With the World’s most prestigious sporting event heading to the country later this month, West Midlands Ambulance Service has been limbering up and flexing its muscles in preparation for the Olympics.
A total of 30 staff from West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) will be heading south to support London Ambulance Service (LAS) within the Olympic Park to ensure that emergency medical aid is on hand for spectators, officials and athletes in and around the sporting venue.
The team, comprising of 25 clinicians, three emergency operations centre staff and two senior venue commanders, completed an intense four day familiarisation and accreditation training course with LAS. The special training covered a broad range of areas from general introductions to the Games and their role within it, to treating patients with a range of disabilities.
In May, WMAS joined ambulance staff from across England for Exercise Amber which tested their skills in dealing with a range of scenarios including patient’s on boats, up scaffolding and under rubble.
The team will be departing for London on 23rd July, in readiness for the opening ceremony of the Olympics on 27th July, and will join around 180 other frontline ambulance staff dedicated to working in games venues. About half of the frontline medics are from other English NHS ambulance services who will be assisting LAS to not only ensure there’s medical cover at the games but to support their normal day-to-day emergency service.
The team of 30 will be working for LAS from 23rd July until they return to the West Midlands on 12th August. Later the same month, 15 of the original 30 will be returning to LAS to provide medical cover at the Paralympics.
Meanwhile back in the West Midlands, 13 staff have been selected to provide medical cover at each of the 12 Olympic football matches being hosted at the City of Coventry Stadium during July and August.
Whilst the Trust is used to providing medical support at premiership football matches, the staff selected have been given additional training, similar to that of those going to LAS, and have also attended a familiarisation day at the Stadium.
Steve Wheaton, Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer, said: “We’re delighted to be helping the Capital City’s ambulance service during, what’s recognised worldwide, as the greatest sporting event on Earth.
“The Olympics is about participation and demonstrating the best in sporting ability. As an ambulance service we’re showing the rest of the World that our emergency services pull together to support each other when it matters the most to provide the best care possible to patients.
“For our staff heading to London and working at the City of Coventry Stadium, it really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for which they are all honoured to be taking part in.
“After months of planning and training, the team of 30 are primed and ready to represent us at the Olympic Park working shoulder to shoulder with other ambulance staff from all across England.
“Similarly, months of behind the scenes work has taken place to ensure that, during the Olympics, it’ll be business as usual for West Midlands Ambulance Service. With a number of premiership football clubs within the Region, we’re very well versed with planning and delivering medical provision at football matches and therefore the Olympic events at the City of Coventry Stadium will be no different.”