This is the official blog of Sgt Ellie Bloggs, a real live police sergeant on the front line of England. It's not the official opinion of my police force, but all the facts I recount are true, and are not secrets. If they don't want me blogging about it, they shouldn't do it. PS If you don't pay tax, you don't pay my salary.


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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Brave Old World

"A good leader at Aldgate would have assumed authority and ordered his crews in to help injured passengers on a bombed Tube train."
So says David Gilbertson, ex Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Scotland Yard.* 


The delay in rescue efforts by emergency services on July 7th 2005 has been roundly labelled as Health and Safety culture gone mad by the media this week.  The assumption is that because fire crews and ambulances were standing by waiting orders to proceed with rescue, instead of racing headlong into the tube tunnels, they should feel wracked with guilt and are personally responsible for any deaths that happened while they waited.

As a front-line police sergeant, reading these articles makes me profoundly angry.  We are not talking about a situation where a simple and obvious act by one person could save a life. We are talking about a treacherous and difficult rescue, with extreme hazards to emergency workers, and a situation totally beyond the experience of any of them.  I have no doubt that the units on scene were frustrated and impatient to get on with the rescue, regardless of the risk of secondary devices or any hazards. I know for a fact that young officers on my team are not Health and Safety conscious, and are impetuous and risk-taking far more often than they are cautious - see me quoted in the Daily Telegraph here.

The truth is you don't save a drowning person from a river by diving in without thinking.  You wait for backup, get emergency kit ready on the shore, and then make the decision to dive when you are in the best possible position to save the person, otherwise everyone who turns up to help will be in the same half-cocked position that you were when you first arrived on scene, and the river will soon be jammed with the writhing of would-be rescuers.

In the situation where you have no equipment and no backup (such that of as PC Elizabeth Kenworthy), each individual must make a decision about how far they are willing to risk themselves.  I know that for the majority of my team, there is no hesitation and they will go all the way - sometimes simply to arrest a car thief, let alone for a dying man.  My job, like an anxious parent, is to berate them roundly for the peril they put themselves in, whilst secretly proud inside that my kid done good.

To suggest that firefighters in London on July 7th should feel "guilty" for their failings is to totally misunderstand the position they were in, and what their job actually involves.  Do we want an emergency service that is no better than a heroic passer-by, or do we want one equipped to help and with a strategy in place to do it well?  A paramedic with no defibrillator or oxygen bag is not a paramedic: he is a good Samaritan.  It's easy to rush blindly towards danger with flailing arms; it's harder to take a deep breath, walk slowly up and look it in the eye.


There are innumerable situations where I am happy to hold the public sector up to scrutiny over risk-aversion, but the day of the London Bombings is not one of them.


* Note on David Gilbertson. As well as decrying the lack of "Blitz spirit" in officers nowadays, the ex-Commander (and HMIC inspector) regularly expounds his view that officers view themselves "as combatants in the war on terror", "at war" with the public, and speaks of the days of "policing by consent", when officers went out without stab vests and batons.  Apart from the innate contradictions in these views (either we are at war, or we're not: we can't just invoke the Blitz when we feel like it), he appears to yearn for a bygone age of policing.  I meet a lot of Commanders like Mr Gilbertson, who come into briefings and tell my young officers about the days they used to face down the world armed only with a short stick, and berate us for our cowardice wanting to be double-crewed and wear body armour.  The thing is, Mr Gilbertson may well come from a braver age of policing, but he also comes from an age when girls made the tea, you used to travel free on the bus, queue-jump almost anywhere, and middle-aged white males spent their evenings in Masonic lodges lapping up the cheap beer in police bars.  The age of police privilege is past, and with it the age of mindless bravery.  I don't say which is better, but it is a new world now.


(Added 19:49 25/10/10)
A final point to consider: the debate is not about whether we should risk our lives for the public or not, but whether it is automatically doing our job better if we risk our lives.  Not whether the emergency services were afraid to rush into the tunnels, but whether waiting to plan a rescue strategy was more sensible and stood a better chance of saving life.  What folly to race in en masse and miss half the dying people because you don't have the right breathing/vision equipment.  When the emergency services first deployed, they did not know what kind of incident they were dealing with.


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54 Comments:

Blogger Stan Still said...

This article is being discussed in the Police Oracle forums, if anyone would like to pop over and take a look?

http://www.policeoracle.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=15347

24 October, 2010 21:17

 
Anonymous Pete said...

