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Countdown to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Posted: 29.07.2010

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Countdown to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games
In just over two years time the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will begin. Our vision within LOCOG is to use the Games to inspire change. The Olympic and Paralympic Games is the largest sporting event in the World and will generate enormous excitement and enthusiasm which many people want to be part of and if they are not actually competing , volunteering is the best way to do this.
The recruitment of up to 70,000 volunteers will start in July 2010 but the recruitment of healthcare professional volunteers will start this spring. Healthcare professionals can apply directly (provide a one page CV and a 100 word expression of interest statement) to ems@london2012.com to be added to the list of medical specialists expressing an interest in volunteering for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Emergency Medical Services
Emergency Medical Services is one of five workstreams that comprise LOCOG Medical. Our goal is to provide comprehensive emergency medical care for all who attend the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London in 2012 whether they come as a competing athlete, official, VIP, Olympic family, workforce or spectator. The Olympics last 17 days and the Paralympics 11 days with a two-week build up when medical services will have to be provided totalling a period of over two months.
We are planning our service to serve 26 Olympic sports with 10,500 athletes from 205 countries competing in 38 venues, followed by 20 Paralympic sports with 4200 athletes from 147 countries competing in 21 venues, and an estimated 9.2 million spectators. Our medical response teams must be proficient and experienced in crowd medicine or field of play retrieval, providing levels of service that are bespoke and will leave a legacy for sport in this country in the future.
We aim to provide a unique experience for all our medical volunteers in a wide variety of sports and venues. Our main venue is the Olympic Park, currently under construction in the East of London, which will provide competition venues for 11 sports. The Excel Centre will house five arenas and across the river the North Greenwich Arena a further 4 sports. Nearby, Greenwich Park will host the Equestrian Events and the Woolwich Royal Artillery Barracks the shooting. Further afield Weymouth will host Sailing and Eton Dorney rowing. The variety of sports and the range of requirements and medical skills are challenging. Planning is proceeding and we are developing our detailed operating procedures and medical team skill mix around the specific individual field of play and the requirements of the each venue.   For the injured athlete we will work closely with the Team Doctors our own Sports Medicine colleagues in delivering emergency care on the field of play or with our specialised medical teams in the Olympic Polyclinic. We aim to deliver the majority of spectator care in the venue and only to transport injured casualties to hospital where advanced emergency care is required.   Finally, no major event in the United Kingdom would be allowed to proceed without a detailed Major Incident Plan and we have preparing our command and control structures to sit alongside those of our own Olympic security services and the statutory ambulance authority.
Volunteers at the Games
Volunteers are at the core of the Games and essential to all the functional areas that make up this global festival of sport. The Games have the power to change lives and volunteering is one of the major ways in which this happens.
All volunteers will need to commit to at least ten days. Although volunteer days will be scheduled for eight-hour shifts, their time will need to be flexible to cover the busiest periods and the variable competition schedule. All selected healthcare professionals will be expected to attend test events in 2011 and training days in the run up to the Games. There is no remuneration or honorarium for volunteers but they will receive a volunteer uniform, a meal when on duty and free local transport.
All shortlisted applicants will be interviewed and their skills and experience will determine success and help ascertain which venues, whether as crowd medical or field of play responders, they are most appropriately allocated. By identifying and selecting doctors, nurses and ambulance staff who wish to volunteer for the emergency medical services early, LOCOG will identify any potential gaps in emergency cover or experience. Healthcare professionals who know they have been selected as volunteers have the chance to gain further relevant experience and arrange leave and cover.
The Olympic and Paralympic Games are truly motivational and this is really a unique opportunity for all who volunteer to be part of this special event. Doctors, nurses and ambulance staff are essential to the successful running of the Games in 2012 so we want to make sure we use these valuable resources to help London host a safe, successful and inspirational Olympic and Paralympic Games. We need your help to do that.
If you are a doctor, nurse, paramedic or ambulance technician and would like to be part of this once in a lifetime event then send a brief expression of interest to ems@london2012.com. Healthcare professionals from other specialties, including physiotherapists, podiatrists and dentists will soon be able to register their interest in a similar way.
LOCOG looks forward to working with all their emergency medical volunteers to provide high quality emergency medical care to all attending the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London in 2012.
Dr David Zideman                                                                                                 March 2010
Clinical Lead, Emergency Medical Care,
Medical Services.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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