Sir Mike Penning calls for PTSD support for emergency workers attending tragic incident in Grays, Essex

23rd October 2019

Following the Home Secretary’s statement on the people trafficking tragedy in Grays, Essex Sir Mike Penning calls on the Government to ensure that there is sufficient post-traumatic stress support in the coming months and years for emergency workers and others who attended the incident.

 

I had the pleasure of serving as a firefighter at the old Hogg Lane fire station in Grays. When the firefighters and other emergency crews went on duty last night, never in their wildest dreams would they have expected to witness the sort of trauma they saw when that container was opened. And it will not just be the emergency services; it will be the local authority workers and even the mortuary attendants, who will never have seen such destruction of life. I ask the Home Secretary, not just for now but going forward, that all the post-traumatic stress support is made available to them, because it does not always show straightaway. Sometimes it takes months or years, as I have experienced with my firefighter colleagues.

I thank my right hon. Friend for his remarks. He speaks with great personal insight and experience, and he is right that the trauma following such an incident will be shattering for all those involved in the recovery and emergency services. It is an important point that, for anyone who works in a frontline service or an emergency service, the trauma and post-traumatic stress of being involved in such incidents, as well as in life-saving incidents, comes back later. We will therefore not only be investing but ensuring that we support those individuals who are doing so much work locally today.

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