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London Ambulance Service commemorates colleagues in poignant ceremony

Staff from London Ambulance Service (LAS) remembered those who lost their lives during the Covid-19 pandemic at a special ceremony held today (Monday 4 March).

Staff gathered in the memorial garden at the Waterloo headquarters as part of the National Day of Reflection for a short service and minute’s silence at noon to remember colleagues and loved ones who have sadly died.

The Day of Reflection was created to honour those we have lost and to support those who have been bereaved.

LAS was joined by representatives from the London Fire Brigade, St John Ambulance and NHS England who all partnered with London Ambulance Service to respond to the pandemic in the capital.

London Ambulance Service Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles led the short ceremony and minute’s silence. He said: “This Day of Reflection enables us to come together to reflect on our collective loss of colleagues at London Ambulance Service and loved ones across the entire nation.

“We stand in support of those who have lost friends and family, and offer our condolences to all those who are still grieving the loss of their loved ones.

“We will always remember our late colleagues, and will never forget their commitment and dedication to the Service.

“The one minute’s silence provides us with an opportunity to grieve and celebrate their lives.”

Andy Snowball from the Ceremonial Unit.

Andy Trotter, Chair for London Ambulance Service, said: “During the pandemic we lost a number of colleagues, who I know were more than just colleagues – they were good friends, LAS family, and we will never forget them.

“Today I would also like to remember colleagues who have died in the last year. Our thoughts are with their families and friends.

“I would also like to extend our thanks to our partners in other emergency services and across the NHS today. We have learnt so much from working together and, through our continued partnerships, we will provide the best care to those that need us most and help to keep our communities safe.

“I’d like to thank each and every one of our staff for your unwavering commitment to the Service and for continuing to help care for all Londoners across our capital.

“Your bravery, courage and utmost dedication throughout the year will always be remembered, so I would like to take this opportunity to thank you.”

During the pandemic a partnership between LAS and the Metropolitan Police Service was created so that police officers could help drive ambulances and assist paramedics to bolster London’s emergency response to Covid.

Firefighters at London Fire Brigade also helped with a number of roles across London Ambulance Service, including driving ambulances and other support vehicles.

London Ambulance Service established a wellbeing hub during the pandemic to provide a single point of access to services to support the physical and mental health of staff and volunteers at LAS.

It also invested in training to expand its peer support network and other wellbeing initiatives like tea trucks to deliver hot drinks and snacks to busy crews on the road. These services continue today and you can support them by donating to the London Ambulance Charity here.

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