Thursday 3 November, 2022: Today saw the Manchester Arena Inquiry publish volume two of its report, focused on the emergency response to the tragic events of the bombing on 22 May, 2017.
While St John Ambulance was not involved that night, our role as the country’s leading provider of first aid at events means we have a responsibility to reflect on the report’s findings, learn from them and respond.
And as we work to implement the inquiry’s recommendations, our thoughts are, as ever, with the victims of this appalling attack and their loved ones at this difficult time.
Key aspects of St John Ambulance’s work have already been informed by learnings from reviews that took place in the immediate aftermath of the terror attack.
The Kerslake Report – following a non-statutory independent review commissioned by the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham – was published in spring 2018 and we responded immediately to implement the lessons learned.
Our actions included the rollout of tourniquet training, changes to aspects of our Event Management Foundation course and the creation of a Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) service - a trauma-focused peer support system, designed to help people who have experienced a traumatic, or potentially traumatic, event – for St John people.
We have also worked with partners, including Counter Terror Policing and citizenAID, to develop Government-approved standards for Public Access Trauma (PAcT) Kits – launched last November – and lobbied for their introduction alongside public access defibrillators as lifesaving equipment for use in emergencies.
Since spring 2022, our response has focused increasingly on Manchester itself. We have already reached more than 14,000 people through our volunteer-led ‘Three Ways to Save a Life’ campaign working in partnership with the BBC to train members of the public in first aid.
St John is now looking at how we can join with partners in Greater Manchester and the wider event medical sector to work collaboratively and ensure we implement the recommendations and lessons learned from this tragedy, as swiftly and effectively as possible.