Although it is almost a month since a devastating earthquake struck Nepal, the humanitarian work continues 24 hours a day.
Two West Midlands Ambulance Service paramedics are just about to return from the country after doing their part to help the people of that country.
They were the fourth and fifth members of staff to fly out. One of the first on scene was Dr Malcolm Russell, one of the Trust’s Medical Incident Officers and a BASICS Doctor in the Mercia Accident Rescue Service (MARS) scheme from Herefordshire.
This is his account of his time in Nepal: “On arrival, we established a base of operations in the grounds of the British
Embassy, living in tented accommodation. Being experienced in working in post-earthquake areas, the team always prefers tents in open areas which are generally safer than moving straight into un-surveyed buildings with the inevitable aftershocks which follow.
“Our operations began in Kathmandu, with the UK ISAR team being given a specific sector in which to work. The team found that most live rescues had been completed already and that most dead bodies had already been recovered. It soon became apparent that the main area of need was in the more remote mountainous areas which had only been visited briefly by military helicopters, dropping in aid and removing the more serious casualties. Otherwise many of these areas had remain completely isolated and out of touch with very little information coming out about the extent of the damage suffered.
“We spent most of the next week, on request of the Nepalese government, re-focussing on an area outlying the town of Chautara about 50km to the north-east of Kathmandu. Whereas Kathmandu had pockets of destruction with many buildings remaining intact, the team found villages in the countryside where 95% of all buildings had been completely flattened.
“The scale of destruction was incredible. It was certainly fortunate that the earthquake struck in the daytime on a Saturday, when many people would have been outside, or at least able to run outside quickly. Few were in the larger public buildings and there is no doubt that the death toll would have been far worse in the earthquake had struck at night. Even so, there had been large numbers of dead and injured and it was very saddening to see whole villages completely destroyed.
“We initially walked into some very remote areas and later had helicopter flights to gain access to the area. The team gathered information about immediate needs – which were mainly shelter, food and water – provided structural assessment of surviving buildings, gathered important data about remaining village populations, casualty numbers and on-going health needs. This vital information was then fed back to the humanitarian organisations and the Nepalese government.
“During our work we found an elderly man with a fractured ankle with open wounds and a woman with a broken arm. Neither had been reached previously by any rescue or medical organisation and this was a week after the earthquake had struck. We were able to get them evacuated to hospital almost immediately.
“Working on information provided by local villagers, we also discovered a four year old girl who had been lying on a wooden bed for eight days unable to move, being nursed by her anxious family who did not have access to any medical care.
“When we examined her, it was clear that she had a fractured femur (thigh) so a helicopter evacuation was immediately organised to a large Israeli field hospital in Kathmandu where she was successfully treated. It was surprising to find such major trauma over a week after the earthquake and the poor girl had suffered an awful amount of distress. We were very pleased to have been able to help her and her family.”
Back in Kathmandu a specialist rope access team of UK ISAR was working to stabilise a precarious piece of concrete hanging dangerously over the main entrance to a teaching hospital. By making the building safe, the hospital was able to increase from 50 hospital beds in use to almost 400 beds overnight, a dramatically positive impact for the local area.
Back in the UK, Dr Russell said: “There is still a huge amount of humanitarian
work which will have to continue for many months – even years – but it is pleasing to have been able to contribute during the first most difficult days following the earthquake.
“Nepal is an amazing country with remarkably resilient and friendly people, but there has been such horrendous devastation that this small country will need all the help it can get. It will take a long time for Nepal to get back on its feet, and I hope people will continue to support the relief work in the months to come.”
The Wesley Nightclub in Hartlepool is ablaze
An area of Hartlepool town centre has been closed as flames rip through the former Wesley nightclub.
Police and Fire Fighters were quickly on the scene of the blaze at the former Wesley Nightclub and Chruch in Hartlepool.
The Grade II Listed Building has stood empty for a number of years and is a very iconic building within Hartlepool.
