Following the terrible events in Norway on the 22 July, Eric Roberts (LAS UNISON Branch Secretary) sent a message of solidarity and support to the Ambulance staff in Norway.
Below is a copy of the letter sent:
I got your name and email address from Ronald Rolfsen and I hope you do not mind me writing to you at this time.
My name is Eric Roberts and I am the Branch Secretary for Ambulance Workers in London. My union is UNISON.
Like people around the world we have looked on with horror at the murderous event that has happened in your Country.
We send our condolences and sympathy to the victims, their families, loved ones and friends.
We also saw, however, the way that your members in the Ambulance Service responded. In a very difficult and emotional situation we witnessed ambulance workers doing what is one of the most difficult jobs in the world, and doing it with huge professionalism.
So on behalf of myself, my union branch and members, I send you and your members, solidarity, respect and love.
London Ambulance UNISON
Here is the reply we received:
I am sorry that my answer is late, but as you can imagine, there has been a lot of things to do for us in our union ,Fagforbundet, after the evil and horrifying events that happened to our country 22. of July.
I am representative of all ambulance workers in pre-hospital Center Oslo and Akershus, Oslo University Hospital.
First of all I want to thank you for the comforting and warming solidarity mail from you and your members in the Ambulance Service! I have sent your regards out to all our members in the Ambulance Service of Oslo and Akershus, and also to our members in the Ambulance Service at Buskerud, our neighbour community.Across communityborders the ambulance workers stood side by side, doing their worst and most difficult job ever that day. Your mail was recieved with great gratitude, and it gave us the feeling of cohesion, strenght and solidarity across national borders. Thank you so much!
We are now in a period of mourning, but we need to work on and learn from these horrible events. Now it’s about evaluating our efforts in both events, but also maintain the support to the ambulance workers who worked in the events and debriefing all the terrible impressions they are left with.They all get professional help through our system in the Ambulance Service, EFOK, which is a special trained group in psychotraumatology.I am also a part of that group,recently graduated, and this was my biggest test ever I think.It’s a tough time, but I’m sure all of our members will do well, eventually.
You’ve been through this before with the London bombings, and I wonder how Unison worked to protect and support their members in the aftermath? Did you as a union do something exclusively for your members in the Ambulance Service? What was the main focus of Unison after the bombings in London?
On behalf of myself, my union and members, I want to thank you all for sending your love, solidarity and respect. It really means a lot to us all in this difficult times. Again: Thank you so much! It really strengthened us.
Hege Kathrine Hansen
Oslo/ Akershus Ambulance Service