Monday, 5 June 2017

London attacks and response

Following horrific London terror attacks on TV today (on morning of 4 June 2017), I couldn't help notice the reaction time of London emergency services. From initial reporting at 2208 hours, 'a vehicle plowing through London Bridge & Borough Market', it took London police 8 minutes to take down three attackers. This was extremely professional & thoroughly brilliant. Terrorists will always attack from behind at vulnerable spots but the mettle of a nation combating terrorism can be measured by its response to such cowardly incidents. London is the safest city in the world and this kind of police work confirms its status as such.

London Bridge 1999 with (from left) Hamza, Ahmer and Sakhawat

Reasons to write about this incident is partly nostalgic, as I had few London walks along Thames.

Partly because of my armed forces background.
And lastly, being a global citizen, I mourn equally over human loss wherever it may happen and whoever is affected by it. 

Lets relive 480 seconds (8 minutes) of brilliance and professionalism. Someone dialed 999 and floodgate of well rehearsed SOPs opened up. Everybody in emergency services seemed to have been well drilled. Everyone knew their job. London control center is linked with every node that can relay useful info on the situation. Effective command & control was possible through uninterrupted flow of information to decision makers. There was no time to wait for more accurate information to arrive. Orders for execution of the mission were to be given on the move like orders on the marching column. From within the layers of the security personnel, inner and outer cordons were to be detailed. Executioners were also earmarked to take down the terrorists. The entire area was taken over by the police. Police entered every building in proximity of Borough Market including pubs, clubs, hotels and shops. To distinguish between normal people and hostile attackers, people were asked to raise their hands above the heads and walk to the point of safety. Not to mention the secondary aspects of traffic control, administration of life saving first aid, casualty evacuation, stand by fire tenders and other security services personnel to take on any unforeseen situation. It was a classic modern day symphony played by London police using technology and grit. i have intentionally kept the narration simple for understanding of every reader but it was a complex, fluid and perfectly executed operation for which London police deserves accolades.

Wonder from where we copy our manuals these days, it would be a living bible to follow if we could just relive/ re-enact these 8 minutes in our training drills and improve our response time to such incidents. Imagine how many precious lives can be saved if we could reduce our response time and I'm saying this keeping APS Peshawar in mind.

Only Allah knows the whole truth.