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Case study: an effective response

An article helping to identify the elements of a good emergency response using the helicopter crash in Glasgow in 2013 as a case study.

You have seen an example of poor planning, so what effect does good planning and a decisive response have?

The Glasgow helicopter crash 2013

In 2013 the crash of a Police Scotland helicopter in Glasgow resulted in the deaths of 10 people (BBC 2013A). The helicopter plunged into a public house at 22:25 on a Friday, so it was extremely fortunate that the number of fatalities was not considerably higher.

The full extent of the damage caused by the incident can be seen in the article covering the tragedy, ‘Glasgow helicopter crash: aircraft removed from pub’ (BBC 2013B) available from the BBC News website. From this article, we can see some of the key stages of the emergency services’ response.

Following the immediate response to the emergency, a joint press conference was held that combined both the political and operational response. Watch the ‘Glasgow helicopter crash tragedy press conference’ (Daily Record 2013) available from the Daily Record website.

From investigating these resources, you will be able to see that in this case, it was a combination of a rapid and effective operational response and good communications that led to a good response that was additionally perceived as such by the public. This points to an effective emergency preparedness framework.

Your task

Using these articles as a starting point, further research the events surrounding the Glasgow helicopter crash and the response.
Consider which aspects of the response to the emergency would reinforce the view that the planning and preparation were effective.


British Broadcasting Corporation (2013A) Glasgow helicopter crash: Clutha death toll rises to 10 [online] available from [10 May 2018]

British Broadcasting Corporation (2013B) Glasgow helicopter crash: Aircraft removed from pub [online] available from [09 May 2018]

Daily Record (2013) Glasgow helicopter crash tragedy press conference [online] available from [09 May 2018]

© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0
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Emergency Planning and Preparedness: An Introduction

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