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Preparing for the coronation

999, London Ambulance Service Deputy Director Simon Harding talks emergency planning for the royal gathering

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This episode of EMS One-Stop With Rob Lawrence is brought to you by Lexipol, the experts in policy, training, wellness support and grants assistance for first responders and government leaders. To learn more, visit

Recorded with less than 24 hours to go before the coronation of King Charles III, of England, host Rob Lawrence sits down with Simon Harding, deputy director of the London Ambulance Service to discuss planning for the coronation. Harding also serves as deputy director of London’s 999 control centers.

Harding begins by highlighting the construct of ambulance services in the United Kingdom, as well as the scope and operation of the London Ambulance Service, which serves 9 million citizens of the national capitol, plus visitors. LAS takes over 2 million 999 (the UK equivalent of 911) calls a year in addition to 2 million 111 calls (for non-emergency responses).

Harding and Rob discuss how incident management operates in the UK, using the GOLD, SILVER and BRONZE levels of command, and the roles and responsibilities at each level. They talk about the plans for the coronation and how LAS – in partnership with public safety and military planners – are preparing to support the historic event.

Listen to the discussion

Resources mentioned in this episode

Additional resources for mass gathering planning

7 ways to be prepared before the mass gathering turns into an MCI

Rob Lawrence has been a leader in civilian and military EMS for over a quarter of a century. He is currently the director of strategic implementation for PRO EMS and its educational arm, Prodigy EMS, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and part-time executive director of the California Ambulance Association.

He previously served as the chief operating officer of the Richmond Ambulance Authority (Virginia), which won both state and national EMS Agency of the Year awards during his 10-year tenure. Additionally, he served as COO for Paramedics Plus in Alameda County, California.

Prior to emigrating to the U.S. in 2008, Rob served as the COO for the East of England Ambulance Service in Suffolk County, England, and as the executive director of operations and service development for the East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust. Rob is a former Army officer and graduate of the UK’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and served worldwide in a 20-year military career encompassing many prehospital and evacuation leadership roles.

Rob is a board member of the Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration (AIMHI) as well as chair of the American Ambulance Association’s State Association Forum. He writes and podcasts for EMS1 and is a member of the EMS1 Editorial Advisory Board. Connect with him on Twitter.