MOD must act responsibly

I don’t think anyone reading about the deaths of two experienced reservists on Saturday 13th July 2013 could fail to be shocked. Many of us have been struggling with the recent heat wave but the six soldiers here were expected to participate in an intensive and gruelling Special Forces Aptitude Test in blistering 28°C heat.

After being taken to hospital by an RAF Sea King Helicopter, two soldiers, including Lance Corporal Craig Roberts, later died with a third remaining critically ill. Heat is being investigated as a significant factor in their deaths. The deaths of these soldiers are utterly tragic and could have been prevented and my sincere condolences go to their families and friends.

The Ministry of Defence has a comprehensive knowledge of the risks associated with climatic injuries, such as exposure to excessive heat or cold, and even produces its own guidance on how to prevent this type of injury, yet I have seen many clients suffer life changing injuries as a result of such exposures and careers ruined.

It is surely time for the MOD revisit the guidance it issues and ensure its own policies are implemented? Shockingly though the MoD has stated that “there are no plans to change any planned exercises, whatever their nature, in light of this”.