London Ambulance Service begins Olympics planning
London Ambulance Service has started preparing for the biggest sporting event in the world—the 2012 Olympic Games.
The Service has set up an Olympic Planning Unit to get the organisation ready for the Games.
The four-strong team, led by Ambulance Operations Manager Peter Thorpe, is laying down foundations for ensuring the Service is ready for the Games, which will run over a 60-day period at a 680-acre site in Stratford, east London, and other venues throughout London and in other parts of the UK.
Tony Rowe, a member of the unit, said: “There is no bigger event in the world then staging the Olympics and this will present London—and therefore the London Ambulance Service—with one of its greatest challenges.
“Our aim is to ensure that during the Olympics, together with our partners, we provide a good service to the Games and maintain service to the public of London.
“We understand from cities that have held previous, similar events that early preparation is one of the keys to success, which is why we have set up our office five years in advance.
“Although it is a long way away, there is an enormous amount which can be done at this stage.
“As we get nearer to 2012 the size of the team will increase from four to around 20 staff and it is also likely that members of the Service will go to work with the inter-agency Olympic Security Directorate and the Olympic Development Agency.”
The Service will act as co-ordinator on aspects of Olympic delivery between ambulance services outside the capital and partner agencies such as the Olympic Delivery Agency and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games.
Staff will be involved in consultation on aspects of design for the Olympic Park stadia and village, the transport plan, and security.
Along with the Games itself, the Service will be preparing for four other phases—construction, testing, exercises, and training.
Last month (25 January) the first national Olympic ambulance co-ordination meeting was held at the Service’s headquarters, where a broad overview of preparations so far was provided by the Service and notes taken on the planning arrangements throughout Britain.
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