It is typically the British way to remain calm in the face of danger, and to act swiftly under pressure to prevent further disaster and perhaps those with the most courage often come from the working class: firefighters who have risked their own lives to rescue those in the burning Grenfell tower in North Kensington just a few days ago.
It is not everyday that people are witness to such horror, especially as those events are slowly unfolding on social media in first-hand accounts of trapped residents in the burning tower block, and I can't help but wonder if more could've been done to help those people? Those students, architects, mechanical engineers, MBAs, artists, fathers, mothers, grandparents, and children as they were saying their goodbyes on their mobile devices, and their haunting screams recorded for future generations to remember.
The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake. -Meister Eckhart
Prime Minister Theresa May has launched an inquiry to the events of the Grenfell fire, but perhaps there should also be an independent inquiry to her actions as Prime Minister and her govt for why she chose not to deploy the military air force to rescue the trapped residents in the Grenfell building?
click to play: https://youtu.be/hlVEyyBKowc
South African military helicopter rescues people from a burning high tower. 50 people were rescued from a blazing 29 storey building by South African Air Force military helicopters in July 2015.
The UK govt spent hundreds of millions of £ to "rescue" Yazidi refugees in Iraq, but apparently cannot be bothered to rescue people within their own population from burning buildings in the capital of London by sending over a few rescue military helicopters. Firefighters can only do so much from the ground level. It is clear that the UK govt had failed the people who lived in the Grenfell building, first by ignoring all the fire safety hazards numerous times under Chief of Staff Gavin Barwell, who was the housing minister at the time, and by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who as the mayor of London closed 10 fire stations which lead to the loss of 552 firefighter jobs, and finally to the inactions of the Prime Minister, as she did stood by and did nothing to help those people trapped in the building during the early hours of June 14, 2017.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in his (deleted) tweet seemed more concerned about defending his actions as London Mayor by accusing the Labour Party of politicking than concern for the Grenfell victims as firefighters tweeted back at him.
One of the roles as Prime Minister is to: manage, oversee, and organise the work of government departments and agencies; this means the Prime Minister has the power to deploy the military for any reason, and previously Theresa May had deployed 5000 soldiers on the streets around key areas after the Manchester bombing attack. Why she chose not to deploy the Royal Air Force helicopters to rescue the people in the burning Grenfell tower as hours went by as residents waited helplessly in their flats is frankly disturbing and troubling.
click to play: https://youtu.be/rZOUFH3e9CI
Woman trapped on 23rd floor records video as she and her family members sit in their flat waiting for hours. It is assumed that they have all perished in the fire. Military rescue helicopters could've rescued many of the people trapped in the building who were unable to escape.
click to play: https://youtu.be/wbK8DtTGqQo
Man tries to make a rope of blankets from his Grenfell tower block flat. It is not clear if he survived the blaze. Had Prime Minister Theresa May deployed military rescue helicopters, this man and many others could've been rescued.
It used to be that the UK had a special force dedicated to search and rescue called the The Royal Air Force Search and Rescue Force (SARF) but the funding had been cut in 2015, and they were outsourced to a private contractor Bristow and disbanded in Feb 2016. However, all UK military helicopter aircrew routinely train and practice the skills necessary for Search and Rescue, and the support helicopters based in the UK are available to the Government under Military Aid to the Civil Authorities in case they are needed.
HRH Prince William (2nd from right) was part of the Royal Air Force Search and Rescue Force. One of the duties they are trained for is to rescue people from burning high towers.
click to play: https://youtu.be/MgLzCTDIZpA
Bystanders and witnesses said they could only hear the high pitched screams of children inside the trapped building.
"The screams were coming from all directions. I don't think I will ever forget them. The screams were horrifying because you knew everyone needed help but you couldn't see them." -Leon Whitley, firefighter at Grenfell Tower
It was reported that firefighters were able to make it up all the way to the 15th floor to rescue 68 people. How many more people would've been rescued if these firefighters had help from the UK military is something that we will never know because in a time of need when a strong and stable government was what was necessary, Prime Minister Theresa May and her govt quietly chose not to act.
By Sierra Choi