1 Jun 2018
Our charity has marked the first anniversary of the London Bridge attack with the release of a video of flight Paramedic Bill Leaning reflecting on his role on the night.
Londoner Bill was on duty dispatching our charity’s advanced trauma team on Saturday 3 June 2017. On what had been an otherwise normal night, at 10pm a van was driven into pedestrians on London Bridge and a knife attack was launched in Borough Market.
In the video Bill explains how he saw the calls start coming in;
“You start to see more, and more and more, at the same location, in the same place. Then the details, car on the street, shots being fired, people being stabbed. You know that something more is going on.”
Our paramedics perform two roles for the service; delivering pre-hospital care as part of the medical team, and also dispatching the team from the London Ambulance Service Emergency Operational Centre at Waterloo. They have a crucial role, monitoring up to 5,000 999 calls that come in each day. They are looking for those people who are so seriously injured that they need our service’s medical expertise before they reach the hospital.
Bill knew that in this case the injured would need this expertise and immediately dispatched the our duty medical team, consisting that night of two senior doctors and an advanced trauma paramedic. Other members of our operational crew responded to the Major Incident alert and made themselves available. In total five teams were dispatched to scene to assist, with Bill knowing that he could be sending them into a dangerous situation;
“You’re potentially putting your colleagues at risk. My job is to make sure that the patient gets the best care, but also that the patient gets a team that can operate, that are safe, secure and can go home at the end of the night. That is my biggest responsibility.”