London Ambulance Service CEO pays tribute to paramedic who died of coronavirus

22 April 2020, 10:00 | Updated: 22 April 2020, 12:30

By Adrian Sherling

The chief executive of the London Ambulance Service has told LBC it is “heartbreaking” they have lost three members of staff to coronavirus.

Garrett Emmerson added that none of the staff who had died of Covid-19 had been in direct contact with patients.

Speaking to Nick Ferrari, he said: "This is obviously heartbreaking news and we have had very little time to get used to it, because up until yesterday afternoon, we were hoping for a better outcome.

"We are all just devastated. We're losing people that we have known and loved and worked with for a number of years."

The London Ambulance Service employs 6,000 people, but currently has around 550 off work through illness or self-isolation.

Garrett Emmerson told LBC about the first paramedic to die from coronavirus
Garrett Emmerson told LBC about the first paramedic to die from coronavirus. Picture: PA

Mr Emmerson revealed the number of coronavirus cases attended by paramedics in London is falling and stated his staff have the PPE kit that they need.

He added: "The overall number of cases is starting to go down and so we have seen the peak for now.

“There are people who are going above and beyond in such trying circumstances."

The London Ambulance Service workers who have lost their lives are:
- Gordon Ballard, a manager in Bow, who died from Covid-19 two weeks ago. He'd served for 42 years.

- Melonie Mitchell, who advised patients on the 111 service, died last week.

- Paramedic Ian Reynolds, from New Addington station, who died yesterday. In recent weeks, he had not been working on the frontline but was helping in a logistical role.

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