Showing posts with label England. Show all posts
Showing posts with label England. Show all posts

Saturday, November 18, 2017

UK:Thirty years on has anything really changed for our firefighters?

Kings Cross fire: Thirty years on has anything really changed for our firefighters?

The Telegraph UK
Cara McGoogan
November 18, 2017

For ten years, Roger Kendall couldn’t go into the underground. He worked at a fire station in Soho, but would travel on foot or by motorbike - never on the Tube. For him, it hadn't felt safe since November 18, 1987, when, in the middle of rush hour, flames tore through the underground station at Kings Cross.

The Soho fire brigade a few months after Colin Townsley's death (Kendall fourth from the right) CREDIT:CITY ABLAZE/MARTIN POWELL
"I felt ill and started sweating any time I went near the underground, so I wouldn't go on it," says Kendall. "I avoided it, it didn't feel safe. It took me over 10 years to get back on an underground train."
The former firefighter was one of the first on the scene at the devastating Kings Cross fire, in which 31 people died and 100 were injured. On that night, 30 years ago today, he watched countless people be engulfed in smoke and found himself saying goodbye to his boss - and role model.
After the blaze eased, Kendall’s firefighters started to emerge from the underground. He noticed a number of them had urinated themselves out of fear. What he didn’t see, though, was Townsley.
“Before the flash happened he’d obviously read signs in the pattern of the smoke that something was going to happen, because he sent back the guys he was with,” Kendall recalls. “He was found with his arms around two people he was trying to rescue.” 
Townsley had died, aged 45, leaving behind a wife and two teenage daughters. “It was just devastating,” says Kendall.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Airman Took a Knee, After Anthem

If you still think that taking a knee during the National Anthem is not disrespecting the troops, read this story. This Airman not only stood for the anthem of the US and the UK, he was slammed for taking a knee instead of fainting!

Maybe now you'll understand how the stunt the football players are doing hits the troops and veterans. The National Anthem was written for them after the war of 1812, when yet again, the troops defended this country and united a nation after the Civil War. Want to protest? They gave you the right to do it. So why protest against them?

Outrage sparked after airman takes knee during ceremony; Air Force says he felt faint
Stars and Stripes
William Howard
November 14, 2017

An airman, while part of a ceremonial detail from RAF Mildenhall, stepped out of the formation and took a knee when the music to reveille began playing during a Remembrance Day ceremony in Mildenhall, England, on Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017. Air Force officials said the airman felt faint, but others on social media interpreted the photo as a protest. The airman previously stood and saluted during the U.S. and British national anthems.COURTESY PHOTO

RAF MILDENHALL, England — An airman attacked on social media for appearing to take a knee in protest during a Remembrance Day service near the Mildenhall War Memorial on Sunday morning was just feeling faint, Air Force officials said.
The airman first class from RAF Mildenhall, while participating in a ceremony detail in dress uniform, stood and saluted during the U.S. and British national anthems, according to photos contributed to Stars and Stripes. He stepped backward out of the formation and fell to a knee when the music to reveille began playing.
Feeling faint after locking the knees during formation “can be a common occurrence for airmen participating in these types of events and at no time did this airman display or intend any disrespect to either the U.S. or U.K. servicemembers the event was honoring,” the base said in a statement on Monday.
The airman’s name is being withheld because of threats he has received and concerns about his safety, the base said.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Missing Veteran Alert: Scotland Veteran Paul Ellis

An Iraq War veteran who was reported missing has been found.

Family's desperate plea over missing Iraq war veteran
STV News Scotland
Chris Foote
29 mins ago

The family of a missing Iraq war veteran and PTSD-sufferer say they are "desperate to get him home".
Paul Ellis is believed to have travelled from Glasgow to Edinburgh by train on Saturday afternoon.

He arrived at Waverley station at around 2.35pm and then boarded a second train headed to London, although it is unclear whether he arrived in the capital.

The family of the 53-year-old, who served two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan with the Royal Navy Reserve, are concerned for his welfare.

Speaking to STV News, they said: "Paul's family loves him so much and we're desperate to get him home. We just want to know that he's okay."
read more here

Sunday, May 8, 2016

President Bush and Prince Harry Talk About Invisible Wounds At Invictus

Bush, Prince Harry highlight invisible wounds at Invictus
Orlando Sentinel
Paul Brinkmann
May 8, 2016

Del Toro was burned severely over much of his body and lost fingers in 2005 in Afghanistan. But he said psychological wounds were also very real. He said the military and his health-care team treated his visible wounds, but "my family dealt with my invisible wounds."
Bush underscored a major theme of the day when he suggested dropping the D from the end of PSTD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). "We don't view it as a disorder we view it as an injury," Bush said during a panel discussion.
Britain's Prince Harry joined former President George W. Bush Sunday afternoon on Disney World property to present and showcase ideas on how society can help military personnel overcome mental and emotional wounds after returning from active service.

