The keynote discussion at the EPS’s 2018 Networking Study Day was led by Lord Kerslake and Dr Hugh Deeming, authors of the Kerslake Review into the events around the terror attack on Manchester Arena on 22 May, 2017.
Lord Kerslake explained this was only the third time he had spoken publicly about the report. He stressed that overall the response of the emergency services and responding agencies was positive, but the review also had to look at areas of concern, in particular the initial failure of the Casualty Bureau service, the delays to the fire service arriving on scene, and the role of some sections of the media.
However, he said it was clear for the overall response that years of multi-agency planning had paid off, and the incident demonstrated “the importance of interoperability based on situational awareness”.
Dr Deeming examined the role of the Etihad centre set up by the local authority, initially as a Reception Centre but which then became a Family and Friends Reception Centre for those trying to find missing loved ones. He said the transition was challenging, but fortunately the leadership was very good.
He also looked at the problems faced by the fire service, caused by rigid organisational structures, using the ‘Swiss cheese roll’ methodology, as outlined by James Reason in ‘The Human Contribution’, to demonstrate what happened.
There will be full reports of the major discussions in the next issue of Resilience magazine, distributed to all members of the EPS – to get your copy join the EPS now.