"..As a front-line police sergeant, reading these articles makes me profoundly angry.. "

You are angry because it is true.

"...The truth is you don't save a drowning person from a river by diving in without thinking. You wait for backup, get emergency kit ready on the shore, and then make the decision to dive when you are in the best possible position to save the person..."

By which time, the victim would have already have been drowned and completely dead for at least 45 minutes.

ARE YOU SERIOUS?

you are a bl**dy disgrace to the uniform.WPC.

Why don't you save some lives - by resigning?

(You dumb bitch)

Does the word: "apologia" have any special resonance for you, Bimbo?

24 October, 2010 22:45

 
Anonymous Swanseajock said...

Well doen Pete, another police hater. Why should PC's dive into rivers without thinking? Just to prove a pint and then to die? Will that make you happy? How many people go into the water after their dog, drown and the dog swims out? This was a well thought article. The link to the Telegraph is emotive and nonsense. Allison Pearson seems to want the police to 'dive' headlong into any siuation without thinking. I want to go home in the evening, and I am sure police officers want to help the public where they can, and go home at the end of a shift. I seem to remember all the public information adverts when I was younger telling you not to go straight in because a drowning person would drag you down. The advice then, and presumably that was before "Elf and Safety" was to get a rope, stick, boat to try and help the person, not dive in and have 2 casualties instead of one.

24 October, 2010 23:25

 
Anonymous Outed said...

Pete seems to have adopted the troll lexicon but in my simple way, I sort of know where he is coming from.

It's over isn't it? Policing is just another job. There never was a golden age when everything was right and I know why we have gone truncheons to tasers in a generation but its just a job and the Sergeant is just another manager with a 3 ring binder of policy and procedure. Can that really be where we are now?

The perceived risks that kept us out of the tunnels were, I am guessing risk of secondary explosion, structural collapse, lethal voltage, any of which alone would have stopped most police operations dead in their tracks. After that its a matter of abiding by law and approved procedure. Sorry people of the UK but your parliament legislated it that way and your lawyers litigated it that way. We aren't supposed to do selfless heroism anymore, not since the latter part of the last century. Turns out that we are not the police you thought you wanted and in our quieter, more reflective moments we probably aren't the police we want to be either.

So sometimes the heart rules the mind and whilst you don't save a drowning person by diving in without thinking, sometimes, after a quick think, the only right thing to do is to dive in regardless of the conditions being in some way sub-optimal. That's the truth of it. That's what we do.

Girls dont make the tea and free masonry is something to be laughed at. That's good but surely the corrolary cannot be a Sarge berating the constable for doing the right thing regardless of whether it is policy or not... Welfare, look to the constable's welfare. I'll tell you straight, if I found myself doing anything beyond making sure they were OK I would have difficulty looking myself in the mirror afterwards.

Maybe I'm a dinosaur and the policing world has moved on without me noticing but that kind of policy driven and undeserved bollocking is just not what a Sarge is for. In modern jargon, it does nothing to drive performance.

btw I read the Gilbertson article and funnily enough it was not all bad. Some of it rang true to me, the bit around attitudes and expectations and leadership. I think he was on the money there.

24 October, 2010 23:34

 
Anonymous Queensland copper said...

What a disappointing attitude and article by you.

24 October, 2010 23:48

 
Blogger Kimpatsu said...

...he appears to yearn for a bygone age of policing...
No, he years for a golden age that never was. The man is clearly a fantasist.
As to "being at war or not", what he wants is the mythical golden age when it comes to white people, and the ability to treat all dark-skinned people as Islamic terrorists.
There's a word for that attitude, and it is unbecoming of a police officer.

25 October, 2010 01:16

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete,
Go on then - give us one example, just one, of when you have done something heroic.
(And let's not include shouting loudly, abusively and anonymously on the internet)
Cheers
Tang0

25 October, 2010 03:16

 
Anonymous Refreshingly Frank said...

The point that David Gilbertson made was that the delay in ordering the rescue services in was excessive.

I do not know whether it was or not, but the media seem to think it was, and I would take his word for it as a man of his rank would have experiences of this sort of thing.

However the all knowing PC Boggs does know and has declared that the services should not have gone in as it might have been risky for them. After all there were only dieing MOPs crying for help in there. Nothing really important.

