Section 9: Emergencies
24.This section empowers the Secretary of State, by order following consultation, to place a duty on fire and rescue authorities to respond to particular types of emergency, as defined by order, such as flooding and terrorist incidents.
25.The Secretary of State can also, by order following consultation, direct fire and rescue authorities as to how they should plan, equip for and respond to such emergencies. This may include, for example, directions as to the deployments of mass decontamination equipment for civil resilience purposes. The intention is to ensure consistency of approach towards emergencies, particularly in response to terrorist incidents.
26.Section 9 also allows the order to require an authority to respond to an emergency that has arisen outside its own area if, for example, it has more appropriate equipment and training than the authority in whose area the emergency has occurred.
27.The term “emergency” is defined in section 58.