Letter: Emergency planning role in peacetime

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The Independent Online
Sir: It was surprising to read in Paul Gosling's article 'Emergency] The need to plan ahead' (18 February) that 'the move towards emphasising peacetime disasters will not greatly affect the operations of the Emergency Planning College . . .'

I am well acquainted with the college programme, which has been substantially revised to emphasise peacetime emergency planning, encompassing the new broader definition of civil defence. The programme now includes subjects such as the environmental aspects of disasters, hazardous materials and crowd-related disasters, as well as seminars on news- media and information, after-care and counselling and emergency management.

These events are being attended by increasing numbers of industrialists, social workers, medical practitioners and others. The changes are hardly marginal.

Yours sincerely,

TONY RITCHIE

Chair

Fire and Emergency

Planning Committee

Association of Metropolitan

Authorities

London, SW1

22 February

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