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My Campaign 2016

2016 to me personally, was a real benchmark year for my campaign that all Our Gardai and Police Officers in the UK and Europe including control room staff, will receive training in Suicide Awareness and indeed how to apprehend a Suicidal Driver.  To be honest I would have to say that this is predominantly as a result of the truly enormous support which I have received from Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid, President of TISPOL, Ruth Purdie, General Secretary and all the wonderful TISPOL Team.

In January of 2016, Aidan Reid, Ruth Purdie, ACPO National Lead on Roads Policing Chief Constable Suzette Davenport & Dave Jones National Roads Policing very kindly arranged a meeting from me with Inspector Craig Clifton at Dublin Castle. This was, to me personally, the meeting I had wanted since Little Man’s Inquest in 2013. In his closing statement the kind Coroner, Ian Arrow called on the Association of Chief Police Officers “to review please how Police Officers approach Suicidal Persons” so Personally I wanted to know if and what changes had been made since July 6th, 2012. I was very impressed and glad to see that changes have in fact been made and that pre emptive action is what they advise in such vulnerable situations should they now arise. Of course, I would love to see them take a further step and to train all their great Roads Policing Team and indeed all the control room staff in suicide awareness. This I mentioned at our meeting so Please God they will.

May 2016 – I was invited to attend the TISPOL Road Safety Conference in Malahide huge thanks to Chief Superintendent & President Aidan Reid and General Secretary Ruth Purdie TISPOL European Road Safety Conference 2016 #SuicideAwarenessTraining #LifeIsPrecious

June 2016 – 3rd Twomey Family Remorial Weekend– Twomey Family Remorial Has Now raised Over €110,000 TWOMEY FAMILY REMORIAL #LifeIsPrecious

July 2016 – in contact wth Deputy Commissioner Tristian Knight of the Metropolitan Police regarding Suicide Awareness Training

– I was almost moved to tears when I was mentioned in a tweet by a Police Officer TPAC, Stinger, Pursuit Tactical Advisor & Advanced Police Driver Trainer in North West England who described my story as driving them to do more in their own work. It’s great to see awareness developing. A few weeks later he tweeted that as part of the TPAC training he was giving mentioned our tragic story. To me personally that our tragic story was used as a part of Police Training as to how something utterly devastating may result in such a scenario is great awareness, and I really admire the openness to to using it. Please God it will help some Police Officer and indeed the vulnerable person they may encounter! Personally, To know that Con, Baba Oisin and Little Lady have left such a mark is super!

– I contacted Jeannot Mersch, President of the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims. He kindly promised to place an article on this in their newsletter with a link to the TISPOL video. He outlined to me that at their AGM in September in Lisbon, he would put the topic on the agenda which is great toward increasing awareness. He mentioned that there have been different suspected cases in France like here, of predominantly young male single vehicle accidents where as he put it ” the driver voluntarily crashes into a tree, and also where there have been drivers who entered the motorway the wrong way and proceeded driving until crash impact.

– I also contacted Ellen Townsend, President of the European Transport Safety Council, she also kindly offered their help with regard to helping create awareness and encouraging training for Police in Suicide Awareness. he has asked me for some information on the ASIST Training and has kindly said that they will use it to promote using it within Police Training which would be fantastic. She also told me about their UK member PACTS who recently organised a lecture in partnership with The Samaritans on Suicide In Transport. It’s frightening to read that they suspect approximately 650 cases of suspected suicidal driving across England in one year alone.www.pacts.org.uk/2015/12/working-together-to-reduce-suicide-in-transport/

October 2016 –  I was kindly invited to return to Manchester for the TISPOL Road Safety Conference this year, again massive thanks to Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid and General Secretary Ruth Purdie. The speakers and stories were utterly heart clenching, the awareness they are creating and implementing is utterly extraordinary. Admiration in a word!

There I got to meet with some wonderful Irish, British and European Gardai and members of the Police Service along with members of the Road Safety Authority, and many other great road safety advocates. Some of whom I would have met last year at the TISPOL Conference TISPOL European Policing Road Safety Conference 2015 #SuicideAwarenessTraining #LifeIsPrecious It was great to catch up with them and to hear how their work is developing.

