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London’s emergency services showcased how they work together this morning in a dramatic demonstration on the River Thames which saw volunteers rescued from a burning boat. The demonstration was part of the Blue Light Collaboration Day, where London Fire Brigade, the Metropolitan Police and London Ambulance Service, ran through a series of scenarios including a river rescue, responding to a firearms terrorist attack and the release of an unknown hazardous gas. London Mayor Sadiq Khan was joined by strategic leaders and decision makers from across regional and national government to observe the three services demonstrate their readiness to respond to incidents and do whatever is needed to keep the capital safe.
London Coastguard, the RNLI, the Port of London Authority and other organisations also took part.
"Prepared for every eventuality"
London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton said:
“The blue light services work together daily but few people appreciate the sheer breadth of our skills. London’s emergency services regularly deal with a huge variety of incidents and while we never know what each day will bring, collaboration like this means we are prepared as we can possibly be for every eventuality. “I hope in this year when the city’s emergency services have been brought into sharp focus that today reassures Londoners we constantly stand ready should the worst happen.”
"A unique city with a unique set of challenges"
The Mayor said: “Over the past year, our emergency services have shown incredible courage and compassion in the face of four barbaric terror attacks and the horrific fire at Grenfell Tower. We have seen them run towards danger and help the wounded while encouraging others to run to safety.
“It seems even more appropriate to commend them as we mark one year since the tragic Croydon tram crash this week. London is a unique city with a unique set of challenges, and at a time of increased demand, budget cuts and unprecedented threats to our security, it’s vital we all work as one to keep Londoners safe. Training together means that our emergency services can develop new ways to collaborate, improve our response to incidents, and be as prepared as possible for every eventuality.”
As well as the dramatic river rescue scenario, guests watched:
•Police stop an armed assailant from launching an attack
•A casualty brought to safety from an upper floor during a line rescue
•A team of negotiators talk down a person threatening to jump
•Agencies working together to sweep and evacuate a building after the release of a hazardous gas.
Met Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick said: “The tragic attacks on our city this year have really highlighted to the public the strength in our joint emergency services response, in the worst possible circumstances. On a daily basis we all work together to help and protect the public. “Those strong working practices have developed over many years. I am proud to be able to show case our joint skills and working on behalf of the hard working men and women of all three emergency services.” London Ambulance Service Chief Executive Garrett Emmerson said:
“The events of this year have shown that it’s absolutely essential that we work together, as well as look after the welfare of our staff.
“Today’s demonstrations highlight the incredible skills of our frontline teams, who often work in extremely challenging environments. We already have a strong relationship with our emergency service colleagues and this year has only made it stronger.” In October 2015 the Metropolitan Police Service, London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service made a formal commitment to collaborate more closely in order to improve both the effectiveness and efficiency of the blue light services. The Blue Light Collaboration Day aims to show our commitment to this agreement and also highlight that we have been working closely together on a daily basis for many years.