A new blue light partnership between London Ambulance Service and Metropolitan Police Service will see police officers across London driving ambulances and assisting medics to help boost the emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has agreed to provide around 75 police officers to London Ambulance Service (LAS). The new partnership will help LAS to continue to put more ambulances on the road responding to Londoners that need them.
The officers, who began training on 13 January, are trained in blue light driving, have basic first aid skills and know the streets of London well, making them the ideal partners to assist the ambulance service during this period of unprecedented demand.
Garrett Emmerson, Chief Executive of London Ambulance Service, said, “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 during this difficult time. We are also training more London Fire Brigade firefighters, whose support since April 2020 has been invaluable.”
Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Dame Cressida Dick, said that although only 75 drivers were required initially, hundreds of volunteers came forward. “London Ambulance Service 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,” she said.
“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. They are skilled police drivers, they’re good decision makers and I’m really pleased that we are able to help the LAS at this incredibly difficult time in this way.”
The police officers from the Met received the training alongside up to 80 London Fire Brigade firefighters and around 40 staff from private ambulance providers.