Suffolk helps with London's disaster

EMERGENCY services from across Suffolk are on standby today following the carnage in London.St John ambulance crews were on alert in Suffolk as East Anglian ambulances were deployed to Colchester to cover Essex crews working in the capital.

EMERGENCY services from across Suffolk are on standby today following the carnage in London.

St John ambulance crews were on alert in Suffolk as East Anglian ambulances were deployed to Colchester to cover Essex crews working in the capital.

Suffolk fire and rescue service and Suffolk police were both keeping a close eye on events and were preparing to support colleagues in London if they were called upon.

Matthew Ware, spokesman for the East Anglian ambulance service, said: "We are officially on standby and we have sent five ambulances to Colchester because Essex ambulance are helping in London so effectively we are back filling them.

"We have got extra officers on now operating in East Anglia to cover vehicles going to Colchester such as volunteer aid forces such as St John Ambulance.

"We would ask people only to dial 999 if they need to as everyone will be particularly stretched.

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"We do not have any ambulances going to London at the moment but it depends what happens and depends how serious the situation turns out to be or if any more bombs go off."

At noon today Suffolk Fire and Rescue crews had not yet been called to assist in London but a spokeswoman said they were keeping a close eye on the situation.

She added: "Our emergency planners are keeping a watching brief.

"If this is a terrorist attack or a straightforward incident in London it will be contained in London.

"If it is a more serious chemical incident we may have a role in evacuation. "There is no suggestion that is the case at the moment.

"There are emergency plans in place and there is a London major incident plan so they know what they are doing. If an explosion happens they have a set response and know how many engines and ambulances to send."

Meanwhile crews at Wattisham prepared for the possibility of being called in to assist with casualties.

Flight Lieutenant David Kay, said: "We are on no greater standby than normal but we can be air born in 15 minutes.

"If we are required by the civil authorities we are available as a casualty evacuation vessel. It seems like they have got the situation under control but we are here if they need us."