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National Emergency Services Memorial (Or - Why We Should Celebrate Every Hero)
Sometimes I do things which even surprise me.  Personally I hold one of the people who I work with responsible for the latest episode of “Inky's Adventures”.  Well if they hadn't advertised the fact they were within a 50 mile radius of me (and I knew they were accessible by bus), I wouldn't have gone to find them.

You may remember I do some blogging for a company called “Simple Solutions”???  This company is based down in Fleet (in Hampshire).  Living in Leicester and being unable to drive makes getting to anywhere on the other side of London in a reasonable time-frame an expensive venture.  This meant that – although I had spoken to both the people I work with on the telephone (as well as keeping in contact via Social Media and email) – I had never actually met either Roger or Lucy.

My latest adventure was to change that.

Roger and Lucy went to the “Emergency Services Show” at the NEC.  Now – there was something I found puzzling about this.  I had known that Roger had been in the Police (Inspector Nield – as he was then – was the reason I started working with Simple Solutions in the first place, after contacting him on Twitter),  I also had had an idea that Lucy (his wife) had also been in the Police.  However, I have never seen a Police Officer in a red uniform before (on the first photo of himself that he posted on either Twitter or Facebook from his time at the NEC – Roger was wearing a distinctly red t-shirt).

So – off I went to the NEC.

Between you and me I was actually expecting not to be allowed anywhere near the exhibition – due to one minor difference between myself and Roger.  I have never worked for any Emergency Service.  Until I had found Lucy I was actually convinced that I was going to get kicked out – more precisely – I was on the verge of abandoning my mission myself as I felt out of place.

Anyway – I eventually found Lucy standing at a stall (I really love surprising people by being where they least expect to find me – when I said “Hi Lucy” the smile on her face made my adventure worthwhile).  She was wearing the same sort of t-shirt as Roger had been wearing on the photo – turned out that they were there as part of “Surrey Search And Rescue”.  Hence the t-shirts.

However, there was also another very good point to their presence at the NEC.  Roger is a Trustee of a charity which was set up by someone else with a connection to Simple Solutions.  NESM (National Emergency Services Memorial) has been set up to raise money for a memorial to all the members of the Emergency Services in the UK who have been killed.

To find out more about the charity (and buy one of their badges)  please visit - www.nesm.org.uk

You may know that I have family connections with both Leicestershire Police and the Rotterdam Police.  I also have friends (including Roger and Lucy) who have been serving Police Officers in England.  I even have one friend who still is (at time of typing this blog post) a serving Police Officer in Rotterdam – and I have lost count of the amount of serving and ex-Police Officers I follow on Twitter.

You don't need me to tell you that the Police (and the other Emergency Services) put their lives on the line every time they go to work.  (If I hear about an incident involving a Police Officer in an area where I know one of my friends works I get worried – even if I have never met the Officer concerned.)

There needs to be some public form of recognition of the sacrifice made by the Officers who have lost their lives – apart from people lining the streets at the funerals.

Yes – I know my link with “NESM” can best be described as tenuous.  However, one thing which cannot be described as half-hearted is my support for this idea.

I was just thinking – we have things like “Help For Heroes”, “Vulnerable Veterans”, etc, to help ex-Military people but is there anything to help ex-Police Officers who end up having to leave due to physical or mental health issues they sustained whilst on duty???  I know there is a charity to help their dependants – but what about the Officers themselves???

It is all very well setting up statues and Memorials for Officers who have lost their lives but I think we should also look after the ones who are forced out of the “Job” due to ill health as well.

One other thing before I finish this blog post.  Not every Police Officer who dies is killed whilst on duty – some of them kill themselves as a result of the pressures and stress they face as part of their job.  A Wise Owl of a serving Police Officer said - either on Twitter or on their personal blog – that they had had to deal with some horrific situations but were practically left to deal with the emotional and mental aftermath they faced on their own.  Surely this cannot be allowed to happen???

One of the myths surrounding the Police is that “The Police Are The Public”.  Sorry – in my eyes the Police are Superheroes – and should be treated as such.
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