We are often asked questions about how the 24/7 incident response service works in practical terms, so here are the answers to the most common questions about this service:
People usually subscribe to our 24/7 incident response service for three reasons:
1. To add resilience to their in-house incident reporting system and ensure that no emergency calls will ever be missed.
2. To ensure they have the PHAROS escalation services on-call to bolster their own skills, experience and resources should it ever be needed.
3. The combination of both of the above!I already have an in-house duty system, do I still need Pharos' help?
Lots of our clients retain their in-house duty system but know that it is difficult to ensure that all emergency calls will be answered 100% of the time due to poor mobile reception, staff being on other calls or having a personal life out of hours and not being in a position to provide any real assistance, even if they do answer. Pharos Response adds resilience to in-house incident reporting or ‘on-call’ systems and reduces pressure on staff who are on-call overnight and at the weekend in particular. We can either take all your emergency calls directly or, as is most popular, set any missed emergency calls to bounce seamlessly across to our team. We will then answer and provide initial support before alerting your team in whatever sequence you want us to. Once alerted, we will then continue supporting your team as required until you are happy you no longer need any . Alternatively, for clients who wish to take all their own emergency calls directly, Pharos has a ‘silver’ service which enables their senior team to call on our resources and expertise only when they feel it would be of assistance.I have critical insurance, why do I need Pharos as well?
PHAROS RESPONSE is not an insurance service and should not be compared, here’s why:
1. In order for critical incident insurance to be triggered, the incident will need to meet the insurance’s definition of a ‘critical incident’. Many of the incidents we support clients with would not meet this threshold.
2. Critical incident insurance, once triggered, will usually require you to liaise with multiple third party, external agencies, appointed and paid for by your insurers. Of course they will provide a professional service but you are unlikely to have had any prior relationship with them and they will take time to understand your business and how you operate.
3. Pharos builds a relationship with clients in advance of an incident so we can become part of your team immediately. We are one support agency centrally managed so the PR, communications, operational, logistical and trauma support all comes from the same stable. This enables a faster, more personalised and more integrated service from people you already trust.
4. Pharos’ intervention fees are considerably lower than those agencies appointed by insurers, which will ultimately affect your premium in future years. We would be happy to provide some examples of our charged fees for specific incidents, simply contact us for details.Why do I have to pay a subscription retainer for you to be on call?
We keep our retainer fees to a minimum so you are not paying a large sum for a service you may not need to use. Having worked in the travel and education sectors ourselves, we know how important it is to keep costs manageable. There is a considerable cost involved with having a team of experienced, trained professionals on call 24/7 with all the smart telephony and secure IT systems connecting them to our office. This needs paying for whether we receive calls or not so these costs need to be shared across all our clients for it to be viable. Because we cover these costs up front, it means we do not over charge for our intervention services if you have an incident. We believe this is exactly when you don’t need to be worrying about a sky-rocketing bill for help. Pharos is based on fairness and we hope to have struck an affordable balance for all in our pricing.If a major incident happens, will it incur costs without knowing how much it will total?
We are very up front about all costs and we can provide an estimate of any additional costs over and above your intervention hours included with your subscription. In the event of a major incident, some critical incident insurance policies will agree at that stage to cover our additional charges for services such as PR support and trauma counselling.Who answers the phone?
All calls are initially answered by trained and experienced incident managers who typically have had a career in a uniformed service as well as a particular specialism, such as expedition leading, adventure activities, incident investigation or travel crisis management. If for any reason all incident managers are busy, calls will be escalated to the Pharos Directors. If, on very rare occasions, they are also busy the call will be diverted to our specialist call centre and a message will be taken and urgently passed on to the incident management team.How serious does the incident have to be for us to be able to call you for support?
We don’t work like a critical incident insurance policy so you can call us for support regarding ANY incident where you would benefit from some advice or where you are operating outside your comfort zone. For some organisations this will be reserved for the very worst – a fatality, a major life-changing injury, a coach crash or a significant organisational failing such as a staff member being arrested for a serious safeguarding breach, for example. For others, this might be for a complex complaint that you are unsure how to respond to. We don’t just assist by supporting major incidents but also in preventing a tricky incident from becoming more serious. In many cases, we may only need to have a short conversation to pick our brains and check you’re on the right lines. You might prefer us to work with you through the incident by just being a hand to hold as you proceed, checking your thought process. In more serious incidents, we will provide all the support you need when you need it, writing media statements, supporting on social media, accessing trauma counselling and guiding you through the whole process and an extension of your team. The bottom line is, whatever has happened, never hesitate to call us – that’s what we are there for.What about individual's privacy during an incident?