Emma’s night at the hospi­tal

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - STANDARD VIEW -

On the night of the dis­as­ter Emma Harper was a nurse at Dum­fries In­fir­mary wait­ing to help ca­su­al­ties.

The south of Scot­land MSP told Holy­rood that she has found her­self re­flect­ing on rec­ol­lec­tions from that night – her own and that of her dairy farmer dad.

Emma said:“My dad said that he was ‘check­ing a coo oot in the front field’that was about to have a calf when he heard a boom or a low sound that he de­scribed as‘mebbes an ex­plo­sion’.

“Our fam­ily home is quite a few miles – al­most eight miles –from the Tun­der­garth site and Locker­bie, but could my dad have ac­tu­ally heard the bomb go off from eight miles away?”

She re­vealed that she was off duty as a nurse at the hospi­tal but got a call just af­ter 7.30pm from the oper­at­ing the­atre man­ager.

The MSP was told:“We don’t know what’s go­ing on yet but it may be a plane crash – it may be mil­i­tary.”

She helped set up the oper­at­ing rooms and was told to pre­pare for and ex­pect many trauma pa­tients and cases.

“We got the rooms ready and waited and waited, but the trauma pa­tients did not come,”she said.“Hun­dreds were dead – later, we heard that 270 peo­ple lost their lives.

“The fan­tas­tic motto of the schol­ar­ship re­mem­brance pro­gramme is‘Look back and act for­ward’and mem­bers have men­tioned the town’s motto, For­ward Locker­bie.

“Those are apt terms for us to think about af­ter 30 years.”

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