Manchester Arena attack victim inspired to become officer by 'army of police' who saved him

Josh Elliot now works as a response officer in Crook, in County Durham. Credit: Durham Police

A victim of the Manchester Arena terror attack was inspired to become a policeman by the officer who saved him.

Josh Elliot was working as a teaching assistant and planning a career in the classroom when he attended the Ariana Grande concert in 2017.

In the moments after officers rescued him from the carnage of the Manchester Arena terror bombing, the 27-year-old decided he wanted to join the police.

Five years later the response officer serves in Crook, in County Durham.

“It was a horrendous situation to be in but seeing how the officers sprang into action and put themselves in danger to get us to safety just made something click in me," he said.

“I saw it as a way of turning a negative into a positive and I knew then that I had to go into policing.”

Josh Elliott said he would not change his new job "for the world". Credit: Durham Police

Mr Elliott attended the concert with two friends and it was the group’s decision to hang back at the end of the show that meant they were not caught in the deadly terrorist attack in the arena foyer.

It was there that 22 fans were killed and more than 1,000 were injured.

It took the terrified group around 40 minutes to exit the arena.

Mr Elliot said: “We were literally walking out and just heard this massive bang and then saw the smoke and people started to run and scream. No one knew what was going on.

“There were about 30 or 40 cop cars there and I just remember thinking it was like an army of police who had come out of nowhere to get us to safety.

“They were helping us get out and making sure we were ok. They were just getting us away from the danger and carnage.

“It’s hard to explain but seeing it all was just crazy and I just remember feeling an instant wave of relief and thinking, these people are mint and I would love to be someone like that.”

Police close to the Manchester Arena the morning after the terrorist attack. Credit: PA

Despite not knowing anything about the police, Mr Elliott researched the role and applied to join as a police call handler to gain experience and further knowledge of what he would be dealing with on a daily basis.

He then applied for the role of police constable and now as a response officer he aims to one day join the Armed Policing Unit.

Mr Elliot continued: “No two shifts are ever the same and sometimes you won’t get away for hours after your shift but the knowing you are helping people in need every day is really rewarding and I wouldn’t change it for the world."

Durham Police is currently recruiting. Anyone interested in applying has until 5pm on 2 September.

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