At The Conference Dinner they really surprised me at the awards presentations by presenting me with this lovely piecetispol

Needless to mention, I was shocked, surprised, completely overwhelmed not to mention extremely emotional to be honest. What I have been doing with the campaign is not in my mind award material it’s just about creating awareness and trying to prevent such a devastating tragedy from happening in the future. I honestly want My Beauties, Con, Baba Oisin and Baby Elber-Marie to have left their mark on the world as they’ve done and do on mine! It was honestly extremely kind of them but more importantly for me, it was so moving, for me personally, to see how much they believe in the merit of my campaign for suicide awareness training and addressing suicidal drivers to be part of Garda and Police Officer training.

tispol-award

November 2016 – I was kindly invited by the Road Safety Authority to their Launch of World Day Of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, an audience with Christy Moore at Smock Alley on November 17th. This was a very moving event, and I certainly admire the work the RSA are doing in making this dreadfully sad yet needful day be marked so well.

At their launch, I met with some wonderful people who have also become so so involved in Road Safety initiatives of their own, owing regretfully to their own family tragedies. The work they have done and achievements they have made are remarkable. No doubt their loved ones RIP are very proud. There I also had the pleasure of meeting with the formidable Donna Price, Irish Road Victims Association, who has dedicated unreal time to a cause very close to us all, and achieved so so much, a truly wonderful lady.

TISPOL European Road Safety Conference 2016 #SuicideAwarenessTraining #LifeIsPrecious

Heartfelt Thanks to President of TISPOL Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid, General Secretary Ruth Purdie & All at TISPOL European Traffic Police Network for their really kind invitation to their International Road Policing Conference in Malahide, Dublin on May 25th.

During the conference I had the pleasure of listening to presentations outlining the fantastic work that is being done by Police Forces at home with An Garda Siochana and beyond wth the aim of reducing the risk to all of us on our roads.

TISPOL  launched Project #Edward  in Dublin.

TISPOL’s Project Edward is European Day Without A Road Death which is set for Wednesday 21st September 2016. They are encouraging us all to make a Road Safety Pledge.

I’ve made the pledge and I would genuinely encourage you all to do so!

https://www.tispol.org/edward

Imagine, if we could have one day without a fatality!

One day where homes and hearts aren’t irreversibly shattered when a knock comes to the door to say that a loved one has been lost in a tragic crash!

No doubt with the efforts toward road safety awareness that TISPOL and their European Road Safety Colleagues ETSC are making, I have no doubt but that it will be a huge success. Honestly I think we must all make the effort to ensure it will happen. It’s not just their responsibility, personally I think we all have our own role to play in it’s success.

Please be sure and make that pledge #edward 🙂

On another note, it was extraordinary for me to meet with some of the lovely people that I had the opportunity to give my presentation to and chat with last October in Manchester. I was really pleased that they remembered my thoughts on suicide awareness training for all police forces and thankfully saw value in them.

They kindly asked me to have a chat with them about my campaign and raising police awareness of suicide issues.

https://www.tispol.org/https%3A//vimeo.com/169671621

I am eternally grateful to President Aidan Reid, General Secretary Ruth Purdie and the team at  TISPOL for all their help and support not to mention the fantastic opportunities they have given to me, to tell our tragic story and to express my thoughts on the need for suicide awareness training for all Police Officers.

#SuicideAwarenessTraining For All The Emergency Services

As You Know, I have been campaigning that All Our Gardai & Police Officers be trained in Suicide Awareness and in how to approach a Suicidal Driver.

However I have learnt, that training in Suicide Awareness is extremely necessary for All First Responders also.

Our First Responders in the fire and ambulance services in Ireland, are very often
the first to the scene of a incident where someone has indicated an intention to take their own life.

It wasn’t until I spoke with one of these first responders at a conference ,that I realised the gap in training that exists for them in this area also.

I spoke with Emergency Services Ireland about the Huge Need for Suicide Awareness Training for their Great Members:

TISPOL European Policing Road Safety Conference 2015 #SuicideAwarenessTraining #LifeIsPrecious

On October 6th 2015, With Huge Thanks to President Aidan Reid & General Secretary Ruth Purdie,

I was kindly invited to speak in Manchester, at The TISPOL European Policing Road Safety Conference on Vulnerable Road Users & Driver Suicide.

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I briefly outlined why I have been campaigning for Police Forces across Europe to be trained in suicide awareness and in how to apprehend a suicidal driver.

This is because on July 6th 2012, at 2.47 pm, whilst on our family holiday in Devon, England, my family and I were involved in a tragic collision with a suicidal driver. The crash claimed the life of our precious 16 month old son Oisín and his beautiful unborn sister and left my husband Con and I fighting for our lives. Con never recovered from his injuries and regretfully died almost 10 months later.

