Incident on The Smiler 02/06/2015

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by spinba11, 2nd Jun 2015.

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  1. bluesonichd

    bluesonichd TowersStreet Member

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    I think im ok.. :confused:
    I had to go and have a stiff drink while i searched for a phonenumber to call the papers.
    :rolleyes:
     
  2. Pepper_Plant

    Pepper_Plant TowersStreet Member

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    I am also impressed with how Joe and the other people involved are dealing with it. I hope they make recoveries that are as full and quick as possible. I was pleased to read that they didn't know about the stalled train until the last moments - knowing about it would probably have made the trauma even worse overall.

    I've been thinking about whether I would have called 999. It depends on how much was visible from where I was standing - I might not have realised that it was serious. I also would have assumed that the park would be phoning 999. Something to bear in mind for general situations - if you're not certain that someone else has phoned 999, it's better to err on the side of caution.
     
  3. AliceHL91

    AliceHL91 TowersStreet Member

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    I would have thought a staff member would have called 999 immediately if I was there. As bad as it sounds I don't think I would have called them myself :/
     
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  4. BigT

    BigT TowersStreet Member

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    AT would have a set procedure for calling the emergency services and to be a little bit fair on them we don't know of the qualifications of their own first aid responders, they could well be trained to paramedic standard.
    I agree with Sam, in this situation I would expect the park to control the situation and decide if a 999 call needs to go out.

    AT is a controlled environment and not a public place, similar to a school I guess, would you dial 999 at school or expect the teacher to decide the most appropriate action?
     
  5. James

    James TS Founding Member

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    I thought 11 minutes was pretty quick. Time moves very fast when you're in the middle of something that could be between life or death for yourself or someone else.

    Given they would have had to digest what's going on, call over the parks medical team, get to a position where the guests on the train can be quickly assessed and then call through to security to ring 999, 11 minutes is pretty quick.

    I actually find it quite annoying people think that's a really long time when really it isn't. It seems like the emergency services were called in the quickest time possible.
     
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  6. AliceHL91

    AliceHL91 TowersStreet Member

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    This is true but it must have felt like hours to those 4 being stuck there with broken knees :(
     
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  7. NickN

    NickN TowersStreet Member

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    Well call me old fashioned, but if the first thought that came into my head after seeing someone in very obvious distress, panicking and injured, was "oh, I must film them", I'd go and seek counseling.
    To my mind, regardless of the argument about who should call 999, I cannot get my head around just standing there filming in that scenario.
    And how did people 'cope' before we all had portable fame, ego, and money generators? Not that I'm cynical...
     
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  8. Tom

    Tom TowersStreet Member

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    There is a preference for the emergency services not to be called if it can be helped, largely because of the potential for negative publicity and possible HSE reportability.

    I'm not saying that they will happily let someone suffer sever injury and pain as long as the emergency services are called, but you can bet your bottom dollar that 999 will never be called as a precaution, or that lower-level staff would be allowed to do it.
     
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  9. MichelinMan

    MichelinMan TowersStreet Member

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    Very good post.

    I'm going to come clean here - I have worked for the HSE in my career (which is why I have been able to give so much information on how they would be likely to respond in terms of their investigation and enforcement). And I have conducted dozens of investigations in my time, so know how long it actually takes to respond to incidents.

    In my experience, it takes about 10 minutes to react from the start of an incident to the point where somebody in authority knows what is going on. In a real incident, time just flies by.

    Also, for big organisations like this, you have to leave it to the company to contact the emergency services. Almost certainly they will have pre-planned emergency response arrangements with the emergency services. If some random member of the public just phones up, it could cause all sorts of confusion. For example, the ambulances will probably want to know what entrance to come into the site, how many people injured etc. so they know how to know how to respond. The member of the public just wouldn't be able to give that sort of info easily.

    The early stages of an incident are always the most confusing, especially in terms of establishing communications. The less people involved in external communications the better. When I worked at a major chemicals plant (which incidentally could have killed half a city if things had gone wrong!), we used to have one single person to route all external communications through - we found it improved communications no end. We would also have one person dedicated to external PR too, to deal with the press, worried nearby residents etc. We practiced major incident response once a month, and those roleplay sessions were quite stressful - god knows what a real event would have been like.

