Manchester Arena attack

Year: 2018  (Resolution no: Emergency motion remitted)

Nominating section: GMC

Policy text:

Conference remembers the twenty two people murdered at the Manchester Arena on 22nd May 2017, and also the many people injured and affected by the events of that night. Conference welcomes The Kerslake Report into the Emergency Services response to the attack which was published on 27th March 2018.

This report raised concerns in relation to some of the multi-agency responses to the Arena incident.

The Report States that ‘Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service did not arrive at the scene and therefore played no meaningful role in the response to the attack for nearly two hours’ and that the effect of this delay was that ‘….a valuable resource was not available to assist on the scene’.

Also that:

‘The Fire Service was effectively ‘outside the loop’ having no presence at the rendezvous point established by the police, little awareness of what was happening at the Arena and only a very limited and belated presence at Strategic Gold Command’.

The report goes on to state that the reasons for the failure of GMFRS to respond adequately to the attack were due to:

‘A combination of poor communication and poor procedures’ and that ‘GMFRS will need to reflect on the wider issues it raises for their operational culture and approach to multi agency working’.

Conference notes the open letter to firefighters 30th March 2018 written by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority Mayor Andy Burnham when he stated:

“I know you were desperate to help but were prevented from doing so by decisions taken above you” and that “The failure is not yours but one of process, leadership and culture.”

Conference therefore calls upon local officials to meet urgently with service managers and decision makers, to raise and discuss the Kerslake Report (into the issues arising from the Manchester Arena incident) to make sure that their local Brigades are prepared for any such future attack and that the failings as identified within the report never occur again.

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