Channel 1 Los Angeles
The new training centre in Barking will help London Ambulance Service build greater capacity to take potentially life-saving calls as well as enhancing the NHS 111 service for east London.
By the end of the year, 155 emergency call handlers will have trained at the new interactive 999 training centre and be ready to take emergency calls from the public.An additional 150 ambulances have also been added to the capital’s streets to help the service deal with the expected rise in demand in the months ahead.
During the height of the Covid-19 outbreak, Londoners were making around 11,000 emergency calls a day for an ambulance, compared to an average of 5,500 a day before the onset of the pandemic, an increase of 100 per cent. Calls to the 111 service in north east and south east London also tripled at the busiest period.
Paramedics responded to the unprecedented demand day and night throughout the capital, with many making difficult personal sacrifices. More than 160 London Ambulance Service medics, emergency call handlers and support staff were separated from their families for more than a month, moving into temporary accommodation so they could remain on the frontline to help Londoners.
More than 700 volunteers, former members of staff, student paramedics and others came forward to help with the covid-19 response, together with 399 London firefighters who drove ambulances or administered first aid. A new additional control room dedicated to receiving covid-19 emergency calls was set up in Waterloo and staffed by 130 student paramedics in March whilst Transport for London and the AA also joined the effort to help London Ambulance Service cope with the extraordinary levels of demand and keep ambulances on the road.
The Mayor of London toured the new training centre today and met some of the dedicated frontline paramedics and emergency and urgent care staff working hard day and night to keep the capital safe. He took the opportunity to thank the London Ambulance Service for their dedication and commitment during the pandemic.