Posted: Wednesday 19th July 2017
Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen our emergency services workers at their very best - confronting danger, risking their own safety and utilising their skills under immense pressure to save others. Many of them, of course, are reluctant to accept praise and say it is all part of the job they signed up for. Job descriptions aside, it has become clear in recent weeks that our blue light workers often go far beyond the call of duty to protect ordinary people like you and I and sadly some pay the ultimate price.
As well as passionate, dedicated people, an effective emergency response requires good planning and preparation. We’ve seen just how critical robust training and readiness is to preserving life in the atrocities in London and Manchester. The many mock incidents and simulated exercises undertaken by our colleagues in the Met, for instance, ensured that when armed teams were called upon in a real incident, they arrived swiftly and effectively.
I was recently invited to observe similar preparation when I attended a multiagency water and land-based search and rescue operation on the River Trent. The exercise brought together the Nottinghamshire Search and Rescue Team (NSART), Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, five police special constables and Water Safe UK Search and Rescue Team (WUKSART) to respond to a simulated incident involving a vehicle crashing into the River Trent art Gunthorpe Lock with five occupants.
During the day I was invited to sit in on police briefings and accompany the Underwater Search Team on water as they carried out their duties. The way in which each of these individual specialist teams worked together and communicated so effectively to manage resources and resolve this incident was incredibly reassuring.
I hope that in Calverton we will never be faced with an incident of this magnitude however it is good to know that the expertise and resources are ready if required and that our specialist search teams are well-rehearsed to deal with such a situation.
The NSART is staffed exclusively by volunteers who join the many hundreds of people in Nottinghamshire who give up their time every year to keep the public safe. We are lucky to have so many dedicated volunteers, including the Special Constables involved in this operation, who support police work and improve Nottinghamshire’s resilience and capacity to deal with serious incidents.
As well as giving up their time to respond in real emergencies, these volunteers also take part in many joint emergency exercises and training programmes to test procedures and ensure we are all in the best possible position to cope with a large, complex incident.
I’m very proud of the partnership work going on in Nottinghamshire to improve public safety and reduce the threat of harm. Having seen our emergency procedures in action, I’m also reassured we can deliver the best response possible when called upon.
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner