Terrorist attacks, the Grenfell Tower fire and extreme winter weather posed significant challenges for ambulance trusts during 2017 and 2018, in addition to introducing a new response model with revised performance metrics – the biggest substantial change in ambulance operating practice in England for 40 years – and managing the ever increasing demand on services.
For ambulance services these were times to put mass casualty, mutual aid, resilience plans and CBRN capabilities into action for real.
All of the training, testing of procedures and multi-agency exercising came to the fore and the ambulance response in all cases was highly effective and professional. Of course there are always lessons to be learned and ways to improve identified and this too formed a big part of ambulance activities throughout the year – sharing experiences, supporting staff involved and revisiting plans.
The Association of Ambulance Chief Executives’ latest Annual Report outlines some of the key areas of work and engagement undertaken in respect of these priorities throughout 2017/18.