Event Safety Insights Issue Three | Spring 2017 - Page 18

What Comes Next: Preparing to Face the ‘New Normal’ By Eric Stuart How incredibly sad it is that before we even managed to arrive home from this year’s Event Safety Sum- mit, we were once again counting the cost of another dreadful fire and the loss of 36 lives (‘Ghost Ship’ Warehouse Fire, Oakland Cali- fornia, December 2, 2016) . I cannot begin to express my sorrow for the victims and sympathy for their families. But I am also angry: angry that after such a successful conference, our memory of it should be blighted in this way. Was this not foreseeable, predictable and if so, entirely preventable? Maybe if we had some attendance by ‘the TLAs’, the three letter agencies, they might see what it is we are seeking to achieve and how keen we are to do so. The Ghost Ship Fire should never have happened and should never be repeated...but it will be, and we all know it. Just because we care does not mean everyone does. Just because we can foresee such eventualities, does not mean others do. The location of the Event Safety Summit seemed appropriate to me, just 90 minutes from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. A few miles from where President Lincoln gave his address on Thursday, November 19th,1863, just over 150 years ago. So ap