Saving lives most important factor in LAS and LFB merger proposal
The Chair of the London Assembly's Health and Public Services Committee responded to the London Fire Brigade's bid to take control of the capital's ambulance service by saying that "for Londoners knowing a qualified medical professional will come to their aid is what matters most".
Conservative fire authority chiefs have proposed several "joint working" ideas to combine emergency services under the control of the Mayor of London.
Fire authority chairman Brian Coleman said: "Together, the fire brigade and ambulance services should look at the potential benefits to Londoners of sharing a range of services from procurement, to property and 999 control centres.
"No options should be off the table when it comes to the London Fire Brigade and the ambulance service working more closely together."
A report by the Assembly last month showed the number of incidents attended by the LAS has risen 12 per cent in the last four years and Baroness Borwick said: "As our recent report highlighted, it is no longer the case that the London Ambulance Service just transports patients to hospital.
"In our report we identified potential cost savings in sharing some back office premises, but we also highlighted the need for doctors and highly skilled paramedics who are trained to save lives in that "golden hour" of an emergency."
There are already three joint fire and ambulance stations in the capital (Barent, Milwall and Acton) and there are further plans for joint purchasing and a combined emergency control room for the two services.
Click here to read the full report by the London Assembly's HPS Committee
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