Ambulance crews to treat over 1,000 patients in Exercise Unified Response

29 February 2016

London Ambulance Service will treat over 1,000 casualties during Europe’s largest disaster training exercise which begins in the capital today (Monday 29 February).EUR2

Hundreds of actors - each with a different story - will help make the scenario as realistic as possible and test the clinical skills of the ambulance crews responding to a building collapsing onto a tube train. Ambulance crews on the ground will encounter realistic scenarios that will reflect the graphic nature of this type of major incident.

Director of Operations Paul Woodrow said: “Over four days ambulance staff will treat hundreds of injuries that would be typical during an incident like this including fractures, broken limbs, head injuries, amputations, spinal injuries and respiratory conditions.

“Our ambulance crews are highly trained clinicians and in the event of a major incident be dispatched to the scene quickly start assessing and treating patients, saving lives and ensuring patients  receive the treatment they need.

An incident control room will be opened where staff from our emergency operations centre will also practice their response to a major incident which involves managing information from staff at the scene, ensuring that we dispatch the most appropriate resources, and coordinating where patients will be conveyed.

Around 175 clinical staff will attend each day including emergency ambulance crews, paramedics, advanced paramedics, and specialist staff from the Hazardous Area Response Team who are trained to provide life-saving medical care in dangerous environments.

London’s Air ambulance and the Medical Emergency Response Team (MERIT) will also be supporting our response during the exercise.

Paramedic students and medical students are along the large number of people volunteering as casualties throughout the exercise, to make the scenario as realistic as possible for emergency teams.

Paul said: “In the event of a major incident we have clear processes and plans in place including an alert system for staff who have proved they are always willing to support our response - even when not on duty.

“By testing our responses to an incident like this we’ll increase our preparedness for any major incident that affects London. It is also a great opportunity to test how we work with emergency services and all other partners across London.”

Notes to editors

  • Similar to a real incident, we are receiving a level of mutual support from ambulance services across the country.
  • Media interviews are available on request. Please contact Rachel Baugh on 07584703647 for more information.
  • During the exercise there will be photographs and videos captured that will be shared on social media, follow @Ldn_Ambulance and use #UnifiedResponse or like us on Facebook.
  • In order to create the most realistic environment possible, an entire tube station has been recreated and then ‘crushed’ in a disused power station close to the Dartford river crossing.
  • For more information on the exercise please go to: http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/exercise-unified-response.asp.