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Hugh Baird College welcomes new Principal

Image shows Hugh Baird College's new Principal and Chief Executive Rachael Hennigan.

A new leadership era has begun at Hugh Baird College with the College welcoming Rachael Hennigan to the post of Principal and Chief Executive. Rachael joins Hugh Baird College from Calderdale College in Halifax where, since 2016, she held the post of Deputy Principal. Rachael brings to the Principal post at Hugh Baird College a breadth of key qualities gained from career that began with her teaching, at Kilgarth School and St Julies Catholic High School, on Merseyside. Rachael soon began to accelerate her career in to leadership roles and joined Blackpool Sixth Form College, as a Curriculum Leader. This was followed by a move to Blackburn College where she undertook a number of leadership positions across the College including the key strategic role of Assistant Principal with responsibility for the quality of teaching and learning. Rachael is no stranger to Hugh Baird College and the Liverpool City Region, having grown up in Bootle. She attended Archbishop Beck High School before completing A-Levels. at Hugh Baird College. Rachael remained in Liverpool to complete a Degree in Physical Education Sport and Dance, at Liverpool John Moores University.

Upon commencing in her new role, Mrs Hennigan said:- "I am excited to be joining Hugh Baird College and to working with such a committed team of governors, staff, partners and students. The College has an excellent and well deserved reputation, but I have been equally impressed by its ambition too. I can't wait to get started leading the College to continued success in the future and helping my home City to thrive."

David Crosby, Chair of the Governing Body at Hugh Baird College, welcomed Mrs Hennigan to the role.

"We are delighted Rachael has joined the College and we wish her every success. She brings with her a wealth of experience and expertise and will ensure that all our students benefit from an outstanding experience with an engaging and innovative curriculum that compliments the skill needs of the Liverpool City Region. On behalf of the Governing Body I also wish to express our sincere gratitude and best wishes to Mr Ioan Morgan who has acted as the College's Interim Principal and Chief Executive following our previous Principal and Chief Executive, Ms Yana Williams, taking up her new role at Coleg Cambria at the commencement of the New year." said Mr Crosby.

North West 999 IT failures endangering lives

IT issues in North West and East Coast emergency fire control rooms are creating dangerous delays in emergency response, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has warned today. The union has issued 5 Safety Critical Notices to those fire controls demanding the problems are urgently addressed, as control rooms handle a huge influx of storm related calls.

An instance of IT failure in NW fire control can cause a delay of up to 8 minutes, seriously impacting the ability of understaffed control rooms to mobilise firefighters, fire engines, and other emergency resources to incidents.

The Safety Critical notices raise issues including:-

1. Failures in the mobilising system to document and record addresses, requiring staff to log off and on again before mobilising resources.

2. The mobilising system slows down to:- "unusable" levels during incidents on Motorways.

3. Attempts to issue resource proposals are met with frozen white out screens.

4. Risk critical information is not properly communicated to control staff, such as whether the occupier is a hoarder, whether there has been a firearms risk, whether there is a risk of violence to crews.

5. Failure to send critical emails including:- arson threat referrals and accident / injury report forms, due to a migration to a new Microsoft Outlook server.

Lynda Rowan-O'Neil, FBU Control Staff National Committee, said:- "We've repeatedly warned that these IT failings are dangerous, but have been ignored. Our control rooms are desperately understaffed and conditions have become completely untenable. The control room mergers involved massive cuts to staff numbers, which have seriously undermined our ability to handle the overwhelming volume of storm related calls. We cannot keep allowing outdated, malfunctioning IT systems to delay emergency response. It's no secret that, in an emergency, a matter of seconds could be the difference between life and death. These failings could genuinely endanger lives."

Matt Wrack, FBU General Secretary, said:- "We are deeply concerned about the litany of failings in fire control. Without efficient, well-staffed control rooms, it's impossible to quickly mobilise resources to a fire, or understand the risks when firefighters arrive. This is coinciding with 1 of the worst storm seasons we've had in years; it isn't safe for firefighters or the public. It's an utter disgrace that emergency fire control bosses have ignored the concerns of their own staff for so long. The FBU is fully behind our members taking on these safety critical issues and will be applying pressure nationally and regionally."

The affected control rooms cover some of the areas worst hit by Storm Ciara. The East Coast and Hertfordshire Control Room Consortium (ECHCRC) covers Humberside, Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Hertfordshire.

North West Fire Control's 5,000 square mile remit covers a population of 5.5 million people, handling emergency calls for:- Cheshire, Cumbria, Lancashire and Greater Manchester fire services. It includes both  Manchester International Airport and Sellafield Nuclear Facility.

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