A conference organised by the London Ambulance service has heard from officials responsible for providing emergency services during Melbourne’s 2006 Commonwealth Games and the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The conference was organised by Ambulance service bosses as part of an ongoing process to plan medical cover during the London 2012 games and was attended by ambulance services across the country, St John Ambulance and the British Red Cross.
The Service’s Head of Olympic Planning Peter Thorpe said: “It’s important to learn from services who have run similar events and share information and this conference was a great opportunity to do this. We started our planning in 2006 – we learned from other cities that have hosted the Games that you can never start planning early enough.
“We are now moving away from the planning phase and into the delivery phase. It’s the biggest sporting event in the world so will be an enormous test, with a huge influx of spectators, athletes, officials and media into London. The challenge is not just providing medical care to the Olympics, but also ensuring that we maintain our normal day-to-day emergency service across the capital at the same time.
“It’s an exciting time and our staff, as well as those from other ambulance services, will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to work at the Games and will acquire new skills along the way.”
Later this month the London Assembly will hold the first of two public meetings which will form part of an investigation into the ability of London’s emergency services to provide normal services for Londoners in 2012 while also coping with the extra pressure likely to be caused by the Olympic Games.
A report by Assembly Members into their findings is expected to be published in October.