Cops train in Wembley to aid COVID-struck


Wembley to care for Londoners during covid pandemic Image: Wembley Stadium

The United Kingdom is facing the worst-ever situation in the second wave of coronavirus as deaths and cases peak. The worst affected is London.

A new blue-light partnership between London Ambulance Service and Metropolitan Police Service will see police officers across the capital driving ambulances and assisting medics to help boost the emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic which has thrown life out of gear in the country.

The cops are playing the role of Good Samaritans. Around 75 police officers will be provided to the London Ambulance Service by the Metropolitan Police Service. With the cops extending a helping hand, the new partnership will help the ambulance service to continue to put more ambulances on the road responding to Londoners that need them as coronavirus continues with its destructive streak.

The officers – who began training at Wembley Stadium connected by EE (largest mobile network operator in the United Kingdom) recently – are blue light driving trained, know basic first aid skills and also know the streets of London like the back of their hands, making them the ideal partners to assist the ambulance service during this period of unprecedented demand when the new virus strain has caused total upheaval in UK.

Wembley Stadium is a football stadium in Wembley, London. It opened in 2007 on the site of the original Wembley Stadium, which was demolished from 2002 to 2003. The stadium hosts major football matches including home matches of the England national football team, and the FA Cup Final.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Dame Cressida Dick, visited the cops training at Wembley Stadium. Jason Hallahan, Emergency Planning and Resilience Officer for London Ambulance Service, walked Dick around the set-up and showed her how officers are being trained on vehicle familiarization, manual handling and ambulance equipment – before talking with the Chief Executive of London Ambulance Service, Garrett Emmerson.

Stated London Ambulance Service Chief Executive Garrett Emmerson, “London Ambulance Service and the Metropolitan Police Service have worked hand in glove over many decades responding together to all of the most challenging incidents in the recent history of London. It makes perfect sense that in the face of sustained levels of unprecedented demand we are taking steps to help our staff and volunteers care for London by enlisting the help of our Metropolitan Police Service colleagues.”

Added Emmerson, “Partnership working with our emergency services colleagues is an essential part of our response to the pandemic and will help us to reach more patients in need of our help during this difficult time. We are also training more London Fire Brigade firefighters, whose support since April 2020 has been invaluable.”

This training – which includes familiarization with ambulances and some of the equipment such as carry chairs and trolley lifts, is being given at Wembley Stadium, thanks to the ongoing support of the Football Association (FA) (governing body of association football in England).

Dick said although only 75 drivers were required initially, hundreds of volunteers came forward.

“London Ambulance Service really is in quite severe difficulties with servicing all the calls that they have at the moment because of the tremendous pressures brought by the COVID virus. They asked whether we might be able to assist. I had dozens of volunteers and we have 75 officers who are assisting the paramedics as they go about their daily business,” the top cop observed.

She added, “They are skilled police drivers, they’re good decision makers and I’m really pleased that we are able to help the London Ambulance Service at this incredibly difficult time in this way.”

Mark Burrows, Football Association’s (FA) Chief Operating Officer, commented, “At this unprecedented time in which our emergency services are under such sustained pressure, we are privileged to be able to play a small part in supporting the London Ambulance Service, Metropolitan Police Service and London Fire Brigade in their efforts to care for people across the capital.”

Added Burrows, “After assisting with the delivery of a similar exercise back in April, we were ready and willing to offer our venue and welcome the London Ambulance Service, Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and London Fire Brigade back to Wembley Stadium as they face this challenging phase of the pandemic. We continue to offer our full support to our blue-light services as they conduct this important training exercise and would like to reiterate our gratitude to our emergency services as they work to save lives both in London and across the country.”

The police officers from the Metropolitan Police Service will be receiving the training alongwith up to 80 London Fire Brigade firefighters and around 40 staff from private ambulance providers.

A similar partnership with the London Fire Brigade announced in April saw 300 firefighters at Wembley helping with a number of roles across the ambulance service – including driving ambulances.

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