Monday, February 28, 2011

7/7 inquests: 'Failings' hindered ambulance controllers

Ambulance controllers trying to respond to the 7/7 attacks worked in chaos amid a series of shortcomings, the inquests into the attacks have heard.

They include:

* Only one woman logged all the emergency calls and vital information was written on scraps of paper, it was revealed.

* Ambulance Service logger said: "I am not a trained typist, I use two fingers and a thumb."

* The employee in charge of updating the control room whiteboard could only reach halfway up it.

* Two of the people designated "crucial roles" at the start of the incident were not trained in the procedures for the so-called Gold Command - in overall control of the emergency.

* Staff transferring from their normal control room positions to the Gold disaster control room caused a delay because they had not logged off properly. That meant they were then unable to log on to the new system as calls from the four terror sites built up, causing a backlog.

* There were communications issues throughout. Radio channels were blocked and no feedback was coming in from ambulance bosses on the ground.

* There was so much information coming in that control room staff were unable to prioritise it effectively.

* Failed radio and mobile phone networks meant there were serious delays in dispatching paramedics to bomb sites.

No comments: