Adam Gretton, Health correspondent
Monday, June 23, 2014
The first wave of new student paramedics at the East of England Ambulance Service are set to hit the front-line this week.
Twenty-one trainee medics have completed their 11 weeks initial training and are the first tranche of 400 student paramedics set to be recruited this year.
Eight of the 21 new recruits will be based at Longwater, near Norwich, or the Waveney area and will spend the next two and a half years learning on the job to become qualified paramedics.
Anthony Marsh, chief executive, of the ambulance service: “It’s fantastic that the first group of students are now out treating patients. They are embarking on a rewarding career and will be in a very privileged position in their communities, improving patient care and being part of the front-line.”
The first new student paramedics began their training in Norwich on April 7 with eight weeks in the classroom at the trust’s training centre in Norwich, followed by three weeks on blue light driver training at Barton Mills in Suffolk.
They will be allocated a mentor whilst they progress their education to qualify as a registered paramedic.
Marcus Bailey, interim consultant paramedic, closed the initial training course on Friday and said: “Many have made personal sacrifices in order to undertake this role, already showing their determination. Over the next two years they will work towards their qualifications that will lead to eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council. Our students have a vital role in our future success in providing quality care for our patients.”
Student paramedic Stefan Wasyliw, 32, added: “You won’t find a job like the ambulance service. I’ve worked in healthcare before so seeing patients won’t be different, but it’s been in a different environment and with a different ethos, so I’m looking forward to getting into the way the ambulance service does it.”
The ambulance service has been recruiting since January and nearly 100 people are on courses across the region, with more than 200 offers of employment made.