A recruitment drive for more staff and volunteers was launched by London Ambulance Service (LAS) recently.

LAS's Chief Executive Garrett Emmerson published an open letter last week (March 25) describing the strain paramedics and their colleagues were under in the capital amid the Covid-19 coronavirus epidemic.

"My 6,000 staff and volunteers at the London Ambulance Service are working harder than ever to provide lifesaving help to Londoners in most need," he said.

"Unlike many organisations, we are facing an increased demand for our services at a time when many of our employees need to self-isolate.

"Last week, we had our four busiest days ever, with our 999 service taking nearly 8,000 calls a day," Emmerson continued.

In the statement, he asked Londoners to heed government and NHS advice and stay home to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Emmerson also asked those in need of medical assistance to think hard before dialling 999, and consider the NHS's non-emergency 111 number instead.

Amid a surge in demand for their services, the LAS chief also announced he was hoping to recruit more staff and volunteers to help London tackle the Covid-19 outbreak, including former paramedics, support staff and call handlers.

"Exceptional times call for exceptional measures, which is why... I reached out to recent former ambulance service colleagues, particularly paramedics and call handlers, asking them to get in touch with us if they are able to help," he said.

"I would like to thank the public who have shown us such gratitude, and also the many individuals and organisations that have already offered us their support.

"We are taking up as many of these offers as we can, so they can help us provide care for our patients and support for our staff," Emmerson added.

If you can help with the LAS's appeal, follow this link: https://www.londonambulance.nhs.uk/working-for-us/volunteering-with-us/volunteer-form/