As a tax paying MOP I disagree. The duty of the services does include putting their lives at risk - and occasionally losing them. It is part of the job. Anyone who is not prepared to do this should have their uniforms removed and required to find a safe office job somewhere.

The example of a drowning man is trite but Pete did raise a good point. It is a pity, Pete, that you get carried away into personal abuse. You never find me doing that !

There are far too many time serving lazy skiving cowardly officers in the police force, and in this article PC Doggs appears to just make excuses for them.

Bloggy’s admiring fan and supporter,

Frank. :)

25 October, 2010 11:20

 
Anonymous Refreshingly Frank said...

Furthermore - the actions of the fire fighters at the Twin Towers in New York set an inspiring and good example to the services all round the world of uniformed personnel prepared to do their jobs and risk their lives.

25 October, 2010 11:33

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hundreds of firefighters died on 9/11 and rescued virtually no-one.

25 October, 2010 11:52

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry the first on scene did go in

25 October, 2010 12:21

 
Anonymous NottsSarge said...

Tough one Bloggsy.
I agree, fools rush in where angels fear to tread, but equally, the Police these days is a risk-averse organisation (the emphasis being on the organisation, not the individuals).
Prime directive number one is to protect life and property (in that order) and I agree fully with the sentiment that, when it comes down to it, we should put our lives on the line to save others. Most decent cops I know would agree. Unfortunately there are plenty who wouldn't - Supers who worry about their reputation if it goes wrong (Hillsborough leaps to mind), C/Insps not senior enough in their own minds to make the big calls, Insps and Sgts with insufficient training and support to deploy staff where they need to be and a generation of PCs who've been taught risk aversion from day one at Training School. Couple that with civilianised Control Rooms full of policy-mongers who can't apply logic over policy and we're in a mess when the wheel really comes off.

I don't doubt that everyone from the emergency services went to the 7/7 bombings to do their best to help. I don't doubt their frustration at not being able to get stuck in, or that the rescue effort couldn't be effectively coordinated between the 3 services. Equally, I'm not sure what charging in would have accomplished - as with the NYFD on 9/11 (whose bravery is undeniable but whose actions were, at best, ill-advised). Could it have gone better? Of course it could, that's why we review these things after the event and learn the lessons.

Outed is right - we've created a strange culture over the last 10 years or so which will take a long time to dismantle before we're back to our fundamental purpose. Arrive, assess, consider your options - as quick as you can - then do what needs to be done. Risk assessment isn't the same as risk aversion

25 October, 2010 15:10

 
Anonymous NottsSarge said...

Incidentally, wouldn't primacy on 7/7 have rested with Fire? Not that I'm knocking them, just making the point...

25 October, 2010 15:18

 
Anonymous Retired Sgt said...

An excellent presentation of the age old dilemma but what ever the incident the person in charge must make the decisions and stand up to be counted-you just cannot have people rushing into situations-you need to control them you need to know your staff you need to count them in you need to count them out-and the numbers hopefully will match up

25 October, 2010 15:25

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frank, I do not get paid enough to risk leaving my wife a widow or my child fatherless for someone I do not know. I will take risks at work. I have given mouth to mouth to a drug addict who had god knows what, and I have jumped in to a deep river to catch a burglar. These are personal choices. How dare you ask me to risk my life without thinking? Out of all the silly comments I read on here yours had made me sick to my stomach. I will always do what I can, but I will not be careless with my life for God sake.

25 October, 2010 18:31

 
Blogger Area Trace No Search said...

" I don't say which is better, but it is a new world now."

Love that line. May have to nick it.

25 October, 2010 18:35

 
Blogger Area Trace No Search said...

Incidentally - I was on duty that day and ended up at the scene. Some officers did go straight in, including the first units on scene.

Others were ordered to wait outside - as per the usual MO - and as Bloggsy says, the sergeants and Inspectors no doubt earned their extra salary on those days.

25 October, 2010 18:36

 
Anonymous Refreshingly Frank said...

Anonymous said...
"Hundreds of firefighters died on 9/11 and rescued virtually no-one."

But they tried, Anon, they TRIED, and gained the respect of the world.

I think you have missed the point.

25 October, 2010 22:52

 
Anonymous Refreshingly Frank said...

Added points by PC Bloggsy -

"waiting to plan a rescue strategy was more sensible"

A MOP's view -

Why are not rescue strategies not already planned ? The underground has been around for a long time. And how much of a strategy do you need ? Just get there and carry out the procedures that are used in accidents every day.

