NEAS first out of the blocks for Olympic training

Volunteers learn what to expect in London

It's not just the athletes who have been practising and refining their skills ahead of the Olympic opening Ceremony of the 2012 Games - it's also ambulance workers.

The London Ambulance Service NHS Trust (LAS) spent 4 days at Russell House in October coaching NEAS staff who have volunteered to work in the capital while the games are taking place.

The LSA will be visiting all English ambulance services in the months prior to the games, with the North East their first port of call.

As well as providing an introduction to some of the environments the NEAS volunteers may find themselves in, the four day course dealt with scenarios such as how to help visually impaired patients negotiate confined and busy areas.

Thirteen staff members from NEAS will provide supplementary pre-planned aid support in London during The Games, and be deployed in a variety of areas at different events.

Emergency training & exercising is taking place in the North East during the build-up to the Olympic opening ceremony  on July 27th 2012, with tens of thousands of visitors expected in the region.

Simon Swallow, Head of Resilience & Special Operations, said: "The training week was a fantastic success, and I know that the staff who attended got a great deal out of it.

"It's a win-win situation for NEAS. While we will be helping our colleagues manage one of the biggest sporting events on Earth, we are also giving our staff the opportunity to gain valuable experience at various levels of support.

"The new skills and experiences they get from working around an event on the scale of the Olympics come back to the North East - and that can only be good news for the people who live in our region."

The Games will run over a 60-day period at a 680-acre site in Stratford, East London, and other venues across the UK - including the North East.

Tony Rowe, a member of the LAS's Olympic Unit,  said: "There is no bigger event in the world then staging the Olympics and this will present London-and therefore the London Ambulance Service NHS Trust-with one of its greatest challenges.

"Our aim is to ensure that during the Olympics we provide a good service to the Games. To do this we need the help of our partners elsewhere."

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Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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