London’s blue-light services have this week forged a partnership like they have never needed before, with officers from the Metropolitan Police and crews from the London Fire Brigade driving ambulances and assisting medics to help boost the emergency response to the covid-19 pandemic.
The Met is providing around 75 police officers to enable the London Ambulance Service to continue to put more ambulances on the road, responding to Londoners that need them.
The police officers – who are all blue-light driving trained, have basic first aid skills and know London’s streets well – have been at Wembley Stadium to receive special training to drive ambulances and assist LAS medics.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick joined London Ambulance CEO Garrett Emmerson on a tour of the training centre at Wembley this week to see how her officers are being trained on vehicle familiarisation, manual handling and ambulance equipment.
The new partnership with the Met sits alongside an existing partnership with the London Fire Brigade, which has seen around 300 firefighters trained on ambulances since last spring.
Emmerson said, “It makes perfect sense that in the face of sustained levels of unprecedented demand we are taking steps to help our staff and volunteers care for London by enlisting the help of our Met Police colleagues.
“Partnership working with our emergency services colleagues is an essential part of our response to the pandemic and will help us to reach more patients in need of our help during this difficult time.
“We are also training more London Fire Brigade firefighters, whose support since April 2020 has been invaluable.”
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Dame Cressida was on TV a few days ago, and expressed puzzlement .. in fact , clearly as close to exasperation as she felt able to express in public…. as to why her staff are not a top priority for vaccination agianst Covid.
I totally agree with her–it clearly is of the highest importnance that front line staff are protected by the vaccines. They are in daily and nightly close contact with some of the most difficult in society many of whom who are drink, aggressive and “in your face”, and in non-bubble groups– and others who are not wearing masks .
Why are the police and fire fighters not , along with front line NHS and care staff, receiving priority for vaccination within the coming few weeks?. Days count when it comes to Covid infection.