Olympics helped cut everyday injuries, say London ambulance chiefs

The Olympics probably prevented more everyday injuries in the street because many people were staying indoors to watch Britain’s sports champs winning gold.

That’s what Ambulance chiefs believe after a special Olympics fleet of ambulances and a control room was set up in east London ready to handle an expected wave of emergencies.

“We went to more seriously-ill and injured people than this time last year,” London Operations deputy director Jason Killens revealed.

“But we were not as busy as expected. This is probably because people have less chance of being injured if they’re glued to their TV captivated by Team GB bring home the medals.”

The fleet of 60 Olympic ambulances attended 850 patients at sports venues, the torch relay and live sites, figures from the Ambulance Service show. More than 500 people were taken to hospital or the polyclinic at the Olympic Park.

A dedicated control centre was set up at Bromley-by-Bow, two miles from the Olympics Park, before the Games opened.

The 200 staff drafted in to the centre over the two-week period dispatched the ambulances from a depot nearby in Poplar when emergency calls came in.

Most Read

The operation was in addition to the normal day-to-day emergency cover for London.

Ambulances answered 46,226 calls across London between July 28 and August 12, around 1,500 more than the same period last year—but taking the Olympics out of the equation, things on average were far less busy for the time of year.