The event took place just before the official opening of the international Invictus Games for wounded warriors, which is taking place this week at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports. Brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and other "invisible" wounds were front and center.

The symposium brought a large international crowd to Disney's Shades of Green resort, an official U.S. Armed Forces Recreation Center Resort.

More than 500 competitors from 14 nations are competing in archery, cycling, indoor rowing, power lifting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, and wheelchair tennis.
read more here

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Price Harry Feels Responsible for Veterans Because He is One

It has been said that if leaders had to go to war, wars would come to an end.
January 10, 1946
“I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its stupidity.”
General Dwight D. Eisenhower Speech in Ottawa
Prince Harry, Michelle Obama honor wounded veterans 
The British royal said he first felt a responsibility to help veterans following his first tour of Afghanistan.
By Annie Martin
Oct. 28, 2015
"It hit me then that this flight was one of many, carrying home men and women whose lives would be changed forever, and some who had made the ultimate sacrifice. From that moment, I knew I had a responsibility to help all veterans, who had made huge personal sacrifices for their countries, to lead healthy and dignified lives after service." Prince Harry
FORT BELVOIR, Va., Oct. 28 (UPI) -- Prince Harry and first lady Michelle Obama honored wounded veterans Wednesday in Fort Belvoir, Va.

The 31-year-old British royal and 51-year-old American advocate visited injured servicemen and women with Jill Biden, professor and wife to vice president Joe Biden.

Prince Harry arrived in the U.S. earlier in the day to promote the upcoming Invictus Games.

The event sees wounded armed services personnel partake in multiple athletic challenges, and will be held May 8-12, 2016, outside Orlando, Fla. read more here

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Emergency Responders More Susceptible to PTSD

From 2008 to 2010 I took just about every training offered on Crisis Intervention available in Florida. I was certified as a Chaplain in 2008 by the IFOC. I focused on taking care of first responders since they were like most of the veterans I had experience with. Then it was more training including Disaster and Extreme Event Preparedness.

When I read this and the numbers, I remembered the training and what we knew back then. So why wasn't this training pushed for every group of first responders so they could find the support they needed in time to save their lives?
Fire Fighter Quarterly: Bringing PTSD Out of the Shadows
(The following article appeared in the Winter 2015 edition of the IAFF Fire Fighter Quarterly)
In just an 18-month period from 2008-09, Chicago Local 2 lost seven members to suicide. In 2010, four members of Phoenix, AZ Local 493 took their own lives.

Philadelphia, PA Local 22 has lost at least one member to suicide every year over the past five years. While each situation was different, Local 22 President Joe Schulle believes that work policies played a role.

A 20-year veteran firefighter at an urban fire department, John Smith had responded to every kind of imaginable — and unimaginable — emergency incident over the course of his career.

As a fire fighter, Smith sees people on their worst days, and the incidents he responds to on a daily basis can be truly horrific.

But it wasn’t until he saw a brother fall through the floor of a burning home to his death that the trauma stayed with him, and it seemed it would never get out of his mind. At the most unexpected times, he would relive the tragedy or hear his brother call for help. Every call became a stressful experience, even the most routine.

Smith thought he just needed time to recover, but the anxiety only escalated. Even stepping foot in the firehouse or completing routine tasks became daunting.

But he never told anyone about what he was experiencing. One day, a crew mate took him aside and said, “I think I know what you’re going through, and I think I can help.”

While this is a fictional account, it depicts an all-too-common behavioral health issue in the fire service.

Emergency responders are more susceptible to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) because of the nature of the profession, coupled with the personal demands and challenges fire fighters and paramedics face.

“IAFF members respond to any number of incredible events, many of them tragic,” says General President Harold Schaitberger. “PTSD is a terrible condition that affects fire fighters and paramedics at double the rate of the general population, and we need a better way to deal with it.”
“People with PTSD are six times more likely to attempt suicide compared to demographically matched controls,” says Dr. Suzy Gulliver, who has participated in a number of studies on PTSD, and currently is founding director and chief of the Warriors Research Institute (WRI), which engages in multidisciplinary studies on the traumatic stress experienced by both soldiers and first responders.
Unfortunately, in many departments, even if the stigma is reduced, there are no programs in place for addressing behavioral health issues. Others may offer employee assistance programs (EAPs) but these are simply a referral line to community services.

