Responding to emergencies in London

London is unique. It is the United Kingdom's capital and largest city with a population of over 7.5 million. The heart of the state of bureaucracy and home of the British Monarchy.

The city is home to many so-called 'postcard' targets - such as the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and has complex transport and communications infrastructure plus a substantial transient population. London is the UK's prime economic site with a rich history and is a global capital of culture, fashion, finance, politics and trade. Even London's response to an emergency is unique read on to find out more!

What is the role of the emergency services?

It comes as no surprise that the primary role of the blue light services is saving life. But in order for this to be achieved each of the emergency services have clear responsibilities and simply put they are as follows: the rescue of survivors lies with the London Fire Brigade; the care and transportation of casualties to hospital is the responsibility of the London Ambulance Service (LAS); and the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) ease these operations by co-ordinating the overall response and other agencies. It is the joint working involved in complex and difficult situations that is key to a successful response.

What role does the council have in an emergency?

The London Borough of Bromley has a statutory duty to have arrangements in place to respond effectively to an emergency, broadly speaking this includes:

  • providing shelter to evacuees;
  • temporary rehousing and accommodation;
  • use of transport;
  • professional advice (such as engineering and public health);
  • building surveyors;
  • social services; and
  • general welfare, support and care.

In addition to the council's duty to respond in the event of an emergency, as an incident progresses into the recovery phase the London Borough of Bromley will take the lead in the return to normality.

Responding to a major emergency in the Capital

In order for the emergency services and council to respond a series of major incident protocols such as cordons and logistical support functions apply. To find out more please refer to the London Emergency Services Liaison Panel (LESLP) - Major Incident Manual.

Local Resilience Forum

The Local Resilience Forum (or LRF) is the principle method for joint working at the local level and ensures local responders work together to prepare for emergencies. Generally they are based on Police areas however London is unique as it is not only a region but the countries capital. There are six LRFs bringing together groups of five or six London Boroughs.

Pan-London Plans

The London Resilience Partnership which consists of all the main emergency organisations and key sectors within London have published a number of Pan-London Plans which can be accessed on the London Prepared website.

Emergency planning


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Fax: 020 8313 4378

Civic Centre, Stockwell Close, Bromley, BR1 3UH