A hero police dog who was one of the first to arrive at the scene of the Manchester Arena terror attack in 2017 has died following three years of “happy retirement”.
The sad news of PD Mojo’s death was confirmed on social media this morning.
In a statement to Twitter, the British Transport Police said: “We’re so sad to say the incredible RPD Mojo has passed away, following three happy years of retirement.
“He was the first dog on scene at the Manchester Arena attack and later honoured by Crufts for his bravery.
“We’ll never forget your service, Mojo – a true BTP legend”.
PD Mojo – who worked as part of the British Transport Police – was the first to arrive at the scene of the atrocity on 22nd May 2017, and worked throughout the night alongside his handler PC Phil Healy.
PD Mojo and PC Healy had just arrived home after an early shift, but returned to work after news came through of an explosion at the Ariana Grande concert.
Mojo immediately started searching the concourse at Manchester Victoria train station upon his arrival to make sure the area was safe, and searched around injured victims to make sure the area was safe and that there were no further explosives.
The pair then moved into the Arena itself and the site of the explosion to check for any secondary devices so that other emergency teams could work in safety.
PD Mojo was awarded a PDSA Order of Merit in 2018 for his devotion on duty.
Speaking on the awarding of the animal OBE in 2018, PC Healy said: “There is no doubt that what Mojo experienced that night had a lasting effect on him, as it has all of us [and] his receiving the PDSA Order of Merit is a fitting way to recognise his actions.
“I am extremely proud of him”.
Jan McLoughlin – Director General at PDSA – also added at the time: “PD Mojo worked tirelessly through unimaginable scenes of destruction and utter chaos [and] his role on the night was to make others safe.
“His dedication to duty, despite clearly being distressed by what he saw, makes him a deserving recipient of the PDSA Order of Merit”.
Having worked for the force since he was 12-months-old, PD Mojo retired from British Transport Police duties in 2018 at aged eight, and despite suffering from stress-related alopecia in the aftermath of the bombing, he was said to have had a “happy” three years of retirement living with PC Healy before he died.
Tributes to PD Mojo have since been pouring in on social media, with many expressing their kind words and praising his service.
PC Healy took to Twitter this morning to say: “Today I say goodnight to my work partner, my loyal companion, my sounding board. You stood tall when I needed you most, at times I put all my trust in you and you never failed me.
“RPD Mojo stand down you served your time, rainbow bridge is ahead”.
Rest in Peace, PD Mojo.
Featured Image – PDSA Press
Army ‘on standby’ as UK prepares for more postal, rail, lecturer and nurses strikes in December
The armed forces are said to be “on standby” to help fill various roles ahead of a new raft of strikes across health, education and postal sectors this month.
Royal Mail workers, university lecturers and sixth-form college staff are committed to walking out over pay disputes on Wednesday, 30 November as various organised strikes persist across the country.
Countless employees from various industries who feel they are underappreciated and underpaid are set to join the ongoing rail strikes, as well as the thousands of nurses expected to follow suit on the picket line throughout December.
Now, as per the interim chief executive of NHS Providers Saffron Cordery, given the strikes’ proximity to Christmas, roping in the British military now seems likely. Dr Emma Runswick of the British Medical Association said there is there a simple way to put an end to mass industrial action: pay people fairly.
Speaking to Sky News on Thursday morning, Cordery confirmed that while the army is waiting in the wings to help fill relevant NHS roles, “the reality is if the army or other armed forces step in it will very much be at the margins rather than going out and driving ambulances”.
It remains unclear whether army personnel will be needed to combat the impending labour shortage across other industries. Regardless, the Communication Workers Union are going ahead will a series of strikes in December.
Having formally called on Royal Mail employees to join the national demonstrations for strike action on the following days:
Friday, 9 December
Sunday, 11 December
Wednesday, 14 December
Thursday, 15 December
Friday, 23 December
Saturday, 24 December
As for rail workers, RMT Assistant General Secretary Eddie Dempsey shared a similar sentiment, assuring that while the train drivers and the transport sector, in general, are standing firm, negotiations with Network Rail and other operators continue this week.
In addition to RMT members across 14 rail companies striking on 13-14 and 16-17 December, as well as 3-4 and 6-7 January, the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) said that staff working onboard and station roles will take action against Avanti West Coast on 13, 14, 16 and 17 December.
Meanwhile, the National Education Union (NEU) which represents 77 sixth-form colleges in England are also striking over pay, stating that in real terms, teachers have suffered a pay cut of around 20% since 2010.
Furthermore, the University and College Union (UCU) already held a 48-hour strike last week and is now set to hold another 24-hour walkout among university staff. As well as organising a large rally in London, union members across at least 150 different institutions will be joining the December strikes.
Rob Burrow to read CBeebies Bedtime Story for International Day of Disabled Persons
Former rugby player Rob Burrow MBE is next up to read a CBeebies Bedtime Story later this week to mark International Day of Disabled Persons.
The 40-year-old ex-Leeds Rhino turned MND campaigner will be reading a bedtime story on Saturday, 3 December, to celebrate the international day of observance.
Having already recorded his story, despite not being able to walk or talk anymore, Burrow used an eye-controlled computer to read the story, with a ground-breaking program able to recreate the words in his own native Yorkshire accent. Absolutely lovely.
Joined in the CBeebies studio by his wife Lindsey and two of their children, seven-year-old Maya and three-year-old Jackson, the pair helped to direct their dad from the gallery, shouting “action!” as the cameras started rolling. Heartwarming stuff, just watch:
Speaking to the BBC, Rob said he felt “excited and honoured” to be chosen for this British institution in UK television, especially as he used to enjoy reading to his own children.
He went on to insist that “reading and literacy are so important. It doesn’t matter what your disability is, reading is accessible to everyone. Anyone can enjoy reading and develop a love of books and bedtime stories, just like me and my family.”
The book chosen for his bedtime story is Tilda Tries Again by Tom Percival, which follows the story of a young girl who finds her world turned upside-down and has to find a new way to solve her problems, not unlike Rob’s own journey in recent years.