Wigan dad commends emergency services who saved his daughter's life in the Manchester bomb

The father of a Wigan teen who sustained devastating injuries in the Manchester bomb has commended emergency services following a review into their response to the attack.

Friday, 6th April 2018, 4:23 pm
Updated Friday, 6th April 2018, 4:26 pm
Lucy Jarvis with Manchester arena technicians  who helped save her life -  John Clarkson (left) and Paul Worsley
Lucy Jarvis with Manchester arena technicians who helped save her life - John Clarkson (left) and Paul Worsley

Lucy Jarvis, 18, was attending the Ariana Grande concert with her friend Amelia Tomlinson on May 22 last year when terrorist Salman Abedi detonated a homemade bomb killing 22 innocent bystanders.

The Runshaw College student was in the foyer at the time of the explosion and received horrific injuries from shrapnel which tore through her legs and abdomen, leaving her hospitalised for months.

Following the attack, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham commissioned an independent review into the responses of emergency services.

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The resulting report, which was published last week found failings from chief fire officers which delayed the response time of the fire service by two hours.

Although Mr Burnham has since said it is unfair to “scapegoat” one individual, he has called for a whole service review following the findings.

However, Dave Jarvis, Lucy’s dad, has praised the emergency services for the work they did in saving his daughter’s life.

He said: “The Kerslake Report made difficult reading in places but it also mentioned many positive things that took place,” he said. “Things go wrong in every walk of life but thankfully even under those circumstances most things seemed to go right.

“We are eternally thankful to everyone who helped Lucy on that fateful night and I think the report displayed the heroism of the arena staff, passers-by and the emergency services who were there.

“It’s not about blame but about learning from the experience so that if such a terrible thing were to happen again then the response could be improved.”

Interim chief fire officer, Dawn Docx, who took over command in September last year has apologised on behalf of the fire service, saying that senior staff “let down” their ground-level firefighters who wanted to attend the scene earlier.

In a statement following the review Ms Docx said: “It is clear that our response fell far short of that which the people of Greater Manchester have a right to expect. I apologise unreservedly for that.

“There were clearly failures in leadership and poor decisions made. As a result firefighters themselves, desperate on the night to attend the incident, were also let down by their senior colleagues.

“It is because of them that this report was commissioned in the first place and I want to thank them for raising their concerns.

“I also want to apologise to all of our workforce who demonstrate day in and day out their bravery and commitment to keeping the people of Greater Manchester safe.”

As well as emergency services, the review looked into the response of Manchester Arena staff who sprang into action after the bomb, providing assistance to emergency services and caring for casualties in the aftermath.

The review stated: “Based on everything seen and heard, the panel believes that staff at the arena made a positive difference and that, without their contributions, the response would have been diminished.

“The panel recognises that SMG, Showsec and EMT-UK personnel went above and beyond their roles to provide humanitarian assistance and that many of them attended to casualties in the foyer to the best of their abilities, putting aside concern for their own safety in order to try and save others.”

The Jarvis family has previously spoken out to thank two arena employees who stayed with Lucy on the night despite orders from armed police to leave the scene.

John “Clarky” Clarkson and Paul Worsley, arena technicians, have been dubbed “heroes” by the Jarvis family, after caring for Lucy for two hours until critical medical assistance arrived.

On the teen’s 18th birthday, Dave gave a speech thanking the pair for “saving her life”.

Speaking at a family event he said: “They found Lucy and they saver her, and they really did. They spent two hours with her, getting her to an ambulance.

“Without them this may not be happening and even though I have told them a dozen times, I’ll tell them a dozen times again for the next 10 years because they are absolutely superheroes and they deserve every accolade, every round of applause.

“Even though they are reluctant heroes, it’s absolutely fantastic.”