South Scotland

Dumfries and Galloway weather emergency system up for award

VOST Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption The system was first used during severe winter storms in 2015

An emergency information system set up to respond to severe weather in Dumfries and Galloway is in the running for recognition.

The Virtual Operations Support Team (VOST) provides live online and social media updates in extreme conditions.

The system - put in place by police and Dumfries and Galloway Council - was used during winter storms in 2015.

It is now in contention for a Police Scotland excellence award in recognition of its efforts.

The council's principal resilience adviser Mark Thomson said the system had already proved its worth.

'Strength to strength'

"It provides a useful tool to build up situational awareness about the widespread impacts of severe weather in particular," he said.

"That's not only from responding agencies whether that be the police or council or the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service but it is also from members of the public.

"It also provides a portal for the public, other organisations and, of course, the media themselves to gather intelligence about how the weather situation is affecting Dumfries and Galloway."

Mr Thomson said he hoped it would continue to show its value in future emergencies.

"It has been particularly valuable and it has received recognition across the board and hopefully it will go on from strength to strength," he added.

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