David Johnson, NYLRF volunteer

Along with other Ready for Anything volunteers, I attended Harrogate Convention Centre for Exercise Rainbow Rose. This large-scale training exercise brought together almost 200 key stakeholders from across Yorkshire in preparation for the UCI World Road Race Cycling in Harrogate in September 2019.

As volunteers we were invited to observe the morning's activities which concentrated on a range of complex scenarios that could impact on this major event that spread across the region for nine days. The scenarios were multi-layered  - flooding, crowd control, severe weather, accidents, media issues, missing persons - to ensure that all attendees, whether emergency services, local authorities, military, Yorkshire 2019 event staff, broadcasters, communications officers, contracted services and utility companies had the opportunity to work together to test and improve their standard operating procedures.

As part of this, the filtering of decision-making and upward communication was highlighted as critically important. It was fascinating to see how the knowledge and influence at each level was used as efficiently as possible through the agreed command structure of on-the-ground bronze officers, logistical silver officers and senior gold officers who make financial, media and reputational decisions.

As a group, we discussed the scenarios in general and identified opportunities for possible Ready for Anything involvement, should similar circumstances present themselves in the future. This was particularly motivating as these discussions highlighted some of the amazing skills, expert knowledge and enthusiasm that my fellow volunteers were bringing to Ready for Anything.

I would like to highlight both as a Ready for Anything volunteer and a member of the public that I found the day very reassuring as I am now partially aware of the effort and resource that goes into supporting major events and to making them successful.