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Ambulance officer admits hillsborough disaster failings

Posted in: Medical Negligence Public Place Accidents Sporting Injuries Wrongful & Accidental Death 

A senior ambulance officer recently admitted to failings which played a part in the Hillsborough disaster.  Paul Eason told the inquest that he and a colleague were supposed to be the “eyes and ears” of the ambulance service control room, but failed to “properly assess” the unfolding tragedy. The Hillsborough disaster saw ninety-six Liverpool fans die in the crush on 15 April 1989.

Mr Eason said that on the day of the accident his “eyes were blurred and his ears were blocked”. He, the fellow station officer Patrick Higgins, and two other colleagues were positioned on one corner of the Sheffield Wednesday’s ground just before kick-off. However, three minutes later, Mr Eason realised that something was happening on the Leppings Lane terraces, so he walked over to investigate.  Mr Eason said at this point he was unaware of the severity of the situation, after a barrister representing one of the families described his walk as a “leisurely stroll”.

“Roaring noise”

Having walked in front of the pens, Mr Eason said that he still did not realise how serious the situation was. He said he did not know that people were being crushed, but that all he could hear was a “roaring noise”.  He recently admitted to failing to assess the situation properly and also admitted to failing to “declare a major emergency at the earliest opportunity”.

He was recently asked if any degree of training could prepare officers for situations like the Hillsborough disaster, he said: “No. I have never experienced anything like it before or since.

The inquests continue.

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