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Ambulance Service tests Games readiness

A member of ambulance staff lowers a patient on a stretcher from the top of scaffolding during Exercise Amber

Ambulance staff from across the country have joined forces this weekend in the first event of its kind to test and demonstrate their response to incidents.

Exercise Amber was hosted by the London Ambulance Service and held at the site of the Service’s deployment centre for the 2012 Games, which has also been used for the first time.

The scenarios – which were supported by other agencies such as the Metropolitan Police, London Fire Brigade and the RNLI – included patients on a boat on the River Thames, and others needing treatment at the top of scaffolding and rescuing from under rubble.

Until recent years, ambulance staff weren’t easily able to attend casualties in these types of situations, but extra training and developments in technology means that treatment can now start more quickly and before the patient is moved.

London Ambulance Service Chief Executive Peter Bradley said: “The exercise has been very useful in testing the skills of ambulance staff to respond to these types of incidents, and the more that we are able to work together like this the better prepared we can continue to be.

“These extra capabilities that all ambulance services now have significantly add to the quality of care that our staff can provide to our millions of patients every year.”

Staff from London have also been working alongside colleagues from other ambulance services at a number of 2012 Games test events over the last few days.

Peter added: “We will have around 440 staff dedicated to the Games, and about half of these will be from other ambulance services across the country.

“Some of those who will be involved have been here to work with us over the last few days so that we can test the processes that we intend to use to deploy staff during the Games themselves.

“This has all gone well, and we are confident that we are going to be able to play our part to make the Games a big success.”

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