What we do
BT Emergency Response Team
In preparation for emergencies, BT attends Local Resilience Forum meetings, emergency exercises and provides information to the emergency services and other Civil Contingency responders to support their communications requirements.
BT’s Civil Resilience team works tirelessly with the emergency services, government organisations and other utilities to help them deal with major incidents or emergencies. We help them build national, local and regional contingency plans, and we run an Emergency Linkline to help them contact BT in critical situations.
Our highly-trained teams include emergency response technicians – who can work in dangerous environments to keep BT’s national communications network up and running – and disaster recovery and incident management teams to deal with any situation
BT also maintains a fleet of 80 disaster recovery mobile exchanges in 40ft containers ready to be deployed across the UK to replace any damaged BT exchanges.
The company takes its responsibilities very seriously and is committed to promoting civil resilience worldwide – so we also have incident management centres around the globe.
BT’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) was formed in 2005 and comprises a network of 57 highly-skilled and motivated engineers. The ERT is made up of mainly volunteers from across the UK who are on permanent standby 24/7. Volunteers are released from their BT day jobs allowing them to commit to around 20 days rigorous training each year. Training includes swift water rescue, flood management and simulated emergencies alongside blue light responders such as Police, Fire and Ambulance. Working with other responders allows ERT volunteers to validate the effectiveness of their training and put their skills into practice in challenging environments.
The primary objective of the ERT is to proactively and reactively deal with threats to BT’s fixed and mobile networks across the UK. In recent years these threats have been dominated by extreme weather events typically flooding, but also in response to terrorist actions and other serious incidents.
BT is Critical National Infrastructure provider who’s network supports Government, the Emergency Services, Civil Authorities, Businesses and Communities across the UK, as a result we plan and invest heavily in resilience to protect services. BT continually horizon scans its network on a 24/7 basis for potential risks and threats. The Major Incident Management Team (MIM) work closely with ERT to proactively protect critical assets considered at risk establish command and control for incident response and possess the capability to help affected communities by providing them with emergency communications facilities until normal services can be restored.
The goal of Incident Management process is to restore a normal service operation as quickly as possible and minimize the impact to customers and business operations. BT’s incident management process follows the nationally recognized Gold (Strategic), Silver (Tactical) and Bronze (Operational) structure of command and control. During an incident Emergency Control Centre (ECC) vehicles can be deployed across the UK, ECC vehicles are assets manned by Openreach engineers on a voluntary 24/7 on-call rota across the UK and controlled by BT’s Major Incident Management (MIM). The ECC vehicles are designed to deliver a command and control work centre for any UK incident. They provide communications assistance to Forward Control Point Managers who are responsible for co-ordinating the on-site incident restoration process, and sending live updates to the MIM team from the scene via technical bridge conference calls. All vehicles have satellite communications and can operate separate of the BT network.
All ERT personnel are swift water operator trained and have a capability to perform swift water rescue and deploy flood management kit. The team can deploy flood management kit, cordons and entry control restricting access to BT Buildings, Exchanges and Assets when there is the threat of flooding by setting up cordons and entry control. There are 12 mobile flood pods which are located throughout the UK. Each flood pod contains pumps, barriers, flood sacks and ancillaries which are used in the management of flood water, for the prevention of ingress of water in BT Exchanges, buildings and assets management by the ERT.