London’s Air Ambulance supports London during COVID-19
London’s Air Ambulance remains fully operational during the COVID-19 pandemic. How does this crucial service work in partnership with the security sector to save lives in the capital?
Saving lives in London
London’s Air Ambulance delivers rapid response and cutting-edge medical care to save lives in London, via helicopter or rapid response car. The team, which at all times includes an advanced trauma doctor and paramedic, perform advanced medical interventions normally only found in the hospital Emergency Department, in time- critical, life-threatening situations.
The charity was founded in 1989 and to date has treated over 40,000 critically injured people and attended most major incidents in London, including 7/7, the Grenfell Tower fire and recent London Bridge terror incident. It operates 24/7, 365 days a year, serving the 10 million people who live, work and travel within the M25. The service uses a helicopter from 08:00 to sunset and rapid response cars at night or in adverse weather conditions.
London Air Ambulance during the COVID-19 pandemic
London’s Air Ambulance has been attending to the most critically injured people in the capital in need of immediate medical assistance throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The service is also working closely with partners at the London Ambulance Service and Barts Health NHS Trust to offer assistance with the COVID-19 response, including assisting with patient transfers to the Nightingale Hospital.
Alongside the helicopter and rapid response cars, London’s Air Ambulance also operates the Physician Response Unit (PRU), a community care service that attends to patients in their own homes. The newly expanded PRU is working to relieve some of the severe pressure on the NHS, freeing up hospital beds and helping vulnerable patients avoid a trip to hospital.
How security teams help our operational crews
Security officers are often on duty in the vicinity of the location of London’s Air Ambulance missions and are keen to assist the medical team getting to the patient as soon as possible. Security officers can assist with moving people out of the way for a safe landing, such as stopping pedestrians and vehicles from coming into a landing area. Pilots greatly value where a security officer brings something dangerous to their attention, such as a hazard in their pathway.
Neil Jeffers, Chief Pilot with London’s Air Ambulance, says: “Security officers know the importance of safeguarding members of the public in challenging environments, something we see every day and particularly in an inner-city environment. On behalf of London’s Air Ambulance I would like to thank you for your continued support.”
A quick reminder of some of the other ways the security community can help the London Air Ambulance team get to the patient quickly:
- It is important that the London Air Ambulance team identify the right building – addresses can be very confusing. Have a clear representative at the entrance who can indicate the block or specific location. Also have someone nominated to take the team through the security processes or bypass them. Make sure the entrance staff are expecting the London Air Ambulance team. If they are not, it can cause confusion and delay.
- Identify and clear an area where the patient can be treated, perhaps moving desks and equipment out of the way.
- It’s not just getting in that is important. A clear exit is key. The London Air Ambulance team may need to carry a stretcher and other medical equipment. You can help by establishing a dedicated route out of the building, perhaps by commandeering the lifts and clearing the way.
CIS Security and London’s Air Ambulance Charity (LAAC)
It costs around £10million each year to deliver the service, which involves considerable fundraising. CIS Security have been a corporate partner of the charity since 2014, providing support through fundraising. This included CIS Executive Chairman Carl Palmer taking part in the Clipper Round the World Yatch Race in 2017.
Carl explains his commitment to London Air Ambulance, particularly during this time: “The 2020 coronavirus pandemic has shown that superheroes walk amongst us, just like our own security professionals – they are ordinary people doing the extraordinary to safeguard our very lives. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, doctors, medics, pilots and the whole of London’s Air Ambulance Team put their hearts and souls into saving lives.”
Neil Jeffers, says: “Having the support of security companies like CIS is of huge benefit to London’s Air Ambulance, both in terms of fundraising for our charity and the practical support of security professionals in our day-to- day operations.”
Carl concludes: “To say that we are honoured to support this charity would be an understatement. These superheroes represent the very best of our society and we are keen on supporting them for the years to come. THANKS to these amazing women and men!”
For more information and how you can support the London Air Ambulance, visit: