Eight minutes to get to the scene, 12 minutes to save a life – Junior Paramedics graduate from the University of Northampton

Date 15.02.2016

First airing in February 2014, the BBC three show ‘Junior Paramedics: Your life in their hands’, followed nine University of Northampton students as they embarked on their first work placement for their Foundation Degree course and learnt what life is really like on the front line with the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS).

Now, just two years later, these students will proudly graduate alongside friends, family academic staff and mentors from EMAS who helped them achieve success, in a ceremony on Sunday 14 February.

At the University of Northampton, Student Paramedics are out on their first clinical placement eight weeks into their course. For this group of rookie paramedics, the BBC Three show gave over a million viewers a front row seat as they faced road traffic accidents, ankle injuries, cardiac arrests, drunken behaviour and emotional situations helping patients young and old. The show also charted the trials and tribulations of living away from home for the first time, academic studies and balancing night shifts with a student social life.

Speaking about her time studying at the University of Northampton, Lucy Wright, originally from Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire said: “Northampton was 100 per cent the right choice for me; the course was a great as its half academic classroom support and work and half placement. This mix of format means I’ve already got two years of being out on placement under my belt and I’m used to being out on the road. The mix of academic staff and mentor support while I was studying was great – I can’t fault it.”

All nine of the student Paramedics featured in the show are now employed by EMAS responding to emergency 999 calls, providing urgent care and emergency care for the 4.8 million people within Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, and Nottinghamshire.

Bob Willis, Leader in Paramedic Science said: “Graduation Ceremonies at the University of Northampton are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate successes across our academic programmes. This year sees the students involved in the Junior Paramedics series don a cap and gown to celebrate the successful completion of their studies. The academic team for Paramedic Science are very proud to see this entire cohort of students graduate today supported by their friends and family. I know they enter the Paramedic profession with not only the academic knowledge needed for the role, but a strong practice background from their placements with EMAS and the wider health community. We have a strong relationship with EMAS throughout the length of the programme, I’m delighted that the whole cohort including those who participated in Junior Paramedics have been offered roles with EMAS, it is testament to the way in which we work together to create highly skilled fit for purpose and practice Paramedics. ”

Speaking about her new role, star of the show and EMAS Paramedic, Amy Allen, original from Newcastle, said: “I have been working as a qualified Paramedic since September 2015; I’m thoroughly enjoying the role. Being a Paramedic is a very rewarding job, it does have its tough moments, but overall the knowledge that I can help the people who need it most gets me through the tough times.”

Jackie Moore, Deputy Director of Workforce Development at East Midlands Ambulance Service said: “We have a brilliant relationship with the University of Northamptonshire and provide mentored placements for their Paramedic Science students. Our mentors work with the students, sharing expertise and experiences, to support their training in becoming skilled clinicians. We are very pleased that all of the students who appeared in the Junior Paramedic series have been recruited full time into our service and will continue to provide quality care to our patients across the East Midlands.”