Hi Dietmar, you may not remember but I visited your offices in Berlin on the 8 July 2005, the day after the 7/7 bombings, and was met by film crews and interviewers asking ”how did I feel?”, and “what was the mood like in London?” (we were the first plane to arrive from Heathrow the following day).I shrugged them off using the ‘English stiff upper lip’ – it felt like they were voyeurs in our hour of distress. On the news this morning, 10 years on, there was one of the survivors who told the harrowing story again as if it was only yesterday, underlining for me the profound impact the bombings had on his life and the lives of Londoner’s in general. And it reminded me again of the trip to e-message on 8th July 2005.
7 July Memorial, Hyde Park. Each of the 52 columns represents a victim of the 7/7 2005 London bombings.
The Public Enquiry afterwards identified that communications between agencies, and to those emergency workers on the ground could have been better. Indeed some Authorities obtained more pagers from us in the aftermath. One key recommendation of the report was that the emergency services communications should have worked underground and should have been compatible with Transport for London’s communications systems, and I think this has been addressed now. Indeed, now many parts of the Underground system have GSM coverage too, and so communications today are likely much better than 10 years ago. So lessons have been learnt.
PageOne always advises customers that they should not rely on just one form of communication, and where messaging is critical do not use public communication methods such as GSM voice or SMS. In these instances consider using paging as it provides the ability to send messages to large numbers of staff using one message, and that the paging network is independent of the public communications networks and so not affected by major public incidents like 7/7. But let’s hope we will not need to test our theories and recommendations again.
Kind regards and best wishes,
Chris Jones | CEO
PageOne Communications - Part of Capita plc | Digital Software Solutions