A NORTHALLERTON police inspector who has retired after 30 years with the force experienced four major incidents in just over 12 months.

It was all part of the job for 49-year-old Insp Alan Miller who became emergency planning officer seven years ago.

His first major challenges were a fuel strike and devastating floods, followed within a few months by the Selby rail disaster, in which ten people died, and the initial response to the foot-and-mouth crisis on the same day.

Insp Miller said: "Normally, when you are dealing with a major incident you have one scene, but in the case of the floods there were major incidents in several areas.

"We were handling the fuel strike and the floods came at around the same time, so our local policing response needed planning.

"The multi-agency response to the rail crash was very important. No one organisation has the skills and abilities to manage itself, so training and planning to national standards is paramount and this paid off with seven police forces, four ambulance authorities and four fire brigades working together.

"An incident like the crash does not just end once the scene is finished; you have to have a debrief and review the operation. You learn something from every incident.

"It is fair to say that, following every major incident, there will be chaos. A sign of how well we have done is how quickly we get order out of that chaos."

More recently, Insp Miller was involved in planning the force's response to the firefighters' strike, ensuring that ageing Green Goddess appliances received police escorts on emergency calls.

Following the attacks on the World Trade Centre in September 2001, he also played a part in planning the response to any terrorist attack in North Yorkshire.

"September 11 showed us that everywhere is at risk and we had to re-evaluate vulnerable sites."

Before he joined emergency planning, he was force Press officer for three years.

For the past three and a half years, one of his other responsibilities was the planning and management of all public royal visits to North Yorkshire.

He said: "A Royal can go to three or four venues in a day and this presents a real logistical nightmare."

Insp Miller said he had no regrets about his 30 years' service. "Where else could you take on so many different roles without having to change jobs?"