“What folly to race in en masse and miss half the dying people because you don't have the right breathing/vision equipment”

A MOP's view -

Not folly to go in calmly and find half the dying people, and have the missing breathing/vision equipment sent straight down as soon as it arrives. To just stand around doing nothing in safety about ground while MOPs are dying and crying for help in danger underground is not acceptable.

We need democratically elected sheriffs to get a grip on these things and fire a few inept shirking police officers.

25 October, 2010 23:11

 
Anonymous Refreshingly Frank said...

Anonymous said...

“Frank, I do not get paid enough to risk leaving my wife a widow or my child fatherless for someone I do not know.

I will take risks at work. I have given mouth to mouth to a drug addict who had god knows what, and I have jumped in to a deep river to catch a burglar.”

Surely you have just contradicted yourself ? And so it is not alright for a poorly paid private in Arabia to risk leaving his wife a widow or his child fatherless for someone he does not know - i.e. you.

“How dare you ask me to risk my life without thinking?”

Where did I do that! Obviously you think and take calculated risks.

“ will not be careless with my life for God sake.”

So who is asking you to be ‘careless’. Not me.

Silly comment? Read it again please a bit more carefully. This is an open forum on the net and you are going to read opinions that you do not like or agree with. Especially from MOPs.

Incidentally Anon, I was a poorly paid soldier in Arabia risking my life on a daily basis to keep my homeland, and your family, safer then you would otherwise be.

Think on.

26 October, 2010 00:07

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frank,
So you want emergency services who are respected, but unfortunately without breathing equipment and in the course of a futile rescue effort are dead.
In the meantime you would like an easily accessible emergency plan to have been in place to deal with multiple suicide bombers both above and below ground, because that was a realistic likelihood and in addition would have been an immediately obvious explanation for what the first responders were faced with.
Are you sure you're not ACPO because that sounds remarkably like the drivel at a 9am shudder squad meeting.

Tang0

26 October, 2010 01:14

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No doubt those at the "Shudder Squad" meeting after 7/7 2005, would have been saying behind closed doors....BLEEP! We "shudda" prepared for this event, or better still prevented it from happening in the first place. Damage to reputations limitation chaps! Now how can we wriggle out of this one, cover it up and save face?

An ACPO pipes up.....I know, we will say that the fire service shudda dived in quicker to save people, and we'll say that we couldn't have possibly seen that one coming.....and deny that we knew it was going to happen. Whatever happens we'll just blame it on the front line troop and anyone else who says different....and that way we stay out of the poo and keep our pensions! The ACPO's nod a big Yes, to the damage limitation plan of lies and denial. As they do.....

HOWEVER PEOPLE..... Just after the terror attack on Madrid, there was Tony Blair on the TV news [ITV] looking VERY WORRIED and stating with fear and certainty in his voice, that 'we', the U.K, London, WAS going to be hit next by a terror attack...he warned the people that an attack was coming soon.....and it did.

How did he know you will be asking.
He knew because MI5 had detailed Intelligence warnings of it in records. They passed the names of the terrorists to the Met and warned them of a likely attack on London. The Met asked West Yorks to watch the suspects, but they didn't do that very well. The suspects travelled to London without the knowledge of West Yorks and the Met, because the surveillance of them had FAILED.
They did the dirty deed and people were killed and injured as a result.

After that terrible day, it came to light in the nedia, that MI5 had been kept as short of funding as the army had by Gordon Brown, and that's why MI5 were unable to watch the suspects 24/7 and stop the attack from taking place.

The resources of MI5 were increased after 7/7 and numerous plots have been prevented since then, because MI5 and the Met got their act together. However, some in the Met decided to ignore parts of the Intelligence, which warned to NOT bring in draconian anti-terror laws, because that wouldn't help the situation.

Had the Met taken the Intelligence warning seriously about 7-7 [or the 6th, as it was delayed by one day] after the attack on Madrid, then the Emergency Services SHOULD have been prepared for the attack.

It is totally unfair, and out of order, for the press or anyone else, to blame the fire officers on the ground that day for the chaos and delays in rescuing people. If their managers are more concerned about the "Health and Safety" at work regulations and ORDER them to hold back on a rescue, those officers should not feel personal guilt about that.

