Chief Officers from Northamptonshire’s three emergency services came together on Jan. 27th at a special joint ceremony to acknowledge and commend the actions of staff and members of the public in responding to a major incident at the Lava and Ignite nightclub in October 2011, where two young women tragically lost their lives.
Among those commended were three members of the public namely: Chinedu Ani, Olabanji Gellately-Olanrewaju and Leonel Oliviera. Olanrewaju couldn’t make it to the ceremony
Chinedu Ani who travelled from London to attend the event held at Northampton High School was commended for his actions in repeatedly trying to pull trapped people out of the staircase crush and to safety. He received a standing ovation from emergency services personnel for his brave and selfless act.
Clubbers were involved in a crush on the main staircase area in the nightclub and students Nabila Nanfuka, 22, and Laurene-Danielle Jackson, 19, suffered fatal injuries while trying to leave the club, which was based in Northampton town centre.
At the commendation ceremony, staff from Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, Northamptonshire Police and the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS), were presented with formal commendations and letters of appreciation, acknowledging their efforts and professionalism in bringing the incident under control and limiting the number of people killed or seriously injured.
Adrian Davis, Head of Service for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service said:
“There was rightly a complex and lengthy investigation into this incident, which concluded with the Coroner’s inquest at the end of last year. Following its conclusion all three chief officers felt it was now appropriate to pay tribute and recognise the tremendous work of the emergency responders in dealing with the events that unfolded at the Lava and Ignite nightclub.”
Deputy Chief Constable, Andy Frost was the Police Gold Commander on the night of the incident and said: “What happened that night was an absolute tragedy. We know that without the combined efforts of the staff from Northamptonshire Police, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service and East Midlands Ambulance Service, together with members of the public, there would have undoubtedly been more people killed or seriously injured.”
Three police officers; five fire officers, six EMAS staff and three members of the public were awarded formal commendations for the exemplary actions they took in responding to the incident. A further 116 members of staff received letters of appreciation from chief officers acknowledging the significant role they played and for their professionalism.
Richard Henderson, Director of Operations with East Midlands Ambulance Service said: “This was a very challenging and stressful incident where split second decisions had to be made. We are extremely proud of the actions taken by the emergency teams. They worked together very effectively, in tremendously difficult circumstances. They showed a great deal of compassion in supporting trapped, distressed and injured members of the public.”