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Contingency Planning

Volume 406: debated on Thursday 12 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many members of the emergency services in the East Midlands Region have been supplied with full protective equipment including respirators for use in responding to a nuclear, biological or chemical terrorist attack. [116479]

[holding answer 3 June 2003]: On police protective equipment I refer the right hon. and learned Member to the answer I gave on specialist training on 9 June 2003, Official Report, column 663W.On health service protective equipment I refer the right hon. Member to the answers my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary for Health (Mr. Lammy) gave on Ambulance Service and Accident and Emergency departments' equipment and training on 3 June 2003,

Official Report, column 351W, 5 June 2003, Official Report, column 571W, and 9 June 2003, Official Report, column 693W.

On fire service protective equipment, full protective equipment is not purchased solely for the purpose of responding to a CBRN terrorist attack. It is used in the response to accidents and in other day-to-day operations.

The East Midlands Region has approximately 475 gas tight suits which are carried on conventional front line fire appliances and specialist vehicles—these are to be supplemented, in the short-term, by a further 40 suits which are being deployed imminently on two Interim Mass Decontamination Vehicles at appropriate locations within the region.

The deployment of this equipment during emergencies is not tied to geographical regions and, depending on the nature and scale of the incident and if necessary, the East Midlands may receive equipment from or supply equipment to other regions via Mutual Aid Agreements—this is the case for both CBRN incidents and day-to-day operations.