I wanted to take the opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year and to hope you celebrated the start of 2019 in good spirits with family and friends.
Now that we’re a few days into the New Year, it’s good to look ahead and think about what this year may bring us. But first, a quick look back.
This last year has been a busy one nationally with the huge impact created by the Salisbury incident in March 2018, the Novichok nerve agent poisoning has had significant implications across the UK for all those involved in the resilience and emergency preparedness particularly the emergency services, NHS and Local Authorities and the consequences of this major incident will continue for many more years. In the North West the summer months brought some fantastic weather, but this in turn led to the devastating moorlands fires around Winter Hill and Saddleworth requiring multi-agency working across a number of Local Resilience Forums.
A reminder of the ongoing terrorist threat came as recently as New Year’s Eve with the stabbing of three people at Manchester Victoria Railway Station and the ramping up of the multi-agency emergency protocols and procedures to deal with the concerns created by this incident again emphasising need to be constantly planning and preparing for new threats and risks.
As a Branch we have worked hard to provide training events that give you the members the knowledge and experience of ‘lessons learned’ to ensure you are better prepared to both plan and respond to major incidents that affect our region. In particular I refer back to the excellent event held at Manchester Metropolitan University in October with the excellent speakers that gave up their time to explain and recount their experiences of the Manchester Arena Attack as well as the thoughtful presentation of the findings of the Kerslake Report.
So we move to 2019 and the Branch has been busy preparing some really interesting study days that are only available through your membership of the EPS. The first one is scheduled for Tuesday 19th March at the Liverpool Cruise Terminal and in addition we are really pleased to have our National Chair Jacqui Semple attending the event, a first since her appointment as Chair last year, Jacqui will be able to give us an update on the EPS nationally and the work that is being done on behalf of members as well as the opportunity for members to ask questions.
Finally I would like to thank you all for your significant support and dedication to keeping our region prepared, safe and resilient during these challenging times. The year ahead will bring its own challenges but I’m sure by working together, keeping focussed on our priorities and by continually striving to develop our professional skills we can make our communities a safer place to live in.
Take Care and Be Safe
EPS North West Branch Chair