The buck ultimately stops at No10, and Tony Blair KNEW it was coming.
He stated that on national TV, before it happened. He KNEW that they would get through and murder people, because that is exactly what was PREDICTED in the security services Intelligence records....
Along with the 9-11 terror attack, which happened because U.S security didn't take it seriously enough.....

Government has also NOT LISTENED to the security service warning in Intel records, to NOT CONTINUE WITH NUCLEAR POWER STATIONS because they are a serious danger and risk to life and national security. How dare they play such a reckless and selfish game with the lives of future generations and our environment. Who would deal with a nuclear explosion?
Not MP's, and not ACPO's.....

There are vested interests in government, no doubt with SHARES in the nuclear industry, in the names of family members.

This is one U-TURN Dave Cameron REALLY MUST MAKE, in defence of the realm and national security. To "get it right" he must refuse consent for the planned new build of dangerous, high risk, lethal, toxic and polluting nuclear power stations. Anything less would be a very serious MISTAKE by the Tories.

26 October, 2010 03:08

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No doubt those at the "Shudder Squad" meeting after 7/7 2005, would have been saying behind closed doors....BLEEP! We "shudda" prepared for this event, or better still prevented it from happening in the first place. Damage to reputations limitation chaps! Now how can we wriggle out of this one, cover it up and save face?

An ACPO pipes up.....I know, we will say that the fire service shudda dived in quicker to save people, and we'll say that we couldn't have possibly seen that one coming.....and deny that we knew it was going to happen. Whatever happens we'll just blame it on the front line troop and anyone else who says different....and that way we stay out of the poo and keep our pensions! The ACPO's nod a big Yes, to the damage limitation plan of lies and denial. As they do.....

HOWEVER PEOPLE..... Just after the terror attack on Madrid, there was Tony Blair on the TV news [ITV] looking VERY WORRIED and stating with fear and certainty in his voice, that 'we', the U.K, London, WAS going to be hit next by a terror attack...he warned the people that an attack was coming soon.....and it did.

How did he know you will be asking.
He knew because MI5 had detailed Intelligence warnings of it in records. They passed the names of the terrorists to the Met and warned them of a likely attack on London. The Met asked West Yorks to watch the suspects, but they didn't do that very well. The suspects travelled to London without the knowledge of West Yorks and the Met, because the surveillance of them had FAILED.
They did the dirty deed and people were killed and injured as a result.

After that terrible day, it came to light in the nedia, that MI5 had been kept as short of funding as the army had by Gordon Brown, and that's why MI5 were unable to watch the suspects 24/7 and stop the attack from taking place.

The resources of MI5 were increased after 7/7 and numerous plots have been prevented since then, because MI5 and the Met got their act together. However, some in the Met decided to ignore parts of the Intelligence, which warned to NOT bring in draconian anti-terror laws, because that wouldn't help the situation.

Had the Met taken the Intelligence warning seriously about 7-7 [or the 6th, as it was delayed by one day] after the attack on Madrid, then the Emergency Services SHOULD have been prepared for the attack.

It is totally unfair, and out of order, for the press or anyone else, to blame the fire officers on the ground that day for the chaos and delays in rescuing people. If their managers are more concerned about the "Health and Safety" at work regulations and ORDER them to hold back on a rescue, those officers should not feel personal guilt about that.

The buck ultimately stops at No10, and Tony Blair KNEW it was coming.
He stated that on national TV, before it happened. He KNEW that they would get through and murder people, because that is exactly what was PREDICTED in the security services Intelligence records....
Along with the 9-11 terror attack, which happened because U.S security didn't take it seriously enough.....

Government has also NOT LISTENED to the security service warning in Intel records, to NOT CONTINUE WITH NUCLEAR POWER STATIONS because they are a serious danger and risk to life and national security. How dare they play such a reckless and selfish game with the lives of future generations and our environment. Who would deal with a nuclear explosion?
Not MP's, and not ACPO's.....

There are vested interests in government, no doubt with SHARES in the nuclear industry, in the names of family members.

This is one U-TURN Dave Cameron REALLY MUST MAKE, in defence of the realm and national security. To "get it right" he must refuse consent for the planned new build of dangerous, high risk, lethal, toxic and polluting nuclear power stations. Anything less would be a very serious MISTAKE by the Tories.

26 October, 2010 03:08

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Computer must be playing up....I don't know why it double published my post.......