Twomey-family-crash-site-in-Devon

Having looked at European Road safety Statistics 2014, whilst
it is fantastic and indeed a credit to all, that road deaths
are on the decrease with a number of years, yet tragically in
2014, 25,700 road fatalities were reported across the European
Union.
Personally, I would worry that looking at these facts and
indeed the prevalence of suicide among males, that cars have
indeed been used by some people of suicidal ideation. Since
our family tragedy in 2012, I have regretfully come across a
number of instances where this has been the case.
This created an awareness in me that, undoubtedly, Police
Officers are regularly called upon to locate, control and try to
bring to a safe conclusion such volatile situations. Because of
this, I have become involved with suicide support groups and
working to encourage Police forces to incorporate the

following in their training:

  • Suicide awareness training for all their members
  • To address vulnerable road users and suicidal drivers
  • To mention the impact that Police drivers can have on others.
Stressing the sad reality that cars have and can be used as a
lethal weapon, personally I would like to see that the
‘principle of least intrusion’ become the accepted code and
part of the training for dealing with vulnerable road users and
drivers who are known or suspected to be suicidal, and that
this approach and training be extended European wide.
Reality is that not all suicidal or indeed vulnerable people can
be saved, but this training will be of huge benefit to assist the
Police Officer who has to encounter such a stressful situation,
as indeed it may help the vulnerable or suicidal person that

they may encounter.

According to the official take on what happened, nobody did
anything wrong, my family’s death was unavoidable, and
there was nothing they could do. I believe differently – not
because I want to blame someone. It’s simply because
everyone should learn from what happened on July 6th
2012
2012_0316Oisín0008
and I want to do all I can to make sure no other family has to
go through what my family had to go through, or indeed that
no other police officer has to go through this either.

 

Our Story & What Led Me To Campaign For #SuicideAwarenessTraining #LifeIsPrecious

The  following is a link to TV3 Disclosure ‘The Elber Twomey Story’.

 

This documentary tells our horrific story with regard to the tragic events that led to our crash on July 6th 2012 and indeed how it led me to campaign for suicide awareness training for all our Gardaí, Police Officers in the UK and beyond, and that my hope is that they will address the suicidal driver in this training. My thinking being that this training is to help and support the Garda/Police Officer who is faced with such a stressful situation along with hopefully helping the suicidal person that they may encounter.

It includes great interviews with my brother Tomás, close friends of Con’s, Thomas and Michael, wonderful nurses from Torbay Hospital who looked after us in the aftermath of our crash, along with Chief Superintendent Jim Nye of Devon & Cornwall Police and Superintendent Patrick McCabe from the Garda Training College in Templemore in Ireland.

It also features great moments from our http://www.twomeyfamilyremorial.com weekend which we run in June. The aim of the weekend is to Remember with Love and to Honour Con, Baba Oisín & Baby Elber-Marie & to promote the reality of how precious life is. The funds we raise from our weekend have gone to help the Hospitals who looked after us following the crash, Brú Columbanus in Cork who provide home from home accommodation for relatives of seriously ill patients in the Cork hospitals along with great suicide support groups – Reach Out, 3T’s, Suicide Aware in Cork & Pieta House

 

Invitation To Devon & Cornwall Police

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Last week I was kindly invited to Devon & Cornwall Police by Chief Superintendent Jim Nye to see the police driver training that they do now. Personally I was very impressed with their driver training. I did remark to Chief Supt Nye that I would like to see their officers trained in suicide awareness. I explained that I am aware of the pressure a police officer is under when they are confronted by this issue and my campaign is aimed at raising awareness of the stigma that mental health causes. I told Chief Supt Nye that personally I honestly feel that training in suicide awareness is as much to help the police officer as indeed the suicidal person/driver they may encounter. I remarked that I am very aware that not all suicidal people can be saved but that I feel that training in suicide awareness and promoting the principal of least intrusion in dealing with a suicidal driver would I feel be of huge benefit to the police officer should they encounter such tragic and extremely stressful scenarios.

I Spoke at Devon & Cornwall Police about the Campaign:

Chief Superintendent Jim Nye Talks about the Training Programme:

http://www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/News/NewsArticle.aspx?id=47e37b69-e7ad-448d-ab53-a33cb02af32a

http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/suicidal-drivers-moves-welcomed-by-elber-twomey-325295.html

http://www.evoke.ie/news/elber-twomey-new-hope-for-crash-survivor-in-her-campaign/

