So it must be achievable.




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Joker62

ADC
Book Reviewer
Napier, you'll probably get a better response than that other bunch of disaster responders, the Legion Of Frontiersmen!
 

RAF889

Old-Salt
As already stated there are and have been many organizations, I worked as a volunteer with one linked to the UN based out of the UK. Years later we tried to get an off shoot going that focused on the recon side of disaster management, identifying out laying centers of habitation that would require aid etc. Everything is focused on the epi center of major seismic events so it sort of made sense. The 'establishment' stood against us!
USAR is a very important facet, but the Govt and existing agencies had it wrapped up by the early 2000s as I recall.
Napier, Do you want to go Nationwide, Worldwide or just local - Countywide?
Ex Forces need to shrug off the Military attitude that can often accompany servicemen/women after discharge. Mozambique was a steep learning curve during the floods in 1998 (iirc) with the breakdown of 'civilization' and the Kobi earthquake in 1995 had a big effect which resulted in one or two people quitting their full time careers after what was seen and done. In the organization I worked there were a few ex Forces, but was mostly Fire, Paramedics, one or two trauma Drs at varying times, a couple of the Old Bill. We did have some 'pure civvies' but they tended to lay down quickly during training and I saw one or two get wobbly when we deployed. But that's life's learning curve I guess.
Wish you all the best with your plan, perhaps study USA and Australian USAR set up both National and International.
 

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