Trevor Sherwood Police Hour editor said “The flames are reaching 20ft in the air and a large number of fire appliances are on the scene loud explosions can be heard from inside the building”
“I arrived on scene just before the first fire appliance got there, loud bangs could be heard from inside and the fire quickly took hold”
“It was over 30 minutes before Cleveland Fire could get a hose safely on the building as they needed an aerial platform”.
Hugh flames can be seen for several miles as firefighters tackle the blaze. It took Firefighters almost 30 minutes before they were able to get a hose onto the fire which seemed to be mainly on the roof of the building with flames up to 20ft.
Firefighters have been called to a blaze at the former Wesley nightclub and church in Wesley Square, Hartlepool.
The Wesley Chruch opened n 1872 and became an iconic image within Hartlepool sadly the church closed in 1973 and later reopened as a nightclub in the early 2000s and then later a gym complex.
The business was closed and has been empty for over 10 years left to fall to bits with many people within Hartlepool hoping the building could be brought back to life.
Cleveland Fire Brigade was alerted to the fire just after 9pm and with a large number of fire appliances being sent the scene.
Cleveland Police assisted the fire brigade by enforcing a number of road closures on Victoria Road and Raby Road.
We have contacted Cleveland Fire Brigade for comment.
Members of the public are being warned to keep their windows shut as thick smoke is billowing across the centre of Hartlepool.
Cleveland Police have released a statement “Officers have been called to a report of a fire at an empty building known as the Wesley Nightclub on Victoria Road in Hartlepool on Saturday 9th December”
“Police are currently on scene with Cleveland Fire Brigade and it is believed no one is injured at this time.”
“Victoria Road and Wesley Square are currently closed and people are advised to avoid these areas until further notice.”
Anyone who may have witnessed what happened leading up to the fire is requested to contact Cleveland Police on 101.
On-Duty Police Constable James Dixon has sadly died
It is with great sadness that we report the death of Police Constable James Dixon and a 91-year-old woman following an incident on the A4 in Berkshire.
PC James Dixon died after the police motorcycle he was riding collided with a car on Bath Road near Hare Hatch at 13:50 GMT.
The pensioner was a passenger in the car and was killed while the driver was rushed to hospital.
Police Hour has now launched a readers appeal to help raise money to support the family of the fallen police officer and the 91-year-old victim who has not yet been named.
Tonight we light a candle fo PC James Dixon thank you for your service, our thoughts are with your family as this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/qwEdkpi6lI
— Police Hour (@PoliceHour) December 5, 2017
The road will remain closed for the remainder of Tuesday.
PC Dixon was a highly respected police
Officer of Thames Valley Police
A force spokesman said officers remained at the scene of the collision and had advised motorists to avoid the area.
The incident has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
IPCC Associate Commissioner Guido Liguori said: “My thoughts and sympathies are with their families and friends and the colleagues of the officer at this very difficult time.
“IPCC investigators are attending the scene as part of an independent investigation to determine the circumstances which lead to the collision.”
PC Dixon was based at Loddon Valley police station, near Reading.
Police said the injuries of the driver involved are “not thought to be life threatening”.
Police Hour has now launched a readers appeal to help raise money to support the family of the fallen police officer and the 91-year-old victim who has not yet been named Please Donate now even if it’s just £5.
MI5 have prevented nine terror attacks this year
MI5 have prevented nine terrorist attacks within the United Kingdom in the past year, its boss has told Downing Street officials.
They have also prevented a total of 13 terror attacks within the last four years Andrew Parker head of MI5 has confirmed.
Mr Parker told Theresa May that the defeat of Islamic State in Syria did not mean that the terrorist threat was over.
Mr Parker warned that social media was the new tool being used to incite terror attacks across the world.
Mr Parker has released the figures ahead of the publication of an investigation of the security services and police amid the wave of increased terror attacks within the UK.
The review looks at whether MI5 and counter terror cops could have prevented the five successful terror attacks within the UK.