An intensive two-day course has been designed for student paramedics from both South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) and Brighton University as part of a joint venture between East Sussex Fire & Rescue and South East Coast Ambulance Service.
Now being run for a third year, the course is proving a crucial part of the Programmes run both at St Georges University and at Brighton University
Initially set-up as a trial course, it is now fully embedded in both universities course curriculum, and the Students undertake this two day course just prior to becoming a fully-qualified paramedic.
The idea was thought up by Learning and Development Lead (Clinical), Warwick Avery, who approached ESFRS. The Fire Service leapt at the opportunity to train alongside SECAmb.
The two days involve a series of practical challenges including airway management, immobilisation exercises and simulations of difficult extrications from Road Traffic Collisions set-up by both staff at East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s training centre, in Maresfield and the L&D tutors from SECAmb.
These are run in real time, with the paramedic candidates being put through their paces as the firefighters extricate the casualty from the vehicle. Following each exercise the trainee paramedic is then fully assessed and offered feedback by both SECAmb and ESFRS. In addition, the casualties are made up with moulage to imitate the type of potential injuries which adds a sense of realism to the scenario.
Warwick Avery said:
“The training exercise at Maresfield was a real eye opener for many of the students. As well as being faced with overturned cars, they also had to perform their skills on live casualties. These were students on their second year of the BSc Paramedic Programme from Brighton University.
"This enables these students to achieve a little bit of patient centred learning as well as giving them an insight into how the care is delivered. We have learned a lot from running these events and we are constantly looking to improve the standard of care our staff delivers. Our thanks go out to all who were involved in helping put these excellent training days together.”
Watch Manager Trevor Funnell, who helped organise the training days, said:
“The day is a good example of closer working between the two emergency services in order to improve public safety. Both organisations gain a greater understanding of each other's roles and capabilities at Road Traffic Collisions (RTCs) which can then be used to ensure a casualty centred rescue. This is a mutually beneficial project, which will ultimately benefit members of the public using our roads.”