“We need to do a better job of recognizing the signs and symptoms and providing the tools to help address it,” says Schaitberger. “Behavioral health services need to be embedded in all fire departments.”
read more here

Israel reported that 9 out of 10 firemen suffer from symptoms of psychological trauma, according to an expert who spoke before a session of the Knesset Labor, Social Welfare and Health Committee

Canada lost 23 firefighters to suicide in the first part of 2014

" Beyond The Call " Full Length PTSD Training Documentary
London Professional Fire Fighters Association

UPDATE from Australia
Vets, paramedics among jobs with highest suicide rates
AUGUST 02, 2015

VETERINARIANS, paramedics, security guards, truck drivers and engineers share some of the state’s deadliest jobs a new report has found.
One of the starkest contrasts is among emergency workers, with Victoria’s paramedics having an average annual suicide rate of 35.6 per 100,000 workers - more than three-and-a-half times higher than police (10 per 100,000), and fire fighters and other emergency workers (10.5).

Only vets recorded a higher suicide rate at 38.2 per 100,000. And in findings that will surprise many, hairdressers (11.2), real estate agents (13.4) and engineers (21) were all found to have higher rates of suicide than police, fire fighters and other non-paramedic emergency workers.

Security guards (34.6) and truck drivers (23.3) are also professions that appear to need greater support.
read more here

Friday, July 3, 2015

July 4 Celebrations Canceled at UK Bases Due to 'Threat Assessments'

July 4 Celebrations Canceled at UK Bases Due to 'Threat Assessments' 
Stars and Stripes
July 3, 2015

A C-130 Hercules from the Air Force Reserve Command's 440th Airlift 
Wing at General Mitchell Air Reserve Station, Wis., sits on the ramp
during a 4th of July (2007) fireworks display. (U.S. Air Force archive photo/Joe Oliva)
The U.S. Air Force has canceled 4th of July events in Britain due to “local threat assessments,” it was announced Thursday.

A statement on the website of Royal Air Force Mildenhall said RAFs Lakenheath and Mildenhall called off celebrations set for Friday and Saturday at Royal Air Force Feltwell.

“The decision was made due to the most current local threat assessments. The base continually surveys the security environment alongside host nation counterparts and must take appropriate measures based on those assessments,” the statement said.

The statement quoted Col. David Eaglin, 48th Fighter Wing vice commander, as saying the decision was taken in the interest of safety.
read more here

Friday, June 26, 2015

Tourist Learns To Not Challenge Queen's Guard

News UK News
Soldiers Dramatic moment Queen's Guard soldier draws gun at show-off tourist pestering him 
Mirror UK
26 JUNE 2015

The Ministry of Defence supported the soldier's judgement and said he was 'there to protect himself, the sentry position and the Queen'
Almost immediately, the guard stops his march, pulls his weapon on the tourist and shouts: "Step back from the Queen's Guard," causing the man to swiftly back away in terror. Keeping an air of professionalism, the guard then replaces his weapon on his shoulder before continuing with his march.
This show-off tourist found out exactly why you should never pester a Queen's Guard while he's on official duty - because you might get a gun pointed in your face. In the clip, a man marches alongside the soldier as he paces up and down outside the royal residence. As he turns, a tourist in the background is heard commenting: "His gun is jammed." Unbelievably, the tourist starts marching alongside the soldier, then puts his hand on his shoulder - the same shoulder he is carrying his bayonet tipped rifle. read more here

Saturday, November 1, 2014

UFO surrounded by helicopters on rural road

UFO surrounded by helicopters on rural road: National Geographic hunts answers
Roz Zurko
October 31, 2014
They were in the Piney Woods just outside of Huffman, Texas in 1981 when they saw a UFO hovering over the road ahead of them, describes the website Blue Blurry Lines.

Some UFO sightings are much more intriguing than others, like the UFO that was surrounded by 23 helicopters seemingly trying to corral the spacecraft. This is a case still talked about today. Then there's the case of an unknown spacecraft that plays cat and mouse with jet fighters, this is another UFO sighting that can’t be ignored. These sightings are too detailed and seen by too many reputable people to dismiss them as being mistaken for a weather balloon.

