Ambulance service remembers 999 emergency on 09.09.09
LONDON’s ambulance staff are thanking the operators who run the emergency 999 service for their work on today’s date, 09.09.09. Pictured are student paramedics who are training to deal with an average of 3,800 calls from members of the public who dial 999 every day in London for an ambulance
LONDON’s ambulance staff are thanking the operators who run the emergency 999 service for their work on today’s date, 09.09.09.
Pictured are student paramedics who are training to deal with an average of 3,800 calls from members of the public who dial 999 every day in London for an ambulance. That’s 1.4 million calls a year and numbers are growing.
“Today’s date, 09-09-09, is apt to recognise the superb work of those who provide the 999 service,” said London Ambulance chief officer Peter Bradley.
“They work 24/7, all 365 days a year, making sure Londoners get the help they need in an emergency and particularly in life-threatening situations.”
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But only around a 10th of calls are for the critically ill or injured, the majority not needing an ambulance racing on blue lights and sirens, he points out.
London Ambulance is the busiest service in Britain, caring for a-million patients a year in more than 620 square miles within the M25, from Heathrow in the west to Upminster in the east.
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Britain’s 999 service was the world’s first emergency telephone call line, introduced on June 30, 1937. But the first full-time ambulance service goes back to the 1800s.
1904: First motor ambulances introduced, carrying a single stretcher at 15 mph, replacing all horse-drawn ambulances by 1912.
1930: Responsibility for the ambulances transfers to London County Council.
1937: Emergency 999 service introduced.
1939-45: Wartime Auxilliary Ambulance Service takes over.
1948: National Health Service established.
1965: London-wide ambulance expanded under new Greater London Council.
1974: South West Thames Regional Health Authority takes over from GLC in the NHS reorganisation.
1989: Staff take part in a six-month nationwide strike over pay and working conditions, crews living off public donations and handing out station telephone numbers to be contacted directly in emergencies.
1996: London Ambulance NHS Trust is born.
2005: July, 250 staff involved in the emergency response to 7/7 London Underground bombings.
2007: November and December busiest months on record for 999 ambulance calls.
2008: London Ambulance voted best service in UK in Healthcare Commission annual check.