26 October, 2010 03:11

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just out of interest. How many people would a dead fireman save? They rushed in and there was another device. So their deaths are added to the toll plus there is no one left to rescue anyone.
Minty

26 October, 2010 11:05

 
Anonymous Refreshingly Frank said...

"How many people would a dead fireman save?"

The 'risk obligation' points have already been covered - and deleted.

I'm not going to repeat them.

26 October, 2010 13:12

 
Anonymous Refreshingly Frank said...

Bloggsy -

With respect to the personal post to me -

"Anonymous said...
Frank, I do not get paid enough to risk leaving my wife a widow or my child fatherless for someone I do not know." etc.

I see you deleted my reply to that. But the points and flaws I raised are still obvious in his post.

Don't you think it would be better if you posted under your blog name and stop hiding behind the anonymous facility. Are you that unsure of your opinions?

I'm off the thread now because you're getting nasty.

26 October, 2010 13:14

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Survivor Michael Henning described how he stumbled to safety from the wreckage of a bombed Tube train at Aldgate station and pleaded with a group of emergency workers to go underground and help injured and dying passengers.

The firemen on the station platform seemed embarrassed and explained that they had been ordered to stay out of the tunnel because of fears of a second explosion.

Victims died in agony during the delay – and there proved to be no second bomb.

In lamenting the loss of the ‘Blitz Spirit’ – when wartime rescue workers risked their lives to pull people from bombed and blazing buildings – Mr Henning laid bare the uncomfort­able truth: that today’s fire and ambulance crews and particularly today’s police officers are trained to see hypothetical risks to themselves as far more important than the actual safety of the public they are meant to serve.



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1323217/7-7-INQUEST-Why-victims-left-bleed-death.html?ito=feeds-newsxml#ixzz13T42Buv0

26 October, 2010 13:38

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frank,
Interesting. you are running away from an internet debate on an anonymous internet thread because other anonymous posters are "getting nasty", yet you expect the emergency services to run towards and into certain physical danger without any rational thought in order to satisfy your desire that they have "respect".

Tang0

26 October, 2010 14:18

 
Anonymous DBRG said...

Tell the idiots to stick it up their arse Bloggsy:

"A TEAM of rookie Camden police officers were among those commended this week for bravery during the July 7 bombings. The seven trainee police constables had been working just five weeks when they were called to pull passengers from the wreckage of the Piccadilly Line train.

After getting the call at Hampstead police station, officers fought through thick smoke and the fear of a secondary bomb explosion to tend to the injured at Russell Square Station.

PC Claire Moffet, 24, said: "We had started hearing reports of smoke coming out from King's Cross and we were told by our sergeant, Neil Drinkwater, to put on our high visibility jackets. "We drove as fast as we could down to King's Cross. I thought we were going to die before we got there we were going so quick."

PC Phillippa Mason said: "We went down into the tunnel at Russell Square to find the train. There was smoke everywhere and none of the lighting was working. "We came across injured people lying on the platform and the train itself was obliterated." The team battled for three hours in the tunnel helping passengers to safety and comforting those that they could not move."

26 October, 2010 17:50

 
Blogger PC Bloggs said...

Thanks for all the comments, it's a worthwhile debate. Frank- I haven't deleted any comments on this thread.

As for the comments about having a rescue plan in place: they DID, it involved waiting for CBRN equipment to effect the rescue. A short delay, then go in fully equipped. You can't say "send the breathing equipment down to them" if no one knows where on earth they are because they've rushed in with no plan. Earning the respect of the world for dying in a rescue effort is not as good as earning it for saving people, as per the Camden officers.

26 October, 2010 18:38

 
Anonymous Refreshed Frank said...

PC Bloggs said...
"Thanks for all the comments, it's a worthwhile debate. Frank- I haven't deleted any comments on this thread."

Ohhhh yes you have - twice.

"if no one knows where on earth they are"

They are at the scene of the accident

Ahemmmmmm.

26 October, 2010 18:58

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you think our emergency services to rush in with no equipment then run around like headless chickens then Frank? Then the headlines would have screamed 'shambles'.
How far do you expect them to go? At what point would you deem a risk unacceptable? Certain death?
Minty

26 October, 2010 19:53

 
Anonymous painauchocolat said...

NottsSarge at 25 October, 2010 15:10 :

Hear hear, well written sir.

It's the culture from the top down that's the problem, not the heroes from the bottom up.