How about the case of the Australian pilot disappearing mid-flight just after he radios in that a “strange craft” appears to be “dancing” around his aircraft? This is another encounter not to be taken lightly, according to Open Minds TV on Oct. 30.
read more here

Victoria Cross For Bravery in WWI 1st Muslim Soldier

Story of the first Muslim soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross
As two former heads of the Army call for greater recognition of Khudadad Khan, the first Muslim soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross, we outline who he was and the actions that led to his medal
Telegraph UK
By Edward Malnick
31 Oct 2014
Sepoy Khudadad Khan was awarded the Victoria Cross during World War One
Photo: GETTY

It was an extraordinary act of bravery. Finding himself among the few surviving members of a force sent to repel a German advance at Ypres, a soldier manned a single machine gun to prevent the enemy making the breakthrough it needed.

Continuing to fire until he was the last man remaining, his actions helped to ensure that two vital ports used to supply British troops with food and ammunition from England, remained in Allied hands.

Now, 100 years on from being awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery, a series of military leaders, MPs, peers and Muslim leaders are calling for wider recognition of Khudadad Khan's role in the First World War. The call forms part of a plea for greater appreciation of the contribution of the hundreds of thousands of Muslim soldiers who fought for Britain in the war.

On Friday, unveiling a commemorative stone which will be laid at the National Memorial Arboretum in Khan’s honour, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the communities minister, will hail his “exceptional loyalty, courage and determination in Britain’s fight for freedom”.

Khan, who was born in the village of Dab in the Punjab province of present day Pakistan, was a 26-year-old machine gunner in the 129th Duke of Counaught’s Own Baluchis when the regiment was sent to France to aid the exhausted troops of the British Expeditionary Force.
read more here

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Australia War widow touched by Kate's sympathy

War widow touched by Kate's sympathy
News Australia
24 HOURS AGO APRIL 20, 2014

WAR widow Nicole Pearce says her meeting with the Duchess of Cambridge was a surreal and privileged experience, but she desperately wishes it could have been under different circumstances.

It's been almost seven years since a roadside bomb claimed the life of her husband, Trooper David Pearce, just two weeks into a tour of Afghanistan.

Her daughters Stephanie and Hanna lost their father. She lost the man she loved, and, for too many years, any sense of a normal life.

Nothing can bring her 41-year-old husband back but the widow was touched by the duchess's heartfelt concern for her family.

Kate and Prince William spoke with four families who lost loved ones in Afghanistan and Iraq during their tour of Queensland's Amberley RAAF base on Saturday.

"She asked how long David had been in the military for and how long he'd been overseas when he was killed," Mrs Pearce told the Nine Network.

"She was sincerely quite sad for us to think David was only over there for two weeks when he was killed. She seemed very, very genuine and she was very sweet."

It was a bitter sweet occasion for the family.
read more here

Monday, March 17, 2014

Air Force sacks 2 commanders for "leadership style"

Air Force sacks two commanders in Europe
Stars and Stripes
By Adam L. Mathis
Published: March 17, 2014

RAF MILDENHALL, England — Two U.S. Air Force commanders in the 422nd Air Base Group at RAF Croughton have been relieved over a loss of confidence in their abilities.

Col. Charles Hamilton, who commanded the base group since 2011, and Lt. Col. Matthew Olson, who commanded the 422nd Communications Squadron since July, were relieved of command on Thursday by the 501st Combat Support Wing commander after an investigation, officials said.

“It was loss of confidence in the commanders’ abilities to lead their units in the best interest of the Air Force,” spokesman Capt. Brian Maguire said in an e-mail. “This action was more about leadership style and organizational climate than a specific event.”

Maguire said there was no connection between the two sackings and that the two men were not under criminal investigation.

Col. Brian May will command the air group until a scheduled replacement arrives this summer, Maguire said. Maj. John Riester will command the communications squadron, but no permanent replacement has been selected yet.
read more here

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

4 US airmen presumed dead in chopper crash near England

4 US airmen presumed dead in chopper crash near English coast
NBC News
By M. Alex Johnson, Staff Writer
25 minutes ago

Four U.S. airmen were presumed dead after a U.S. military helicopter crashed Tuesday near the eastern coast of England, U.S. military officials told NBC News.

Local police confirmed that four people were believed to have been killed in the crash about 6 p.m. (1 p.m. ET) in the area of Salthouse on the Norfolk coast.

The helicopter, an Air Force HH-60 Pave-Hawk — a modified version of the Army's Black Hawk — was on a training mission when it went down, the U.S. officials said. It was assigned to RAF Lakenheath, the British base that is also home to the U.S. Air Force's 48th Fighter Wing.
read more here

Friday, December 7, 2012

Nurse at Duchess Kate's hospital who was hoaxed by DJs found dead

MSNBC just reported on TV that the nurse was having a hard time after this and committed suicide. She dedicated her life to taking care of people and this stunt was truly sickening before this.
Nurse at Duchess Kate's hospital who was hoaxed by DJs found dead
By Ian Johnston
NBC News

Updated at 11 a.m. ET: A nurse duped by a prank call made to the hospital where Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, was treated for an extreme form of morning sickness was found dead Friday morning, the hospital said in a statement.

