Londoners hail police, first responders as heroes

London terror attack: How it unfolded
Copyright 2017 CNN
In the aftermath, police announced the two incidents at London Bridge and Borough Market were "terrorist incidents" and warned people to avoid the area while emergency vehicles responded to the attacks.

If bravery can be quantified, then the story of the first responders and police forces who descended in the chaotic moments after this weekend’s London attacks can be told in sheer numbers.

In eight minutes, London Metropolitan officers had arrived at Borough Market and killed three suspects, saving untold lives. With 80 medics in full force, The London Ambulance service transported 48 patients from the two scenes of the attack. Armed with one baton, a British Transport Police officer tackled the attackers at Borough Market. Though he was seriously injured, the officer is now stable and recovering.

The figures are impressive, but an even deeper impact made by the evening’s heroes lies in the love shown by grateful citizens.

Whether it was through a simple online message, a postcard or a quick chat in the street, Londoners and supporters from around the world were quick to recognize the efforts of the city’s professional protectors.

‘At this awful time, thanks to all of you here’

The London Ambulance service said it had received hundreds of messages of support since the attack.

The Metropolitan Police in Lewisham, London, shared a kind note that had been dropped off at their office. “At this awful time thanks to all of you here at Lewisham and all your colleagues for what you do every day,” it read.

The Lewisham MPS also shared a common sentiment echoing around London: “We are not afraid.”

“YOUR local police are out and about working to keep you safe,” they wrote. “Pls stop us, say hello & have a chat.”

The comments on such posts are almost unanimous: “Thank you.”

‘Extraordinary heroism’

Famous Brits also took a moment to thank first responders on social media.

“Heaps of praise for the talent and bravery of London police, special forces and ambulance services last night,” wrote British actor Michael Xavier.

Welsh actor Luke Evans expressed his pride in London’s resolve. “Extraordinary heroism of first responders last night reminds us this is a city that won’t be broken,” he wrote.

‘There are barely words to describe their bravery’

The attacks in London’s heart claimed seven lives and left dozens injured. They also salted a fresh wound for the British people, who were still processing the bombing in Manchester that killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert two weeks ago.

There are still several critical questions to be asked about this weekend’s attacks. But one thing remained clear, through the words of political leaders, British personalities and ordinary citizens: Police and first responders were at the heart of the city’s resolve and resilience.

“There are barely words to describe their bravery — officers who ran towards danger with no thought for their own safety,” Metropolitan Police Federation Chairman Ken Marsh said in a statement.

“Londoners can rightly be proud of their emergency services today. They are the best of the best and we thank everyone for their praise and kind comments.”