MP praises emergency services for airshow crash work

MP Tim Loughton SUS-150403-153626001
MP Tim Loughton SUS-150403-153626001

At a Westminster debate, MP Tim Loughton said ‘changes will need to be made to the way in which air shows are run in the future’.

On Tuesday, September 15, East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton arranged a Westminster Hall Debate to consider the Shoreham airshow crash and its implications.

Mr Loughton said: “It is a horrible tragedy, but we owe it to the families to get to the bottom of exactly what happened, and we must make sure that we go the nth mile to make things as safe as possible, so that we do not have a repeat of the horrible event on the day of August 22 in Shoreham.

Mr Loughton said he was proud to be MP for such a caring community in the face of disaster.

“The first question asked by everyone in Lancing, Shoreham and the wider area was, “What more can we do?” If there is such a thing as a textbook response to such an enormous tragedy, this was it: by our emergency services and the importance of emergency planning, and by the way the local community rallied round, which showed how we all care. I am proud to be their MP,” he said.

Police, Fire and Rescue, ambulance service and Red Cross were among the services that Mr Loughton congratulated for their ‘incredible’ work.

He said: “Police officers from the whole of Sussex and firefighters from west Sussex, east Sussex, Hampshire and further afield helped out on the day and in the immediate aftermath. The south-east coast ambulance service was on the scene very swiftly, and Worthing hospital took on casualties. Organisations such as the Red Cross, and many volunteers, performed incredibly.

“I am proud of that effort, which shows the importance of training and preparation.”

Mr Loughton said that while support for the families of victims is a priority, support must also be offered to the emergency services.

“Many of them suffered as a result, and they may not realise it until some time later,” he said.

Following the incident, Mr Loughton asked the Minister what lessons can we learn from the emergency services’ operation, and how could those lessons apply to other serious incidents that we need to prepare for across the country?

He said: “It is important that we do not cut back on training and emergency planning, however invisible it might be most of the year.”

MP Claire Perry, parliamentary under-secretary (Department for Transport), who was in attendance, said a report into the incident by CAA will be concluded early next year.

“The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has commenced a full review of civil air display safety standards.

“The review will conclude by the beginning of next year, but an interim report will be produced next month.

“The CAA has appointed an external challenge panel to test the report’s funding.”

You can find Mr Loughton’s full speech and complete minutes of the Westminster Hall Debate here: click here

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