· 3 min read · News

Olympics training launched for police, fire and ambulance services


The National Policing Improvement Agency, working together with the Association of Chief Police Officers, has launched an online training package for police, fire and ambulance personnel across the UK to help prepare them for the challenges of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Games will require the largest ever peacetime policing operation, mobilising officers from every force in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, in addition to requiring operations by the other emergency services.

Nearly 11 million tickets will be available to attend events in 34 venues across the country; the Torch Relay will travel the UK; and in addition, the emergency services will work with partners to keep events up and down the country safe and secure. The demand in 2012 will be unprecedented, and good training, building on the professional skills of the emergency services, is vital to success.

The 30-minute package is aimed at all 250,000 police officers and staff together with 50,000 fire and ambulance personnel. It is hoped that it will be available later this year to local authorities, partners, volunteer groups and those working on the Games. This would be the widest ever audience for an NPIA-produced training package.

For the police service, it will be delivered through an established secure online Managed Learning Environment which provides a flexible, efficient system already widely used to deliver training.

The interactive online tool uses imagery, video and briefing materials to raise the level of understanding of the Games. The package gives an introduction to some of the key safety and security issues facing the Games and includes details on the Games history and culture, the key delivery partners and the current planning assumptions. It includes material on the venues, Torch Relays, cultural celebrations, and discusses the demands upon the emergency services.

The training package includes interviews with athletes discussing the inspiration of the Games as well as from senior officers and personnel from across the three emergency services. Contributions were made by National Olympic Security Coordinator Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison and Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) who praises the contribution of the emergency services to a successful Games.

This is the first of three such awareness-raising training packages. It is to be completed by September 2011 when the second package will be released, providing increased detail on operational planning for the Games, command and control structures, operating procedures and logistical arrangements.

The final instalment will be available in March 2012 and will provide operational briefing for the police ahead of the beginning of Games-related activity, such as the Torch Relay. These final two packages are only for the police service to complete.

It has been recommended all personnel across the emergency services complete the first training package. Police officers deployed as mutual aid to support policing of the Games across the country will be required to have completed all three packages, and forces must verify that staff have completed the training prior to deployment. Completion of the online training will be automatically recorded so police forces and the NPIA centrally can track completion.

Nick Gargan, NPIA chief executive, said: "It is crucial that all emergency staff work together to ensure safety and security at the London Games and events linked to them around the country. We have produced this collaborative Tri-Service Olympic Awareness training so that the police, fire and ambulance services can prepare their staff flexibly and in a cost effective manner. Delivering the training online also allows forces to monitor its completion to help ensure that staff are fully ready for the Games and the wide range of related events taking place across the UK."

National Olympic Security Coordinator and head of the ACPO Olympics business area, Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison, added: "The Olympic and Paralympic Games are the greatest sporting show on earth and this is a fantastic opportunity for the police and other emergency services to play our part in keeping them safe and secure, showcasing the professionalism of all of the emergency services.

"Key to our success is effective and consistent training and an awareness across all our personnel of their important role in delivering a safe and secure Games. In addition to drawing upon our experience of working together, this training will give those across the emergency services the information they need to make the Games a celebration of sport while ensuring they are safe and secure."