Invitation To Speak In Templemore To The Garda Driving Instructors

Last month I was kindly invited to Templemore by Superintendent Pat McCabe to address the Garda driving instructors. I spoke to them on my experience and our tragedy. I outlined the events leading up to our crash and how cctv footage from that day showed that Marek RIP had driven 12 circuits along Hamelin Way that day without doing anything wrong. The only difference in the last circuit was police presence.
I explained that I respect that not every Suicidal person can be saved but that I do believe that training in suicide awareness in the college and across the force is hugely important. I told them that I was delighted to learn from Superintendent McCabe that the new BA in policing students now undertake Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) and that I hope that this training will be rolled out across the force.
I said that in addition to this training I think it is of huge importance that when they are instructing Garda drivers that they address the suicidal driver and the impact that Garda drivers can have on others. Stressing the sad reality that cars can be used as a lethal weapon, I explained that I would like to see the principal of least intrusion adopted in this scenario.
Personally, I honestly believe that this training in suicide awareness and addressing the suicidal driver is as much to help the poor Garda / Police Officer as indeed the suicidal person they may encounter.
The fact that I was kindly invited by Superintendent McCabe to speak with the Garda driver trainers is an extremely positive development in the campaign, of which I am most grateful, and I do hope that I will continue to have an input with Superintendent McCabe and his great training team on this hugely important issue.

http://www.herald.ie/news/horror-crash-mum-elber-helping-elite-garda-driver-training-unit-31143636.html

Garda Review Article

A Big Big Thanks to the Editor of The Garda Review Magazine who kindly welcomed an article from me, regarding my thoughts on the need for Suicide Awareness for An Garda Siochána. Truly appreciated.

http://www.gardareview.ie/index.php/preventing-tragedy/

My Visit to Templemore

I was delighted to get the opportunity to speak with the Assistant Commissioner, and four colleagues who will be training the new intake of recruits in the Garda training college in Templemore on Thursday last.

The meeting lasted about an hour and was very positive. During our meeting they outlined the new B.A in applied Policing which will commence next month at the College. I was really impressed with the way that in this course, the students learn through working with realistic policing scenarios. To me it shows how practical and “real life” the course is.

At the meeting, I got a chance to get my thoughts across on the need the for more suicide training across the force. I outlined some suggestions that I would like to see included in their suicide awareness training. My hope being,that this training will be given in the Garda Training College and included in the Primary Inservice Program so that all members of An Garda Siochana will receive this training. This undoubtedly in my opinion will help and protect the Garda and indeed the suicidal person they may encounter.

They said they would think about what I said and that they found it very useful and informative. They also said that what was discussed will help them in how they train all members of the force.

That the meeting even took place is the biggest and most significant day for me since I set out on this campaign and I am most grateful to them for inviting me to the Garda Training College to speak with them on this hugely important issue.

I didn’t know what to expect but I left with the impression that they really listened to me and my suggestions and I genuinely hope that this could well be the start of something positive Please God.

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/suicide-training-urged-for-gardai-by-car-tragedy-mother-30551436.html

http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/elber-twomey-hails-quotsignificantquot-meeting-with-garda-chiefs-as-part-of-garda-suicide-training-campaign-284309.html

Meeting with Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald

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On July 23rd My brother and I had a meeting with the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald in the Dáil. I am most Thankful to Áine Collins TD and to Dan Neville TD who arranged for me to meet with Minister Fitzgerald.

I was happy with the meeting and most grateful that the Minister took the time to meet with me to discuss my campaign. During our meeting I outlined the suicide awareness/prevention training that I would like to see introduced in the Garda Training College and that it would be included in the Primary Inservice Program, that way it would show a commitment by an Garda Siochana to it.

I expressed my thinking to the Minister, that regretfully suicide is extremely prevalent in Ireland today and that obviously many members of An Garda Siochana have to deal with suicidal people as part of their post. Obviously this is extremely difficult for each member who has to encounter this. Therefore in my opinion there is a huge need for all members of An Garda Siochana to be trained to receive specific training in suicide awareness and how to apprehend suicidal drivers or the one who is known or suspected to be suicidal. I explained to her that I really believe, that this training would be extremely helpful for the Garda on a professional and indeed a personal level.

I was delighted  to hear the Minister’s words “I am supporting your visit to Templemore as the Minister for Justice and I am supporting your call for training in Mental Health issues. I will be in touch with the Gardaí about it”.

Victim of suicidal driver urges Min Fitzgerald to ensure Garda training on suicide – Neville http://www.finegael.ie/latest-news/2014/victim-of-suicidal-driver/

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/mother-who-lost-entire-family-in-crash-behind-garda-suicide-awareness-intiative-30459094.html

http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/victim-of-suicidal-driver-to-help-set-up-garda-course-276630.html

http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/heroic-irish-women-make-a-stand-for-those-they-lost-276796.html

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