21 November 2016 - NWAS Welcomes New Cohort Of Polish Paramedics In Cumbria A new cohort of Paramedics from Poland are preparing to take to the streets of Cumbria and will soon be utilising their skills to save lives in the county. The group of eleven new recruits joined North West Ambulance Service on the 3rd October and are currently on a 12 week induction course based at Energus in Lillyhall. They will be deployed to the West Coast of Cumbria and will be based at Egremont, Distington and Flimby Stations. A further 15 will be welcomed in January of next year and will also be based in North Cumbria. Head of Clinical Education, John Gillespie comments: “This is a great boost to the numbers of Paramedics in the county. There is a national shortage of qualified Paramedics in the UK and while we are recruiting from within, this takes time and there is an urgent need for Paramedics now. “Paramedics in Poland have a greater degree of autonomy than UK Paramedics and have a much larger drug formulary that we do here. They will however work according to NWAS protocols and procedures.” The Paramedics recruited not only have excellent clinical skills but they also speak very good English and NWAS is assisting them with the local dialects! They have been assigned a mentor from within the Trust who is helping them with all aspects of moving to another country such as accommodation, opening bank accounts and family support. The new recruits will all undertake a period of observational shifts and work with another Paramedic in the first few weeks of arriving on station to give them some extra operational support. They will also work closely with Advance Paramedics and Senior Paramedics. This is the first cohort of international Paramedics into the Cumbria area, although NWAS has successfully recruited Finnish and Polish Paramedics in the Greater Manchester area.