Central Operations Paramedic Luke Collyer

Central Operations I’ve worked for the London Ambulance Service for six years now.  Two years ago I decided I wanted a change and to learn new skills so applied for the Central Operations unit.  This is a group of staff who receive specialist training to work at the scene of mass casualty firearms attacks. To apply, I needed a minimum of six months’ experience as a paramedic and to be trained to work as a single responder in a car.  There is also a strict fitness test that you need to pass as you have to be able to carry lots of kit or move a heavy person over distance.

We drive specific cars to carry all our specialist kit. This includes ballistic vests, helmets and personal protective equipment.  There are also two large hold-alls packed with a variety of trauma dressings, tourniquets and triage tags.

Day to day I work as a normal paramedic in a car, but due to our preparedness, and should the worst happen, I am available to respond immediately. My training also extends to being part of a mobile response team where, covering large events, we work on foot in teams of three to get through busy crowds and treat patients.  Also, as a Central Operations paramedic I will work closely with the police on incidents such as pre-organised raids, stabbings, shootings, assaults or road traffic collisions.  So it’s safe to say there is never a dull moment.