1. ITV Report

Cumbria Police open their doors

ITV's cameras have been allowed a rare behind the scenes glimpse of the unit responsible for planning for major emergencies and events in the county.

It's called the Civil Contengencies Unit and they've dealt with everything from floods to the Olympics.

Cumbria has experienced it's fair share of tragedies and disasters. From flooding to shootings, these are major events that have required all the emergency services to work together.

Flooding in Cockermouth in 2009 Credit: ITV Border

During those times, a bare room deep inside Cumbria Police headquarters in Penrith becomes the Gold Command nerve centre. Seen here during the 2009 floods with former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, it's here they decide how to respond and where to send their teams.

Gordon Brown in Gold Command Credit: ITV Border

Chief Inspector Rod Mackay is head of Civil Contingencies. It's plans he and his team have put together that are put into action, and when every second can count, those plans are vital.

Chief Inspector Rod Mackay Credit: ITV Border

"We assess the level of that incident and then where we go form there, every incident, major incident that you can think of certainly over the last four of five years, we've started the response."

– Chief Inspector Rod Mackay

They also planned events like the Olympic torch relay and have helped with policing the Games in London by sending a team of officers to support the Metropolitian Police. Sergeant Gill Cherry was one officer who went down to help in London she said:

Sergeant Gill Cherry, Cumbria Police Credit: ITV Border

"It was a fabulous experience it's a once in a lifetime, it will never happen again in my lifetime certainly in this country, it was fabulous, very very enjoyable."

– Sgt Gill Cherry

They have to think of every eventuality. The Community Risk register, a document available online, looks at what risks exist in the county it includes an outbreak of an infectious disease, disruption to fuel supplies or a major crash on the motorway.

If the M6 grinds to a halt, as well as helping casualties, the civil contingency unit have planned where to direct traffic and how to get it open as quickly as possible.

While no-one likes to think of any of this situations becoming a reality - it is reassuring to know plans are in place if they do.