The first integrated Emergency Response Service Centre (ERSC) in the UKCS goes live today. Leading emergency response and crisis management provider, Rubicon Response, has announced that their groundbreaking centre, strategically located at Marine House, Blaikies Quay, in Aberdeen will be providing 24/7 emergency response services to clients with assets operating in the North Sea, from midnight tonight.
Developed to provide multiple North Sea operators with access to a dedicated professional emergency management service, the ERSC has been equipped with robust and resilient state of the art technology. The strategic location of the facility will enable the dedicated team from Rubicon Response to work closely with the emergency services, industry regulators and other agencies, many of whom are located within the same building, to provide an efficient and swift integrated emergency response service.
“The ERSC will be the first point of contact for a number of North Sea installations, providing them with an instant response in emergency situations,” explained Jim Walker, managing director of Rubicon Response. “The facility is held at a constant state of readiness, allowing response to any type of incident at any time. The whole concept behind the ERSC is to help our customers manage an incident as effectively as is possible. The ERSC is a pioneering facility &, I believe, has the potential to become the benchmark for emergency response management in the UK.”
Various levels of service are available at the ERSC ranging from call out and mobilisation services, relative and media response functions through to a fully supported incident management room. “One of the main advantages of the ERSC is the ability to respond immediately,” continued Mr Walker. “Out of hours it can take on average 40 to 60 minutes to mobilise an emergency response team and that time can be vital in an emergency. The fully trained responders, with backgrounds in the oil and gas industry, the military and emergency services, are on duty 24 hours a day 365 days per year. Should an incident arise, they immediately begin the job of providing support, notifying agencies and recording events until the full team assembles.”
The ERSC was developed by Rubicon Response following feedback from customers and in response to changing industry requirements. Recent trends such as the emergence of smaller operators in the North Sea with smaller workforces, has seen the introduction of new potential difficulties for such companies around the ability to provide an emergency response team. New legislation such as corporate manslaughter, and the Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH), and the Civil Contingencies Act have also raised awareness of the need for companies to be able to demonstrate their capability to provide measurable response to an incident from a facility using standardised best practices. Evidence of robust and high calibre emergency response plans is often now a requirement of the tender process that operators face when bidding for contracts.
“I would like to see key players within the UKCS conform to one standardised, best practice approach in dealing with emergency response,” said Mr Walker. “Such an approach improves integration with the emergency services, is easier to operate and allows the incident management team to support an incident more effectively. In addition, it is more cost effective.
“The concept of an integrated response centre is not a new one but to-date has never been realised. Today’s operational debut marks the culmination of a lot of effort and hard work from the Rubicon Response team. I’m delighted that our customers can now enjoy the benefits of the ERSC with its first rate facilities and exceptional team; and I hope that they will see and experience the value that I believe it has to offer as we work together over the coming months and years.”
The ERSC will be formally opened by the Right Honourable Lord Cullen of Whitekirk in a ceremony being held at the facility in April.