The Spanish army a few years ago set up a special unit to help the civil authorities if there is an emergency, ranging from forest fires to a terror attack. This unit draws together many army skills from logistical support to firefighting and even catering and medical services. The unit has been deployed successfully on numerous occasions over the last few years.

At a time when it appears that Britain’s emergency services are short of manpower and equipment perhaps it might be a good idea if Britain established a similar unit. Like many others I was shocked by the BBC Panorama report on Monday night which underlined the horrors of the fire at Grenfell Tower in London. One of the points made by the programme was the complete lack of support from the authorities. Even the food, drink, blankets and toys which had been donated by the public had to be distributed by civilian volunteers because there was no one else. This is incredible because there are thousands of soldiers stationed in London supported by the Territorial Army, who could have easily been called in for support.

It must be remembered that the armed forces have specially trained firefighters; in the case of the Royal Navy they are trained to deal with fires in the most difficult environments ranging from submarines to ammunition ships. Perhaps the time has come for a re-organising of the armed forces so that they help their civilain counterparts.


To be able to write a comment, you have to be registered and be logged in.

* Mandatory fields

Henry James / Hace over 4 years

Really,Andreas.? The army and other branches of the armed forces have rendered aid to the civil authorities countless times down the years how about:the foot and mouth outbreaks of 1967,1971 and 2001,the floods in the south of England in 2014,Cumbria flooding in 2009,the ''big freeze'' of 2010,the Bunce fire of 2005 and the fire strikes of 2003 and 2004 for starters.?


Andreas / Hace over 4 years

The only example of the armed forces being used to help civilians that I can remember was to save Cameron from a PR disaster when Group 4 cocked up the Olympics in 2012. Not a problem. But helping desperate 'ordinary' non-elite people in their hour of need? Not a chance.


MelB / Hace over 4 years

Is it true that an editor in the U.K. is writing editorials about Mallorca? If so can you exchange copy so that we have something of relevance to read!!!!!


Henry James / Hace over 4 years

Unfortunately,years of cuts to the armed forces,police,fire service,ambulance service,N.H.S. and just about everything else in the UK are now coming home to roost and when you have the Metropolitan Police Commissioner saying that they don't have the resources to cope with the demands put upon them in the current climate,then it's as bad as it can get.


S. / Hace over 4 years

Utilising the Armed Forces Fire Services is an idea to assist their Civilian counterparts. But in some areas, that leaves weakened cover from their own designated requirements. The Fire Services in general lack equipment, to deal with High Rise Blocks. Similarly in Mallorca ,, equipment to reach high level buildings is not available. Reduced Service personnel in the three service forces, leaves Great Britain very vulnerable in all their roles. .