26 October, 2010 20:29

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Notts srgt summed it up with his comment re risk assessment v risk aversion. As an MOP makes perfect sense to me.
Minty

26 October, 2010 22:24

 
Blogger blueknight said...

Years back I tried to save a man from a smouldering smoke filled flat. Fire Brigade were on the way but I thought I'd have a go. I managed to kick the door open and got into the hallway but the smoke was choking me and I could not see anything.
If I had stayed in there without breathing equipment, the Brigade would have had to rescue me as well.
As it turned out the occupant was drunk and had left the chip pan on. He survived.
You have to weigh up the risks.

26 October, 2010 23:11

 
Anonymous Ron Broxted said...

See the Crimewatch on Blakelock? L.O.B. It was inaccurate as he was beheaded. As for 7/7 plod were out of their depth, no picket line starving miners to run down. New Scotland Yard delenda est.

26 October, 2010 23:54

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Ronnie,
After your destruction of the police what do you intend to replace the us with?
The addled collection of swampies and Irish terrorists that you appear to support aren't really going to rub along without us now are they?

Tang0

27 October, 2010 00:01

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having been at the scene of a bomb blast (Soho bomb) I will say that it is very foolish to just rush in. The biggest risk (apart from scrambling over injured people and further injuring or killing them) is that there is a second bomb just waiting to catch you as you go in. It is always going to be a difficult judgement call and until you have been there, or been in a similar situation, you are simply not qualified to make a judgement. I am, by the way, not a police officer. I did however end up having to do some major co-ordination work on 07/07 (not at any of the scenes) and the problem with making decisions is that you can only proceed with the information you have, knowing that your decisions could dramatically affect the lives and wellbeing of those around you. And what greets you at a bomb blast is complete devastation and many injured and dead people. You can't save everyone and you have to make decisions that provide the best outcome for as many people as possible. Never easy and there is always going to be some eejit who insists they could do it better (normally the ones found running away or standing by the side of the road, gawping. Or in this case, being brave behind a keyboard.

27 October, 2010 00:35

 
Blogger PC Bloggs said...

"They are at the scene of the accident"

Which is... Circle line? District line? Northbound? Southbound? On the platform? 50m along the tunnel? 100m along?

27 October, 2010 06:08

 
Blogger PC Bloggs said...

Frank - your comment had gone automatically into the Spam folder and has now been published.

27 October, 2010 06:11

 
Anonymous DBRG said...

@Ron Broxsted - you're wrong about PC Blakelock. Contemporaneous press reports write only of clear attempts to decapitate him.
In any case, I'm not sure what point you're making.
...
I should've known - your blog gives away the kind of cretin you are.
...
Happily another site can shed some light on 'Ron': "Ron Broxted the five foot four fat cockney dwarf, real name is Chris Ferguson and he is a male prostitute and grass who helped get several of the ALF banged up along with some IRA volunteers."
Click my name for a link and discussion...

27 October, 2010 09:55

 
Anonymous Refreshingly Frank said...

Bloggsy

Locating -
Follow the cries, or shout and wait for replies. But the older more experienced officers should have the initiative to set up communication lines. For example officers remaining at key points to direct the follow up support.

Spam file -
Thank you for printing.

PS - I have finished your book, absolutely brilliant! I am telling everyone about it. When are you going to do your next one? I can see you becoming as famous and wealthy as James Herriot, of whom I am a great admirer.

I remain, your admiring fan and loyal supporter.

:)

27 October, 2010 11:12

 
Anonymous Refreshingly Frank said...

Blueknight

But you tried, Blueknight, you tried.

27 October, 2010 11:13

 
Anonymous Retired Sgt said...

Ah-The Blitz Spirit-My grandfather was an ARP in WW" after serving in the RHA as a Farrier in WW1.
He often said (and would have said it now) that the biggest headache when a bomb dropped was people rushing to rescue everyone instead of taking a few minutes to get organized
find out who was there and make sure they knew what they were doing.Seen the pictures on the TV of the chaos that ensues at an earthquake in the third world.
Perhaps it is time to start an education programme in the UK or what about bringing back Civil Defence?
But then people were more likely to do as they were tol

27 October, 2010 15:13

 
Anonymous NottsSarge said...

Retired Sgt - next time I want to take some leave, can you cover for me?

27 October, 2010 15:42

 
Blogger thespecialone said...