    Finally, whilst the motives of all those people taking videos is questionable, to a HSE investigator the abundance of video evidence from mobile phones compared to years gone by is actually beneficial. One of the first questions I would be asking of the riders in the car is were any of them shooting video on the ride (I know they shouldn't, but just look on YouTube to see that people do).
     
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  10. phildenholm

    phildenholm TowersStreet Member

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    Donuts??
     
  11. AliceHL91

    AliceHL91 TowersStreet Member

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    Those donuts are too greasy for my liking lol.:)
     
  12. bluesonichd

    bluesonichd TowersStreet Member

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    Oh yes indeady donuts!
    Oh how very dare you say that. The grease mixed with the sugary topping is the best bit :)
     
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  13. AliceHL91

    AliceHL91 TowersStreet Member

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    Ha ha nothing beats krispy kremes IMO :p
     
  14. Danza91

    Danza91 TowersStreet Member

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    @MichelinMan Thank you for this, good to hear it from the horse's mouth.

    On the subject of filming the crash, I wonder if someone did get the impact on video.
     
  15. James

    James TS Founding Member

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    If someone got a video of the impact I think we may have seen it by now.

    Even with today's technology by the time anyone figures that the train moving is going to hit another one the crash will have happened by the time they find their phone, open the camera up and press record.
     
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  16. aircanman

    aircanman TowersStreet Member

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    I am not sure if this has been said but with regards to the 999 call, the media is missing the point here.

    If someone just phoned 999 after seeing the accident, the emergency services would most likely contact Alton Towers security on a pre arranged number, there is no point in ambulances arriving at the gates because they will be closed/locked - even if they were open emergency service vehicles would not be able to drive through the park right next to the Smiler (as we have seen) - The areas need to be cleared and made safe before Ambulance services are called, and you would probably find that if a staff member called them without authorisation, it would be a disciplinary issue.

    It sounds silly, but where I work (government building) - if someone was having a heart attack next to me, I am not allowed to call 999, it has to go through security, people need to be aware of the problem, people who are trained and can act professionally.
     
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  17. delta79

    delta79 TowersStreet Member

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    I think i can answer this.
    Alton Towers Medical (ATM) has Emergency Medical Technicians, (Ambulance crew qualification). They have a direct link to WMAS (local ambulance service) for doing CFR (community First reponder) work in the local community.
    Any public 999 calls to WMAS from inside the resort would be redirected to ATM, then they would feed back for extra resources (If required) . although if multiple call came in to 999 saying there was a crash between two trains on a ride, WMAS would start getting ready for the resource call from ATM.

    This can be overridden by a Qualified member of the public (WMAS staff, some SJA/BRC members) that have major incident training. and can give set information to the WMAS control along with their ID code.

    Update to post.

    I have been told ATM works long the same lines as the volunteer First aid Organization i belong to. so here is a rough idea on how it would work. ( I am doing major incident below, as it fits the question)

    ATM is called to scene. they assess the situation on arrival. If it is a major incident one of them will contact WMAS with the reverent Major incident information whist other members of ATM are treating ( if possible )
    There will be a member that is in overall control, (this could be security or ops manager) they job will be primary incident control. e.g. safe working area, safe vehicle access, etc.

    AT Incident controller will usually deals with supporting emergency services, when a senior officer arrives from each service on site. like securing the lawn for aircraft landing.

    11 mins from crash to call to WMAS does not look that bad when you know the major incident protocol. The one question i have is how long was the time from crash to ATM being alerted and getting to scene, as that is the real start time for medical assistance.
     
    Last edited: 15th Jun 2015
  18. AliceHL91

    AliceHL91 TowersStreet Member

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    Last edited: 15th Jun 2015
  19. Jonathan

    Jonathan TowersStreet Member

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    Very disappointed that it's not going to be investigated any further. I don't feel Nick Varney was able to put his point across effectively enough, because Burley kept on interrupting him and preventing him from saying what he was trying to say in full! It's like Ofcom completely ignored the parts of the complaints they received which mentioned that!
     
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  20. bluesonichd

    bluesonichd TowersStreet Member

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    We need to petition to sack ofcom. Who do we complain to.
     
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