London District staff in BBC series

ambulance workers loading stretcher

A number of highly trained London District staff will soon be seen in a new BBC One series, titled Children's Emergency.

The series, shot over a period of five months in 2008, follows the Holborn based Children's Acute Transport Service (CATS).  It also demonstrates the integral role St John Ambulance plays in transporting CATS's clinical teams and critically ill children. 

Specialised service

In partnership since 2004, CATS and St John Ambulance, provide a 24 hour 365 day a year service that combines the high-tech equipment of a paediatric intensive care unit with highly specialised ambulance staff and state of the art vehicles.

We are delighted that this programme will demonstrate their outstanding work and that it will go some way to recognising the dedication and skill of the excellent men and women who spend so much of their time helping to save young lives across the country.

Len Bamber
CEO St John Ambulance, London

St John London also provides the same service for the South Thames Retrieval Service (STRS) based at Evelina Children’s Hospital, Westminster.  Both are supplied with specially trained ambulance technicians who ensure the medical team and patient remain safe throughout their journey assisting with tasks like monitoring and resuscitation.

Bradleigh Sims, Commercial Transport Manager for St John London, manages and coordinates the St John Ambulance teams.  He said that due to the camera crew's experience of filming in difficult situations, their introduction to the CATS daily routine went relatively smoothly.

'At first it was a little difficult but the medical teams and St John Ambulance staff soon got used to them.  The camera team were very experienced and had just finished filming the last episodes of the BBC Trauma programme, so were well versed with filming in difficult situations.'

Towards a greater good

Len Bamber, CEO of St John Ambulance London believes the partnership between CATS and St John Ambulance, is a world class example of inter agency cooperation towards a greater community good:

'Their combined efforts ensure swift safe transportation of critically ill babies and young children in life threatening and highly charged situations.

'We are delighted that this programme will demonstrate their outstanding work and that it will go some way to recognising the dedication and skill of the excellent men and women who spend so much of their time helping to save young lives across the country.'

Modern day organisation

In line with the recent re-branding of St John Ambulance, Children's Emergency will go some way towards shattering misconceptions of what the organisation does.  While Mr Sims is at pains to point out that the primary focus for the series is CATS, he believes it will also provide a more accurate and up-to-date portrayal of St John Ambulance and highlight its involvement in providing vital services.

'St John Ambulance is making the difference; we are a forward thinking modern day organisation that don’t just get seen at football matches or the local garden fetes.

'I am extremely proud and lucky to be involved in the provision of such service,' he said.

St John Ambulance London in partnership with CATS and STRS, transport approximately 2000 critically ill children to intensive care, by road, each year.

The eight part series begins May 4.