A bit 'stream of consciousness' I'm afraid
I found out about the terrorist bombs in London only because I was told by an electrician who was fitting some new wall sockets in my new flat. I rushed to plug in my small television, and found out about the bombs.

I phoned up our resource centre, as I was on my day off, and they told me that I should come in and go to Newham station.

I then covered the Newham area along with others who had volunteered to come in and cover for the ambulances that were dealing with the aftermath of the attacks.

I think we had a lot less calls than we normally have, I was sitting on station for longer than normal until I, and another manned an ambulance and took a maternataxi to an Essex maternity department.

Once the shock had settled, I started to feel immense pride that the LAS, the other emergency services, the hospitals, and all the other support groups and organisations were all doing such an excellent job. To my eyes it seemed that the Major Incident planning was going smoothly, turning chaos into order.

And what you need to remember is that this wasn't a major incident, but instead four major incidents, all happening at once.

I think everyone involved, from the experts, to the members of public who helped each other, should feel pride that they performed so well in this crisis.

London won't be beaten, we spent 20 years under the shadow of the IRA, and are used to terrorists.

The medical staff at the BMA building did their best to save their 'civilian' staff from looking at the carnage that was left from the bomb on the bus.

The mobile phone networks appeared to be shut down – a good plan for potentially stoppng more bombs from being triggered, but bad if you are trying to get into contact with relatives.

My brother considers himself very lucky, yesterday he took 40 schoolchildren to the science museum – right through the affected area.

I'm back to 'normal' work tomorrow, I wonder what it'll be like.

55 thoughts on “Today”

  1. Well done Tom!I've been a fan of your blog for a long long time, and have complete respect for the vital work that you do. Things could have been so much worse today if the emergency services hadn't been excellent. The whole country is proud of you lot – well done!

  2. Well Done to you, Tom.A great job by our Medics, Nurses, LAS, EMT's, Police, Fire Service and so many well trained professionals.

    We shall prevail in the end; and in the end terrorists will be brought to account by our Justice or their God.

    And what kind of God condones evil against innocent people ?

    LukePDQ at

  3. Well Done to you, Tom.A great job by our Medics, Nurses, LAS, EMT's, Police, Fire Service and so many well trained professionals.

    We shall prevail in the end; and in the end terrorists will be brought to account by our Justice or their God.

    And what kind of God condones evil against innocent people ?

    LukePDQ at

  4. The thought of what the people of London and our brothers and sisters in EMS went through yesterday was heavy in our hearts. Bless you all. Sounds like you did a wonderful job that would make anyone proud!!!

  5. Just feel the need to say that I am incredibly proud of our Emergency Services. You've all done an absolutely sterling job, from the poor police rookies who've been thrown in up to their necks cause all their more experienced colleagues are dealing with idiots at the G8, to the ambulance folk that seem miraculously to have kept the fatalities to under 40, to… well just the whole damn lot of you.Well done, and thankyou.

  6. Well done to all emergency sevices. Thoughts are with all those affected by today's terrible events. Glad to hear you're OK Reynolds, please pass on my praise and thanks to your colleagues.Rae

  7. London, America is with you. Will will stand side by side in this war. We will overcome!Prayers to the dead and hurt!

    A major ass whooping is on the way. Hang tight people!


  8. I should think that London, after the Blitz and The Troubles, is well prepared for such an event. My thoughts are with you. Glad you were off.

  9. I just want to say how thankful I am that there were no secondary or terriary devices designed to harm responders. Godspeed.

  10. I just want to say how thankful I am that there were no secondary or tertiary devices designed to harm responders. Godspeed.edit

  11. I'm also really proud of the emergency services and how well they've done. I hope we don't whoop anyone's ass before we know who did it though. The important thing is not to be terrorised, and continue as close to normal as possible.

  12. Hear, hear!I might maon about the NHS in general, but today has highlighted why I am always immensely proud of our emergency services in the UK.



  13. You guys were amazing, and I agree with you – London can recover. Britain can recover.I only hope the G8 isn't diverted, but that's my politics creeping in.

    I was at Murrayfield Live8 last night and I felt that humanity was this amazing force. When I woke up London was hit by terrorist attacks. I ended up recapping on my LJ and decided that my first impression was the correct one.

    The LAS and all the authorities involved today contribute to that.

    I have to say, I'm glad you're okay.


  14. Exactly – the important thing is that we concentrate on all our G8 goals, we help our wounded, and we continue as normal. If we give in to the terrorists by running riot, we are dishonouring our dead.Jilly

  15. Thinking of you people there across the pond, Tom. Glad to hear that you're OK – great job to your whole area for handling the problem so well. Keep us updated.Jason from Alabama, USA

  16. I spent most of the day in the Edgeware Road Hilton Metropole that was the evacuation and emergency centre for that blast. The emergency services were, ofcourse, fantastic, and everything seems to have worked so perfectly.But, I'd also like to add that the staff at the Hilton were superb. They stayed calm at all times, and those of us already there weren't forgotten, were kept updated, and cared for also.. They really did act with wonderful professionalism

  17. Excellent job done. Our emergency services are to be proud of, how you all run into a situation the rest of us run away from is really something…good on ya guys/gals, you deserve to be very proud.

  18. I'm so impressed. Events from strikes to bombs bring out a tremendous community spirit in Londoners. And the emergency services did an amazing job.

  19. Very impressed with how efficient the rescue effort was.Wonder if the governments will pick up on Razorhead's idea of high bandwidth “I'm OK” sites to reduce the worry who can't get hold of friends and family while they are safe and sound and hopefully reducing the need to overload networks.

  20. It makes me so glad that London has people like you to persevere. It makes me so angry that a few stoneage nutcases think they can co-opt an entire religion and culture to justify taking revenge on those of us who know the true value of freedom and democracy. These are the kind of people who are against globalization — they know that with economic freedom, accountability and democracy, that they can no longer get away with slavery, corruption, and torture.

  21. I sleep with the tv on and at 5-something in the morning (EDT) I woke up and saw the news. The first thing that came to (my not even half awake) mind was “I wonder if I'll see Reynolds somewhere in the background?” Yeah, I know, sounds kind of stalker-ish, but I meant it in a nice and non-stalkery way, I promise.Love from Michigan,


  22. Well done to all emergency sevices. Thoughts are with all those affected by today's terrible events. Glad to hear you're OK Reynolds, please pass on my praise and thanks to your colleagues.Rae

  23. I thought about you when the news broke. For your sake I'm glad you had a quiet day.Although being in the UK we get more detail than we do about similar atrocities in other countries, I get the impression the emergency plans – as distinct from the emergency services – actually worked this time. I recall at Lockerbie there were all sorts of communications problems for example.


  24. Well done Reynolds, and of course to all of your colleagues.It's a shame that when there is a major incident, people will listen when they're told not to call an ambulance for runny noses or sore throats or whatever, but you can bet as soon as London is “back to normal” you'll be back to responding to all those people who fake Cat A calls just to get their cough seen to.


  25. Just wanted to say well done. You know, the speculation about whether the LAS and other emergency services acted the best they could will start *now*, but please know that the majority are completely in awe of the actions of our emergency services today. I'm proud of London, even though I'm just a student there and at home for the summer holidays, I still take this very personally and feel heartbroken.

  26. I am a miserable old cynic and I was moved to tears by the sheer excellence of the emergency services' response. I was at Stratford yesterday for the announcement and wasn't moved by that even when a LoL next to me started weeping with emotion. But today I am moved and immensely proud of my city and the people who live and work here.Terrorists will never win.

  27. A difficult day, handled extremely well by all.Just as a technical point, the phone networks weren't shut off, but switched to emergency mode. GSM has the capability to switch to this mode where only designated VIP sim cards have priority and capacity is assigned so that they could all use the system simultaneously if needed. Hence why many people in London had a full signal but were unable to make calls.

  28. Hugs & best wishes to you, Tom, & all of your colleagues on the LAS & other emergency services. Job well done. You were the first person I thought of when I turned on the news this morning. Stay safe.Amanda, Washington DC

  29. I live in San Francisco, Ca and was in a cab this morning going to work when I heard the news about the bombs. I came in on the middle of the newscast and asked the driver what had happened. My thoughts and prayers go out to all. Be safe and do take care of yourself, as an E.M.T. I am sure there is a lot of stress.

  30. i have to agree with all the above comments, the public bemoan the NHS et al, but we (the NHS) do do critical life saving throw all resources at you type stuff very well, its the chronic we need to work on a bit.i also think they picked on the wrong city, we're so used to such a delapidated transport system, that “work rounds” to miss closed stations/ bottle necks etc etc are daily activities and whilst i don't belittle peoples losses, the closures will become a temp annoyance i hope,,,,,, plus we're so used to bombs over the years

  31. America is with you in our thoughts and prayers. We have lost much but have gained hope. The terrorist will not quell our freedom and love for country. From an empathetic American.

  32. I am another reader who when I heard the news thought of you and a few of the other London bloggers that I read.It is interesting to get first hand reports of dealing with the mess that was today.

    My thoughts go out to everyone in London who was affected.


  33. I noticed the news yesterday when I was updating my page in Wikipedia – there's a Current Events page and various people instantly begun to build an article about the events. (It's in if anybody is interested.)Knowing what I know about the British, I was not particularly surprised when I heard that the emergency services went into full gear (for lack of any better term). The next couple of days will probably be rather busy, so try to catch some sleep when you can.

    Take Care of You and Yours

    VL, Finland

  34. Very impressed with the response of the emergency services and the British people.Thanks for updating yesterday.

  35. My first (rather innapropriate) thought upon hearing the news was – its the French!! They're taking revenge for the olympic decision!!As the fog of confusion cleared it was clear the LAS and the rest were doing a great job – it looked like a great plan followed by great training and good gear allowed a coordinated and smooth response. We sat around our rec room on the other side of the world wondering what we would do if the darkness came to our town. Since some of our team have worked for LAS or other London Ambulance services some of it felt a bit too familiar.

    Well done folks.


  36. London, you are all in our thoughts and prayers. You do not stand alone.Shannon

    Portland, OR USA

  37. You didn't get many calls because we were telling everyone other than category As to get into a taxi! As you can imagine, the taxi service came to a standstill quite quickly. Then the mobile signal went off, and the control room went from being a madhouse to being about as quiet as 4am on a Tuesday night. It was quite eerie. Glad you are ok, I was wondering if you'd been sent to the bomb sites.

  38. Glad you're ok.Well done to all the emergency workers in London, you do jobs I couldn't do and you all do them so well. Thank you.

  39. You were not the only one to have that reaction. Quite a few were I work did at first and thought they would target the joke at me (I come from accross the Channel). I had not heard back from a friend who commutes via King's Cross at the time and failed to see the funny side. I must be turning into a Brit though as I just grinned and walked off rather than wacking them one.

  40. really proud of all the way this was handled by all the servicesa vurtual pint to you and your colleagues

  41. I used to be in an acute trust and was part of the major major incident plan.My job was to wear an orange vest with “press office” on it and sit with the press officer at a computer. We had got what we were going to do so well rehearsed that I was quite upset I never got to put it into practice – I was also very relieved I never got to do it!

  42. Sad to say tom I thought of how you were doing before I remembered that my sister now lives in London and I better check how she was. She's 6 months pregnant and fine but wednesday would've been at Kings Cross at the exact time of the bomb.

  43. One thing that really impressed me from the television is how well the emergency services were able to deal with the 'walking wounded' at the site of the incident and (I presume) were thereby able to prioritize ambulances for the most serious cases. Very impressive, well done.Antoin.

  44. Reynolds,Here in Spain, all the news broadcasts have commented on how calm everyone was in London. Made me quite proud to be British, despite the fact that some newsreaders evidently thought it odd that people should be so seemingly unaffected.

    The other thing to reflect on is the usefulness of rehearsals for disasters. They can be a major inconvenience, but they are obviously crucial when it comes to responding to the real thing.


  45. Absolutely this.The Major Incident plan seems to have worked like a well oiled machine, all the Emergency Services were calm, professional and efficient. And if anyone says otherwise, chuck *them* however many kilos of safety gear and medical equipment, tell them people they know might be dying, and have them scramble to a location through London rush hour, assess a situation, and get the gear on and down to the middle of a tunnel underground. See how long it takes.

  46. Good on ya for rushing to volunteer, mate. You really are a credit to your career.Mr Teacher

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