Carol’s 20 years in emergency planning with Argyll & Bute Council add rich and wide-ranging experience to Foresee.
As the council’s civil contingencies manager, Carol produced and updated off-site emergency plans, and led on the development and delivery of emergency exercises.
She frequently dealt with incidents in this vast part of Scotland. The area is also home to HM Naval Base, Faslane, a munitions depot and four oil fuel depots – as well as many islands vulnerable to the effects of severe weather.
Carol has a master’s degree in Emergency Planning Management.
Carol Keeley MSc
LEAD ASSOCIATE: PLANNING & PREPAREDNESS
Before joining Foresee in 2019, Carol was civil contingencies manager with Argyll & Bute Council – Scotland’s second-largest council area – where she spent over 20 years in emergency planning.
She produced and updated off-site emergency plans, and led on the development and delivery of emergency exercises.
Carol explains: “Argyll & Bute has many hazardous sites; therefore, a fair part of my time was spent on the production and updating of emergency off-site plans, for sites such as HM Naval Base, Clyde (Faslane), Defence Munitions Glen Douglas, the Petroineos oil terminal, and three oil fuel depots.
“I was involved in, and led on, the planning, development and delivery of exercises for these sites, as well as exercises connected to the planning for specific events held in the Argyll area.
“I also worked with many community councils on the mainland and the islands, promoting the importance of their Community Resilience Plans.”
Due to the geographical nature of the area, there are many different challenges to overcome in emergency situations.
Carol’s time there saw many real events requiring a well managed, co-ordinated council response. Severe weather was one of the most common scenarios. It often resulted in power outages, road closures, and remote communities being cut off, sometimes for days. Landslips on the A83 road, a vital arterial route, were a regular occurrence. As were dangerous buildings.
Island communities were vulnerable in severe weather. Often it resulted in the cancellation of flights and ferry sailings, cutting off vital food and fuel deliveries. Power companies could then struggle to get repair personnel over, leaving islanders without power for days.
Carol’s role brought many rewards, though, as well as white-knuckle trips in adverse conditions.
“I enjoyed working with our emergency response teams on our many islands,” she says. “It is quite unusual to have to get a ferry to work, or even a 10-seater aircraft from Oban Airport to the islands of Tiree, Coll or Colonsay.
“I have many fond memories of these occasions and so have the many partners that supported these visits and participated in the multi-agency exercises while there.
“We had some extremely scary journeys in bad weather to our islands but, on the other hand, a ferry or flight to any of these on a sunny summer’s day was absolutely glorious.
“I sometimes had to remind myself that I was at my work!”
In an area such as Argyll, continuous training and exercising of council officers at all levels was extremely important to ensure that any emergency response was effective and well executed.
Most of Carol’s work required close partnership working with Police Scotland, Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, Scottish Ambulance Service, NHS boards, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, MOD, utilities, and voluntary agencies. It was an aspect she particularly enjoyed.
“My years with Argyll & Bute were extremely challenging but, at the same time, extremely rewarding, she says. “It was a fantastic area to work in and the people from all agencies I had the pleasure to work with were equally great.
“I am delighted to now join Colin and his team at Foresee Associates.”