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The first day of a new career for Harlow ambulance recruits

News / Tue 8th Apr 2014 at 10:55am

THE next generation of life-savers have begun their new careers in the classroom this week with the start of the student paramedic course.

Twenty-two new recruits headed to the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust’s (EEAST’s) Hellesdon offices in Norwich today (Monday) to begin their new lives as students.

Their initial training is an eight-week course in the classroom followed by three weeks on blue light driver training. They then work on an ambulance and are allocated a mentor whilst they progress their education and training over two years before qualifying as a registered paramedic.

One student is David Starkey who will work in the Peterborough area. The 52-year-old, whose background includes the police, financial services, and motorcycle, explained why he applied: “I looked at my career ‘past’ and what I’d achieved but realised I hadn’t considered my career ‘future’. There was a need for me to start again and do something worthwhile; I was really impressed by the positive changes being made here and so quickly.

“I didn’t expect to have this opportunity at this stage in my career. The diversity of this group, and at different stages of our lives, is wonderful and I’m looking forward to the next few weeks.”

Aaron Nazar, 26, an emergency care assistant (ECA) with the service in Norwich, added: “As I’m already an ECA, this course is about learning more skills and being able help help patients a lot more. When I joined the service, I ultimately wanted to be a paramedic so this is the perfect opportunity to develop my career.”

Trust Chief Executive Dr Anthony Marsh said: “Recruiting student paramedics is an absolute priority for the Trust and to see the first training course taking place already is absolutely fantastic. It is big step in the right direction to improve our care for patients.”

The rest of the first week will include training about the airway, resuscitation, and the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.

Four hundred student paramedics are being recruited in 2014/15, one of the six priorities in the performance improvement action plan announced last month, with the others including:

Train up emergency care assistants to become emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and EMTs to paramedics maximise clinical staff reduce reliance on response cars and increase ambulances speed up the fleet and equipment replacement programme reinvest back-office funding into frontline delivery.

Want to know what life is like for another group of people who are studying to become paramedics? Read our blog from university student Matthew every Thursday at http://lightssirensandassignments.wordpress.com/

The full plan is available at: http://www.eastamb.nhs.uk/Performance/performance-improvement-action-plan.htm

The Trust will be re-advertising the student paramedic role throughout the spring and is continuing to recruit qualified and graduate paramedics, amongst other clinical roles. Go to NHS jobs and the EEAST website for more information.

The first EMTs have been selected to start their paramedic training course at the University of Northampton in April (see www.eastamb.nhs.uk for this news last week)

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