The Department of Home Affairs will once again play a pivotal role in helping the Isle of Man to deliver a safe and successful TT.
As the countdown continues towards the 2014 festival, the Department is working with other Government agencies, voluntary organisations and the private sector to finalise months of planning and preparation.
The practice and race period, which runs from 24 May to 6 June, represents the busiest time of year for frontline agencies such as the Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Service and the Emergency Services Joint Control Room.
Every police officer and firefighter is likely to be called upon at some stage during the TT in order to meet a wide range of challenges posed by the influx of many thousands of visitors and the huge increase in traffic on the Island’s roads.
There will be a strong focus on road safety, with the Constabulary adopting a policy of early intervention and strict enforcement in support of the ‘For All Our Sakes, Slow Down’ 2014 TT campaign, in addition to their day-to-day policing duties.
Firefighters will attend the TT Grandstand pit lane during racing and Kirk Michael fire station will also be crewed during race periods to provide additional strategic support.
Home Affairs Minister Juan Watterson MHK said: ‘The significant increase in people and traffic during TT makes it an extremely demanding time of year for the Department, but the professionalism and commitment of our staff always shines through.’
He added: ‘The wellbeing of residents and visitors is of paramount importance and an enormous amount of planning goes into the TT Festival to make it as safe and enjoyable as possible. We want people to have fun, but also to behave responsibly, ride within their capabilities and return home with fond memories of their TT experience.’
The Department’s Communications Division will make an important contribution to the management of the TT as the TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio) system and Emergency Services Joint Control Room (ESJCR) deal with the upsurge in demand.
Minister Watterson said: ‘The Island’s integrated communications system really comes into its own during the TT Festival. Police, Fire and Ambulance 999 calls are handled under one roof in the Isle of Man’s ESJCR. This can improve the coordination of multi-agency emergencies such as traffic collisions, which in turn helps to reduce response times and ultimately save lives.’
He added: ‘Our TETRA system is used by all police officers, fire crews, marshals, ambulance staff and race controllers, and the network handles many thousands of calls during the event. The TT simply wouldn’t run as effectively without it.’