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Minister visits London Ambulance’s Bow HQ to find out about Olympics response

PUBLISHED: 14:46 11 January 2012 | UPDATED: 16:37 11 January 2012

Health Minister Simon Burns talks with Training Officer Chris Hawkswell, Operations Centre Manager Craig Harman and Ambulance Operations Manager Paul Tattam during his visit to the London Ambulance Service Headquarters.

Health Minister Simon Burns talks with Training Officer Chris Hawkswell, Operations Centre Manager Craig Harman and Ambulance Operations Manager Paul Tattam during his visit to the London Ambulance Service Headquarters.

Archant

London Ambulance Service welcomed health minister Simon Burns to its base in Bow this morning to discuss how it will organise emergency responses during the Olympics.

The Tory health minister spoke to control room staff and paramedics about the test events they are carrying out on the Olympic site to familiarise themselves with the layout and also the logistics of working with other Games medics.

Demand is expected to increase by up to nine per cent at peak times during the events - an increase of around 360 calls a day.

Ambulance fleets will be coordinated from the control room in St Andrews Way for the duration of the Olympics and Paralympics.

The base is used to run large events in London.

Mr Burns said: “It will be an exciting but challenging time for our emergency services with an estimated increase of 600,000 visitors per day, and this visit is a great opportunity for me to see how the LAS’s proven skills and experience will be employed to ensure a fantastic and successful Games here in London.”

The organising committee for the Games has its own medical team that will be working closely with London Ambulance Service.

Mr Burns also met LAS’s head of Olympic planning, Peter Thorpe.

Mr Thorpe said: “We’re very well practised at covering large-scale events, such as Notting Hill Carnival and the London Marathon, however, it will be a challenge for us to be so busy over such an extended period of time.”


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