The first students to embark on a trailblazing course to combat a shortage of paramedics in Cumbria have graduated.
Academics at the University of Cumbria collaborated with the North West Ambulance Service to create a course aimed at teaching life-saving skills and increase the number of paramedics living and working in Cumbria.
“We were delighted to get involved in this project and using our own, front-line skills, have been able to pass on the skills which mean these students will soon be on call serving the people of Cumbria,” Tom Davidson, Director of the University of Cumbria’s Centre of Excellence for Paramedic Education, said. “As practising paramedics the team and I know that these skills are needed more than ever and we have enjoyed watching our students’ progress.”
The university has a track record of training paramedics and ambulance technicians; over the last four years, 100 paramedics and over 300 technicians have been trained for the RAF and army.
The Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) in Paramedic Practice has equipped students with the knowledge and skills to be able to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council as a paramedic. The course was split into two main parts - theory and placements.
Students had an opportunity to 'earn as you learn’ by applying for a contract with the regional ambulance service to work as an emergency medical technician. In addition NWAS guaranteed an interview for successful graduates.
Lisa Ward, Interim Director of Organisational Development for North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) said: “We would like to congratulate the new paramedics on their graduation and wish them luck for their career with the ambulance service.
“The course has given our current emergency medical technicians the opportunity to progress their careers and has meant that, along with other initiatives, we have been able to increase the numbers of paramedics we have working in Cumbria and reduce our paramedic vacancy gap.”