14.5 External Contact

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If an incident or accident is likely to attract media attention, it is important wherever possible that communication with the media and other external agencies is undertaken by someone trained in this role. The following points should be considered:

  • Nobody in the party should speak to the press
  • Media enquiries should be referred to a designated media contact
  • Opportunities for external agencies to get access to group members and leaders should be minimised
  • Group members should be discouraged from phoning home in the immediate aftermath of an incident – inaccurate or incomplete information might cause unnecessary speculation and anxiety. However a responsible person should do so on their behalf to provide reassurance if there is potential for a media leak
  • Casualty names should not be released externally
  • Nobody should discuss legal liability with other parties
  • Group members should be discouraged from taking personal photographs of accident sites
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