Volunteers from the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) have provided more than 1,800 hours of their time to support civilian and military authorities in the wake of recent terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, and the fire in Grenfell Tower.
The FANY’s main role has been to assist the Police Casualty Bureau, answering calls from the public, cross checking records, and providing Incident Support Officers to attend Survivor Reception Centres where they triage on behalf of the police by collating information from evacuees. Members are all trained to Home Office standard in National Call Handling and we undertake refresher training twice a year to ensure they are ready to be immediately effective when called out. While primary support is to the City of London Police, through their system of mutual aid, assistance can be provided to an incident anywhere in the UK.
Kim McCutcheon, Commanding Officer explained “This is where the hours of training our volunteers put in comes into its own. We can do something positive and proactive to support these tragic incidents”
Volunteers deployed to the Casualty Bureau within hours of the terrorist attacks in Westminster, Manchester Arena and London Bridge. Acting Detective Superintendent Perry Stokes from the City of London Police said:
“In the aftermath of the terrorist attack, the Police Casualty Bureau was the first contact point for many terrified friends and relatives, desperate to trace loved ones. The professionalism and dedication that the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry displayed throughout really was exceptional.”
With threat levels raised to critical following the terrorist attack at London Bridge, Operation TEMPERER was activated providing military support to the police. Again volunteers from the FANY stepped up to assist by providing staffing support to the London Military Operations Centre. After the operation was stood down Major General BJ Bathurst CBE, General Officer Commanding LONDON DISTRICT, told the FANY:
“Those you sent to help us were, without exception, highly motivated and intelligent operators who were adept at turning their hand to whatever was asked of them.”
Less than a month later FANY volunteers were sadly once again supporting the Police Casualty in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire. 60 FANYs were on duty over the course of 8 days, while others provided staff assistance to the Westminster Coroner and to the incident GOLD Commander.
Dr Fiona Wilcox, Her Majesty's Senior Coroner for London, was grateful for the support:
“I just wanted to express my gratitude for the immense support given to the office for the first couple of weeks during this incident. As always the FANY were invaluable, professional and appropriate.”
For 101 years volunteers from the FANY (Princess Royal’s Volunteer Corps) have trained to assist military and civilian powers in times of crisis, from the French and Belgian battlefields of the First World War to the disasters and terrorist attacks of today, their humanity and unpaid professionalism are a source of pride to all who know them.