OLYMPIC TORCH: Emergency teams confident they can cope

EMERGENCY services are confident they will be able to cope with any spike in demand created by the throngs of people heading along to see the torch.

Sussex Police and the local ambulance service (SECAmb) both believe that enough contingency plans are in place to deal with even the most severe up-surge in call-outs.

But with thousands of people expected out on the streets of Eastbourne and with a string of road closures hitting the area on Tuesday, they also want locals to play their part.

Anyone travelling by car is warned to allow extra time for any journey they plan on making during the visit and police have asked people to be on their best behaviour.

Superintendent Grenville Wilson said, “The Olympic torch relay is a celebration of sport and we will be keeping the policing as discreet as possible.

“However, a proportionate policing response is in place, not only around the torch but to ensure policing in our communities continues as normal.

“Residents and visitors will not notice a difference in our day-to-day policing response.”

It was a similar message from SECAmb, which runs the ambulance service locally. It has told people thinking about heading down to watch the torch to make sure they are dressed appropriately and to cover up, wear sunscreen and drink plenty of water if it is hot.

And, with the recent heavy rainfall in mind, revellers are also advised to pack appropriate clothing for wetter weather – especially if they are planning on taking to the route earlier to get a good spot.

SECAmb contingency planning manager Jon Amos said, “The torch relay coming is of course a real reason for celebration.

“People can ensure they enjoy the occasion by planning their day well and wearing appropriate clothing and sun protection depending on the weather.

“We have robust plans in place to manage the potential increase in demand but we would ask that everyone is sensible and remembers that 999 should only be used in an emergency.”

Follow the Olympic Torch relay on-line next Tuesday at www.eastbourneherald.co.uk with reports and pictures as it passes through Eastbourne. You can also send us your photos of the day to olympictorch@jpress.co.uk

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter at @Eastbournenews for all the latest torch news. If you are tweeting about the torch remember to hashtag it #EastbourneTorch