GMP Conference – Multi-Agency Response to a Mass Fatalities Incident

This morning four team members travelled to Greater Manchester Police Training Centre at Sedgley Park to attend a conference on Multi-Agency Response to a Mass Fatalities Incident. Team members Chris Tennant, John Fletcher and Elaine Gilliland travelled in team vehicle BM1 meeting Team President Bob Hutchinson at the venue.

Presenters from the Police, NHS and Local Authority outlined preparations that are now in place to respond to, co-ordinate and erect the infrastructure required should there be a mass fatality incident within the North West.

They presented and overviewed mass fatality incidents including the Selby Train Crash, the Morecombe Cockle Pickers Incident and the 7/7 Bombings in London and outlined what had been learned from these incidents and the expectations that the public now has of a multi-agency approach to a mass fatality incident and how emergency services, the local authorities and voluntary services will work together to provide appropriate resources and infrastructure to manage such an incident.

The presentations included roles and responsibilities of the different organisations and the roles of pathology, forensics, investigations of the fatality site and investigations of the bodies; the co-ordination and erection of structures to involve mortuary arrangements, family centres – taking into account humanitarian and faith values and principles – and the staffing and suitable accommodation for staff to manage the site.

The conference was extremely informative and gave all present a valuable overview of the responsibilities that we will be expected to meet should this occur in our region and Bolton Mountain Rescue Team would like to express sincere thanks to all involved in the organisation of this event for the invitation to attend and the information gleaned from this.