As the world continues to emerge from the shadow of COVID-19, this year looks set to be one of the busiest times we have seen in a while, with many popular events already planned to take place in the events calendar.
Public safety at these events remains the Government’s top priority and builds on the work that Government introduced at the start of 2020 with the establishment of the Safety Advisory Group which has since been in operation. The role that event organisers along with our emergency services play in keeping the public safe at these events is of the utmost importance.
In order to ensure that best practice is adopted in the events industry, HM Government of Gibraltar has organised the delivery of event safety training to both the Safety Advisory Group and event organisers. Representatives from Gibraltar’s Emergency Services and other important stakeholders attended the training for the Safety Advisory Group. This included members of the Royal Gibraltar Police, Gibraltar Fire & Rescue Service, GHA Ambulance Service, Ministry of Culture, Office of Civil Contingencies, Ministry of Environment and the Environmental Agency. A separate 2-day course was specifically delivered to event organisers from both the private event industry and Gibraltar Cultural Services which is contracted by HM Government of Gibraltar to organise its main cultural events.
The delegates were trained on the management of risks and threats to crowded places, crowd safety management plans and incident and emergency management. This training has been delivered by Dan Ward, of WARD safety, who is also a consultant and lecturer with the Cabinet Office Emergency Planning College. Dan is also an assessor and internal verifier for the Diploma in Spectator Safety Management. Dan Ward brings a wealth of experience in the event safety industry, primarily crowded space events. His previous responsibilities have included Safety Officer, then Head of Operations at Bristol City Football Club and lead Safety Officer for the Velodrome, Basketball Arena and BMX Arena at the London 2012 Olympic Games. He has also worked in high profile events including Premier League, Expo 2021 Dubai, Hogmanay Edinburgh, Goodwood Festival of Speed and British Athletics.
Commenting on the importance of event safety, Dan Ward said: “It has been a pleasure to return to Gibraltar and provide further training to the highly professional and enthusiastic Safety Advisory Group members and event organisers. There is a genuine commitment to ensuring events in Gibraltar are both safe and enjoyable. These training courses have provided the opportunity to increase understanding and the requirements of the event safety approval process”.
The Minister for Culture, the Hon Prof John Cortes MP, said: “I warmly welcome the opportunity to have this type of training delivered in Gibraltar and I must thank the Office of Civil Contingencies for having facilitated these two courses. I am very pleased that a wide cross-section from the Emergency Services and Cultural communities have been able to benefit from such important training. Dan Ward is widely regarded as an authority in the field of Event Safety and I am grateful that we have been able to benefit from his wealth of experience and expertise. My Ministry remains committed to support, guide and advise all event organisers, whilst ensuring that they maintain a high standard of safety when considering, planning and conducting a specific event.”