I remember driving to a job in the business I used to own that day and Radio 2 News were reporting that the tube in London was virtually shutdown because of a 'power surge'. This was being reported around 1100 so around 2 hours after the first bomb (I think the first went off just after 0900 didnt it?). In other words, it was obviously chaos and nobody knew exactly what was happening. I do feel sorry for the emergency services that day because nobody, and I include those ex-servicemen/women had faced anything like this in Britain before (suicide bombers). Just look at how the IRA/Taleban/etc plant secondary devices just to harm the rescuers. Hindsight is a fantastic thing. However, no matter how much training you do, you cannot possibly plan for every scenario. Being ex-navy I did lots of damage control and fire exercises. When it came to do this for real (Falklands for instance), all the training in the world cannot prepare you for the fear and adrenalin that goes through your body.
I am convinced that if another attack took place of any kind on such a large scale, then things will go wrong. The media will then highlight the failings and virtually ignore all the good.
There are only one group that are responsible for the deaths on that day; and that is the suicide bombers themselves.

27 October, 2010 17:28

 
Blogger Maturecheese said...

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article2512401.ece

Anyone remember this? Makes you proud doesn't it?

Picture WW2 now, where would we get the merchant seamen, Royal Navy crews,Bomber crews,Firemen etc.

All a bit too dangerous for modern tastes and so we would roll over and speak German, or as a modern comparison, become Islamic.

Personal safety is important but so is making a judgement on the individual situation and if you are not capable of doing this without fretting about H&S rules then don't take a job where this is essential.

28 October, 2010 10:31

 
Anonymous DBRG said...

I'm sorry, I realise this is a public forum, that may also be read from time-to-time by children as well as thick-witted adults such as the eedjut now known to me as Maturecheese.

If you honestly believe that we're told NOT to save lives because of health and safety you're a bigger moron than Pete The Troll and that clown Ron Broxted. You could be their idiot offspring, however.

What we are told is to use common sense: assess a situation and react appropriately. If some pissed-up idiot is drowning in the Thames I might jump in - but then he might drown us both in panic. Probably best to see whether I can rescue him safely by engaging my brain first, no?

Perhaps you can try it for yourself before you indulge yourself in another exercise in witless copy-and-pastism.

Better still, try joining the Specials, then you can do real, instead of keyboard, heroics in your spare time.

28 October, 2010 11:25

 
Anonymous Retired Sgt said...

Notts Sarge
Of course I will cover for you when you have leave.
However you will have to deal with all the sudden deaths on the SMT floor after I have scythed my way through them.

28 October, 2010 12:45

 
Blogger jerym said...

Just keep reminding yourselves that a very large proportion of people in these situations base their opinions on what they have seen of the latest blockbuster from Hollywood

31 October, 2010 11:18

 
Anonymous DSG said...

So,if I was a policeman and I saw someone drowning,I either jump in,regardless of my own safety and save them,or I wait for backup like a good little policeman and watch him/her die? Bitch.

07 November, 2010 12:51

 
Blogger Simon Baddeley said...

Vexation and anger thickens the keyboard warrior. No-one knows what they'd do in an emergency until it happens. Training can institutionalise routine responses, ensure the most rational professional action (as applied to 7/7, though not to JCdeM in the tube, and make it easier to handle fear, but bureaucracies can't make rules for personal bravery - sensible or foolish. Long ago i did Conrad’s Lord Jim for A-level; Jim, harboured dreams of his own heroism; who when the pilgrim ship Patna, on which he was first mate, seemed about to founder, surprised himself for ever by deserting his passengers and jumping with his skipper and other officers into its only lifeboat. At the time my dad, who knew war, said by way of essay homework but also, I suspect, parental advice: "Don’t assume that you will, if tested, act as you’d wish to have acted. Don’t ever assume that someone of whom you may have little opinion, as indeed they may have of themselves, will not surprise you and indeed themselves, when a circumstance arises in which they have a choice between cowardice and courage. You don’t know until and if it happens."

09 January, 2011 10:15

 
Anonymous DSG said...

Did you happen to assume, by any strange chance, that the purpose of the emergency services was to rescue people in an emergency from the prospect of death or injury? Indeed. So did we all.

Well, more fool us! It turns out that their purpose is to avoid anything that puts themselves at risk - and they’ve got a health and safety rule book that says so.

30 May, 2011 13:00

 

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