Arriving on the RMS on Saturday, 10 January 2015, was Ian Johnson (photo attached) to take up the permanent emergency planning position, vacated by interim Emergency Planner, Alistair Smith, in December.

Based at the Access Office, Ian is contracted by SHG for two years and will be responsible for all emergency planning on the Island. This will include new risks brought about by the Airport, new infrastructure and the new Bulk Fuel Installation site, as well as the normal day-to-day risks the Island faces. Ian’s role will be to ensure that emergency plans are current, in place and ready to deal with any incident.

Ian explains:

“We have in place a Major Incident Response Plan. Now that the December major incident exercises have been completed we’ll be putting together an overall debrief report and reviewing the plan to see if we need to enhance it or improve on any learning points.”

The Major Incident Response Plan is a ‘live’ document and will be reviewed regularly – after future exercises and after any major incident. Ian will look at all the risks identified by the Island Risk Register and make sure that there are plans in place to deal with each of them. These individual plans will then form part of the overall Major Incident Response Plan.

Ian added:

“An emergency plan is very important for St Helena, as in worst case scenarios, if something happens, we’ve got a plan there and everyone knows their responsibilities. Working together, both in SHG and the private sector, is absolutely vital – because we’re limited in resources on the Island.”

Ian has 40 years experience in Fire & Rescue Services, having spent 33 years in Manchester as a Supervisory Officer for Operations and in the last seven years as a Contingencies Officer in Cumbria, responsible for emergency planning for the Fire Service, plus responsibility for the Cumbria Emergency Plan.

Ian hopes his fire and rescue experience will be of real benefit to these services on St Helena. In addition, he is pleased to have been able to arrange for a gift of some specialist equipment for the Island’s Fire & Rescue Services – donated from the Cumbria, Lancashire and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Services. Further details will follow on this.

Ian concluded:

“I am looking forward to my new role and to utilising my knowledge and experience in major incident planning here on St Helena. The Island is brilliant, the people are lovely and friendly and I’m eager to get around and meet everyone.”


16 January 2015


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