Commend our Emergency Services Heroes Call to Oldham Council

Councillor Chris Gloster, Oldham Council Liberal Democrat Shadow Cabinet Member for Health and Well-being, is calling on Oldham Council to commend the staff of the emergency services and local hospitals who responded with “courage, professionalism and dedication” to the recent Manchester Arena Bombing.

Councillor Gloster has submitted a motion for discussion at the next meeting of Oldham Council on Wednesday 12 July.

Being himself a former police officer of 35 years-experience, Councillor Gloster knows all too well the pressure and expectations placed upon staff in the emergency services when they are required to respond to major incidents of this nature:

“It is to their tremendous credit that although the majority of first responders had never faced an incident of such mass violence and brutality, or dealt with injuries of this type, they acted selflessly without hesitation and in so doing saved many lives that otherwise would have been lost.”

“Also in our hospitals, National Health Service staff at Accident and Emergency Units across Greater Manchester unflinchingly pulled together to treat the injured, saving lives and in some cases limbs, of those most seriously injured, and here I must particularly praise the staff of the Royal Oldham Hospital who dealt with many of the casualties.

Cllr Gloster wants the Council to recognise the extraordinary efforts of police officers, ambulance teams, fire crews and medical staff on the night of the bombing, and afterwards, but his motion also praises staff at Victoria Railway Staff for their work in minimising the disruption to public transport and the public for their response.

He added: “The many selfless acts that took place at the time of the attack and since the attack from members of the public from all walks of life, who have come together as a community to help people whom they do not know and have never met, are truly astounding. It would be remiss of me not to pay tribute to the organisers of the local vigils and the wake held at Tandle Hill and Alexandra Park, and to everyone involved in the tremendous fund-raising efforts.”

“The public’s actions demonstrate that we really are stronger as a Greater Manchester community when ‘We Stand Together’.”

The Motion reads: The Manchester Arena Bombing

 Council notes with revulsion that, at 10.31 pm on Monday 22 May 2017, a terrorist attack took place at the Manchester Arena when a 22 year old British Muslim man detonated an improvised explosive device within the confines of the arena killing himself and 22 innocent adults and children and injuring a further 119 adults and children, 23 of them critically.

Although any deaths or injuries in such a terrorist outrage are horrific, the Council and people of Oldham were especially saddened to hear that amongst the dead were two women from Royton, Alison Howe and Lisa Lees.

The perpetrator of this atrocity, Salman Abedi, claimed to have performed this act of terrorism in the name of Islam.

This Council condemns terrorism in any form, and does not recognise or believe that this horrific act had anything to do with Islam, but was committed by a deranged man who had been radicalised into the mistaken belief that he would be going to a better place, when in fact his only achievement was to bring death to himself and others and worldwide condemnation of his actions from people of all religions, creeds, beliefs and people of no faith alike.

This Council recognises, and commends:

  • The courage, professionalism and dedication of the many members of the Emergency Services at the scene and in local hospitals.

Although the majority of first responders had never faced an incident of such mass violence and brutality, or dealt with injuries of this type, they acted selflessly without hesitation and in so doing saved many lives that otherwise would have been lost.

In our hospitals, National Health Service staff at Accident and Emergency Units across Greater Manchester, unflinchingly pulled together to treat the injured, saving lives and in some cases limbs, of those most seriously injured.

Council notes that many of these casualties were treated at the Royal Oldham Hospital.

  • The many selfless acts that took place at the time of the attack and since the attack from members of the public from all walks of life, who have come together as a community to help people whom they do not know and have never met.

Council especially commends the local vigils held and the tremendous fund-raising effort to support the victims of this tragedy and their families.

  • The work of staff of Transport for Greater Manchester, Metrolink and bus and rail companies in seeking to minimise the disruption to public transport services resulting from the closure of Victoria Station.

In recognition of these efforts, this Council directs the Chief Executive to write to:

  • The Chief Constable, Greater Manchester Police
  • The Chief Constable, British Transport Police
  • The Chief Fire Officer, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
  • The Chief Officer, North West Ambulance Service
  • The Chief Executive, NHS Pennine Acute Trust
  • The Chief Executive, Transport for Greater Manchester

To extend the gratitude and admiration of Council for the efforts of their staff both on the night and post incident.

Furthermore, Oldham Council places on record its admiration for the general public of Greater Manchester in facing up to the enormity of this tragedy; the public’s actions have demonstrated that we really are stronger as a Greater Manchester community when ‘We Stand Together’.

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