As part of our preparations for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, our frontline staff were given special training. This ranged from a general introduction to the Games and our role within it, to treating patients with a range of disabilities.
What training did we give staff?
Clinical staff received four days of classroom-based training. This included event management, disability awareness and working with other agencies. A further two days of training was given around what to do in the event of a major incidents, attending test events and getting to know the park, venues and surrounding areas.
Specific disability awareness training included caring for patients with visual and hearing impairments, people with learning disabilities and also learning about using a wheelchair.
Staff were given communication booklets, featuring pictures, to help them to interact with patients who had learning disabilities, could not speak English as a first language, or had difficulties communicating.
Treating patients with visual impairments
As part of disability awareness training, ambulance staff learnt how to treat and care for patients with visual impairments, which involved putting on special glasses so they could experience what having different visual impairments was like.
Sign language training
Basic sign language was taught to staff who worked during the Games so they were able to communicate with patients with hearing impairments who use sign language.