Emergency Planning and Management

The University of Birmingham is committed to ensuring that our staff, students and our environment are kept safe. 

This means having plans in place to deal with emergency situations.  The University has a Strategic Emergency Response Plan (SERP) and a Strategic Emergency Response Team (SERT) which is led by the Registrar should it need to convene in the event of an emergency.

The University has a Senior Manager who is responsible for Emergency Planning: George Wrigley, Head of Security and Emergency Planning

T.C.G.Wrigley@bham.ac.uk     Tel : 45626

The University defines an emergency as:

"an event or situation that threatens harm or damage to staff, student or visitor welfare, the University environment or to the assets of the University including its good name.  To constitute an emergency such an event or situation will require the implementation of special arrangements by internally dedicated responders and/or external emergency services." 

There are many situations that might be deemed an emergency as well as the obvious ones such as fire, bomb threat, fatalities or critical injuries, flooding or severe weather, serious criminal acts, release of hazardous substances or pandemic infectious diseases.

 Local Contingency Plans 

The SERP cannot cover all situations for all areas, therefore all Colleges and Corporate Services directorates must have their own Local Contingency Plans (LCP) in place to deal with emergencies that might affect their area. Local Contingency Plans are required to identify foreseeable risks and make clear how local emergency situations will be prepared for and managed

Local Contingency Plans are very important as an integral part of the University’s overall Strategic Emergency Response Plan and are a requirement stipulated by the University’s Audit Committee.

All LCPs must be copied to the Head of Security and Emergency Planning for central reference. If you would like individual help with putting together your LCP please contact George Wrigley, Head of Security and Emergency Planning: T.C.G.Wrigley@bham.ac.uk . A standard LCP template is available for use.

 What to do in an emergency

FIRE  - call University Security on 44444 first.  Do not dial 999 directly.

POLICE - call 999 and then alert Security on 44444. 

AMBULANCE - call 999 and then alert Security on 44444.  Security will NOT call an ambulance on your behalf.

All staff should be in possession of the "Security and Emergencies: Advice for Staff" aide memoire card.  If you do not have one, please contact Security or your HR Manager.

If you find yourself in an emergency situation on campus such as fire, major accident or other incident where there might be casualties :

  • Telephone the relevant emergency services on 999 or 112 from a mobile and/or the 24 hour Security Control on 44444 (0121 414 4444).
  • Look after yourself first.  Don't become a casualty.  You can't help anyone if you also need help.
  • When summoning help; use METHANE :
  1. MAKE an assessment of the situation.
  2. EXACT location of the emergency.
  3. TYPE of emergency.
  4. HAZARDS of the scene.
  5. ACCESS to the scene.
  6. NUMBER of casualties.
  7. EMERGENCY SERVICE required.
  • Don't leave a casualty unattended unless you are at personal risk.
  • If safe, remain at the scene to meet Security or Emergency Services.  Reassure casualties.
  • If the area is unsafe withdraw to a safe distance and await the Emergency Services.
  • Provide first aid if trained or summon a first aider.
  • Keep your phone switched on, but don't make unnecessary calls.
  • Follow any advice given by Security or the Emergency Services.
  • Make sure you are familiar with your fire exit routes and the location of your assembly points.


Too many people at an emergency scene can impede recovery operations.  Persons not able to continue with business or are not required for recovery operations must either be sent home or directed to a suitable meeting point to await further news.  Before sending any persons home it must first be established whether they will be required by the Emergency Services as witnesses, or whether they will represent a hazard elsewhere e.g. in the event of contamination.  Clearly, injured or traumatised persons must not be sent away.

In Case of Emergency (ICE)

If you are involved in an accident, the Emergency Services may check your mobile phone to see if there is anyone they can contact on your behalf.  You can help them by designating a phone number as ICE (in case of emergency).  This is a person you would want to be contacted if anything happened to you e.g. 'ICE Mum'.  You can add other contacts such as 'ICE2 Dad' etc.

Emergency Telephone Points

At various points around the campus there are Emergency Telephone Points which can be used to contact Security Control immediately.  These are located at :

  • Elms Road, outside the Computer Centre
  • South West Campus, outside the Terrace Huts
  • The pedestrian exit of the South Car Park
  • University Square, outside the Arts Building
  • Outside the Old Gym
  • South West Campus, outside Grounds and Gardens
  • The west side of the Main Library
  • Between the Watson and Poynting Buildings

 General Advice to Managers in an Emergency 

  • Follow the instructions of Security staff in attendance at the incident.  It is for the Emergency Services or Security to determine whether a facility needs to be evacuated or a service suspended.
  • Make sure that a senior or responsible person is continually available to liaise with Security and the Emergency Services.  That person should then act as quickly as possible to put in place any appropriate measures to assist with the management the situation and support staff/students etc.
  • Some incidents can make unpleasant viewing.  Consider whether the area where the incident has occurred can be screened off from public view and whether people traffic can be diverted to avoid the incident.  Post temporary signage directing people away from or around the incident to avoid their witnessing potentially distressing circumstances.  However, do not interfere with any scene without prior discussion with Security or the Emergency Services.  Accept that it may not be possible to completely prevent viewing.
  • Consider what messages should be given immediately to staff, students and other visitors about the incident itself, any disruption to the facility/service and when normal service will be resumed (if known).  Ensure that communications are consistent to avoid confusion and most of all, sensitive.  Make sure front line staff are fully up to date with the latest information and know what messages are to be given.  Contact Marking and Communications on 58088 who can give you advice in appropriate internal communication channels including social media such as Twitter and Facebook.
  • The incident may be shocking and upsetting to those who witness it, and should therefore be treated sympathetically.  Refer to guidance available within the University's Guidance on Promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing at: https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/hr/documents/public/mental-health.pdf
  • Contact Employee Support Services on 45117 to advise them of the incident and to request an advisor attend to help anyone who may be affected, whether directly or indirectly.  Employee Support Services will advise the recognised trade unions of the incident (although the unions may already have been informed by members).  Visit :https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/hr/documents/staff/HSU/Guidance-and-support-for-untoward-incidents-(PDF---3MB).pdf
  • When the incident itself has been dealt with and the Emergency Services/Security have departed, consider sending a message to staff thanking them for their help/patience and possibly provide a sensitive debrief on the outcome of the incident.  Acknowledge that staff may be upset and that they might need help to deal with post incident trauma.  If any member of staff still feels upset after a few days, they might like to consider some support from the University Employee Support Services.  Encourage an open atmosphere in which people feel they are able to discuss the incident.

Stay Safe: Weapons Attack

Stay safe: Firearms and Weapons Attack

 Heading Here

Please visit these websites which give a great deal of very important and useful information on all aspects of dealing with emergencies.

 Do's and Don'ts in an Emergency 

  • DO follow instruction from Security staff or the Emergency Services.
  • DO make sure you are familiar with all local safety, security and emergency procedures.
  • DO know who to contact in an emergency.
  • DON'T ever take risks with your personal safety.
  • DON'T ignore safety hazards.  If you see something, say something.
  • DON'T think it can't happen.


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Professional Services