Ambulance staff arriving in east London from all over UK for Olympics

Around 200 frontline ambulance staff have been arriving in east London from all over Britain to provide back-up support during the Olympics.

They are working alongside London Ambulance staff and crews to provide emergency cover at Olympic venues.

It is part of the London Ambulance Service contingencies at its new ‘special events’ control centre opened at Bromley-by-Bow two weeks ago where 999 calls are being handled.

“The Olympics is the biggest event we’ve ever planned for,” said operations deputy director Jason Killens. “We’re expecting a five per cent increase in demand and have asked other NHS ambulance services to provide staff to help manage this.”

Contingency plans ensure there are enough ambulance staff in and around venues, in addition to London’s normal day-to-day coverage.

These include paramedics on bikes and teams on foot in hotspots such as Stratford and St Pancras rail stations.

Paramedic Pauline Kiely from Yorkshire Ambulance Service said: “This is probably one of the few events we’ll get to work as a single national service. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

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A fleet of 66 new ambulances has been brought in as part of the contingency, operating from a temporary base opened this week at Poplar, just two miles form the Olympics Park.