Personnel from the Police, Fire and Ambulance Services in London paraded with pride across London with thousands of other participants for London Pride yesterday.
Almost 200 members of the three UK services took part in the event.
The London Metropolitan Police launched their LGBT Network at this year’s pride as eighty members and staff attended the colourful parade. The LGBT Network is the Met’s newest association, representing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) offices and staff.
Officers teamed up with colleagues from other UK police forces and security agencies, whilst walking for the first time alongside staff from the London Ambulance Service and the London Fire Brigade. Met officers and staff were supported by Robin Wilkinson, Director of people and change, who has been working together to raise awareness and support for their LGBT colleagues.
The Met’s LGBT Network emerged to raise awareness and help create a more knowledgeable workforce that can respond to crimes or issues affecting members of the LGBT community sensitively.
A spokesperson for the Met said: “The Network has been set up to embrace workplace difference, helping to demonstrate the diversity of the Met and its officers and staff. By doing this we seek to make further progress in ensuring the Met is more inclusive, whilst reflecting the diversity of London and being an employer of choice.”
London Metropolitan Police confirmed there was an increased police presence at this year’s Pride following the mass shooting at an Orlando LGBT nightclub earlier this month.
London Pride event is always a buy one for the London Ambulance Service overall. Over forty members of London Ambulance Service took part in Pride while other crews and personnel were also busy providing medical cover for the event at the various treatment centres which were set-up across London for pride.
A special control room was established to respond to incidents in the event area. Mobile teams attended on foot in the busy areas carrying all the kit they require for medical emergencies. Three treatment centres were also set-up with over 140 staff ready to respond.
Chairperson of London Ambulance Service LGBT Forum Steph Adams drove an ambulance through the parade. She said “We are excited to be part of the parade and we always get a good reception from the crowds. Pride is just a fantastic, joyful day. Those of us in the Parade go in our own time and we are proud to be seen in our uniform to show the public ‘this is us, this is who we are’ and that we’re part of an accepting organisation.
Incident and Delivery Manager, Paul Gates, is responsible for the medical cover at the event. He said: “We want everyone to have a good time but don’t take drugs and make sure you drink sensibly, eat a meal and plan your journey home so you don’t end your day in the back of an ambulance.
“Spectators who feel unwell or have minor injuries or illness are encouraged to make their own way to one of the treatment centres. This will be the quickest way to access medical help.”
Regarded as the UK’s top gay friendly fire and rescue service, London Fire Brigade were out in force again this year with up to sixty fire fighters and staff taking part.
Pride is an important date in the London Fire Brigade’s diary and shows London and the rest of the world that the Brigade is proud to be, once again, part of the London Pride event. It also provides a unique opportunity to encourage interest from people in the gay community who may never have considered a career as a firefighter before and offers London’s gay businesses and residents the chance to learn more about the Brigade’s community fire safety initiatives and programmes.
Two special occasions also took place at the London pride involving London Police. Two Police officers proposed to their boyfriends during the parade, images which were captured and shared throughout the LGBT community.
Photos taken from The Metropolitan Police, London Ambulance Service, London Fire Brigade