Two Australian DJs, Mel Greig and Michael Christian of Sydney station 2Day FM, pretended to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles and were put through to the ward.

They were then given an update on Kate’s health by a nurse.

It wasn't clear what role the nurse found dead Friday played in the incident.

The woman’s body was found at an address in Weymouth Street, London, which is around the corner from King Edward VII Hospital on Beaumont Street. Police described the circumstance of her death as "unexplained."

“It is with very deep sadness that we confirm the tragic death of a member of our nursing staff, Jacintha Saldanha,” said the statement, which was released by the hospital's public relations firm.
read more here

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Israel Defense does not take care of troops wounded by PTSD

Israel Defense does not take care of troops wounded by PTSD
Last update - 23:34 18/12/2007

Shell-shocked troops overlooked by gov't recognized in new law

By Yuval Azoulay, Haaretz Correspondent

Tags: Israel, IDF

An amendment passed Tuesday will enable shell-shocked Israel Defense Forces troops to receive recognition and stipends as disabled veterans from the Defense Ministry, despite prior recognition as disabled by the National Insurance Institute.

MK Zahava Gal-On (Meretz) advanced the amendment, which is to the law on disabled soldiers.

Gal-On said that soldiers experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder frequently failed in proving to the Defense Ministry's pensions officer the connection between their suffering and their army service. As such, they were discounted from benefits mandated by the law on disabled soldiers.
go here for the rest

Canada does not take care of their troops with PTSD

England, Scotland, Australia, the list goes on but at the top of the list of the nations not taking care of their veterans with PTSD is America. Why? Because they have the most vetearns needing to be taken care of and failing them the worst.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

200 failed by the system: the suicide victims who shame Britain

This isn't about veterans, or even just PTSD, but mental health. While these people needed help, serious help, to save their lives, they were not taken care of. No one expects that all people who are so depressed they want to commit suicide will be saved, but in these cases, their cries for help were heard. The suicide was not prevented, but postponed. They were left to fall through the cracks. You need not wonder too hard to find the same kind of problems with veterans. We, here in the US, have found out that there are people crying for help here as well, but too often their rescue is only temporary.

We've seen it in veterans seeking help from the VA, but were turned away. We've seen it when the police respond and they end up being killed, usually on purpose in what is called, suicide by cop. Until people take mental health seriously, as seriously as any other health problem, this will keep happening.

Kathie Costos

200 failed by the system: the suicide victims who shame Britain
Each year, two hundred mentally ill people locked up by police because there is no room in the health service commit suicide within 48 hours of release. Andrew Johnson uncovers a scandal that has astonished even hardened campaigners
Published: 12 August 2007

A young plasterer and father, Martin Middleton, was threatening to kill himself when the police were called to his flat in the Cross Gates area of Leeds. They arrested him for his own safety under the Mental Health Act, but an hour later he was released. The next day he was found hanged at his flat.

Philip Edmondson was just 30 when he threatened to jump from the window of his flat in Wellington, Somerset, in September last year. Again police were called, and he was held under section 136 of the Mental Health Act for his own safety. Twelve hours or so later he was released after being examined by a doctor and a psychiatrist. Two hours after his release Mr Edmondson walked in front of a train in Taunton and was killed instantly.

The families behind these two tragic situations will receive some answers when inquests open into the cases over the next two months. But every year there are up to 200 such stories. Stories of devastated families and the wasted lives of vulnerable people who take their own lives within two days of leaving police custody.

Such is the concern that the Independent Police Complaints Commission has mounted a major investigation into the use of police cells to hold people with mental health problems. Under the law, when police are forced to arrest mentally ill people, often for minor offences or because they are a danger to themselves, they have to take them to a "place of safety". This should be a hospital or psychiatric ward, or, as a last resort, a police cell.

Initial findings from the IPCC reveal, however, that 11,500 people a year – 31 a day – are held in police cells for up to 18 hours at a time. This is believed to be an underestimate because not all forces report all cases. As many as 200 a year are thought to kill themselves within 48 hours of their release.

Mental health organisations argue that police do not have the training to care for mentally ill people, and the police say it takes up their time and resources to do a job which is not in their remit. Both agree that a police cell is "inappropriate" for the care of vulnerable people.

click post title for the rest