AMBULANCE chiefs say they are ready for the Commonwealth Games after a mammoth five-year preparation effort.
West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) began planning for the summer of sport almost as soon as it was announced Birmingham would be the host city back in December 2017 – before a dedicated planning team was formed in March 2021.
Approximately 800 members of WMAS staff and more than 20 volunteer Community First Responders will be involved in covering the Games – over 1,664 operational shifts and 23,000 hours of resourcing. That will be done utilising 60 ambulances, 27 rapid response vehicles and ten 4×4 ambulances.
And ambulance bosses guarantee the normal day-to-day running of the service will not be impacted, as all staff covering the Games will doing so on overtime.
The trust’s entire Commonwealth Games operation will be run out of the newly built Oldbury Hub.
WMAS chief executive Anthony Marsh, said: “This is an incredibly exciting time for the West Midlands as we look forward to some fantastic sporting action and welcoming millions of visitors from all over the world to our region.
“We are as well prepared as we can possibly be to respond if and when required, but obviously hope we won’t be needed. My thanks go to all of the staff who have got us to this point and those who will be covering the Games, helping to make them the very best they can be.”
WMAS head of emergency planning James Williams added: “We will have ambulance crews and commanders at every session and every venue, helping to play our part in keeping the athletes, officials and spectators safe throughout what we hope will be a thoroughly enjoyable time for everyone.
“An enormous amount of hard work has been undertaken by staff right across the organisation to get us to this point, and I thank everyone for their hard work and commitment in making sure we are ready on time, it really wouldn’t have been possible without the buy-in of every directorate and individual who has contributed.
“Whilst the hard work will continue throughout the coming days as the Games take place, I hope all staff are able to find some time to enjoy the competition as well.”
And WMAS emergency services operations delivery director Nathan Hudson said: “After an incredibly challenging few years with the pandemic and operational pressures, this is a great opportunity for staff to do something a little bit different, and play a key role in supporting this fantastic celebration of sport.
“We have successfully managed to bring forward the arrival of 60 new ambulances and all staff covering Commonwealth Games shifts are doing so on overtime, so there will be no impact on the normal day-to-day running of West Midlands Ambulance Service.”