Health Secretary Andrew Lansley visits Olympics ambulance control room

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley is visiting the London Ambulance control room this-morning (Mon) which has been set up in east London to cover any emergencies at the Olympics.

He arrives at 9.15am to meet staff who will be working during the Games and to hear at first hand how the special fleet of 66 emergency ambulances will be deployed.

The London Ambulance Service has drafted in 200 staff from other ambulance trusts in addition to the new ambulance fleet and a temporary Olympic deployment centre being set up at Bromley-by-Bow, just a mile from the Olympics Park.

Some 400 ambulance staff will be on duty at Games venues inside the park.

The minister said: “The frontline staff have had a lot of practice at helping to ensure major events run smoothly and that people who need help can get it quickly.”

He is looking round the new control room at St Andrew’s Way which will manage the day-to-day response to the 2012 Games and meet the operators who will take emergency calls and dispatch vehicles to Olympic venues.

London Ambulance deputy chief Martin Flaherty said: “It will be a challenge to be so busy over such an extended period.

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“But we’ve been planning for the Olympics since 2007—we’re well-practiced at covering large-scale events like the Queen’s Jubilee and managing big sporting events.”

The control room goes online this-morning, ready for the opening next week of the deployment centre nearby, where the fleet of special ambulances will be stationed.