21 March 2019 - Paramedic Awarded Fellowship to Support Mental Health in Emergency Services Staff Consultant Paramedic for North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), Vinny Romano has been awarded a prestigious Winston Churchill Fellowship. The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust runs the Churchill Fellowships, a unique programme of overseas research grants. These support UK citizens from all parts of society to travel the world in search of innovative solutions for today’s most pressing problems. Vinny, 43, from Penrith has been awarded the fellowship for 2019 to visit USA and Canada to research staff support systems within the emergency services. After witnessing first-hand the difficulties that emergency services staff face as a result of the work that they do, Vinny has a passion for supporting staff and leads the trust’s Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) programme which helps to support colleagues who have attended traumatic incidents. During his trip, Vinny will meet up with his overseas counterparts to explore research they have done around support for emergency services staff. He intends to bring back his knowledge and learning to NWAS so that it can be used to make positive changes in the trust. Vinny says: “In life you only get a handful of amazing and unique opportunities, and I believe this is one of them. The chance to travel to parts of the world and explore how goals can be achieved and barriers overcome will allow me to, not only share these ideas, but expand and improve on them. “Colleagues of mine who have previously been awarded a Churchill Fellowship were able to gain a huge amount of valuable knowledge by travelling to other countries and building relationships and I’m looking forward to doing the same. “I am keen to make contacts across the countries I visit and maintain these relationships for years to come, sharing knowledge and experiences to continue to make improvements to staff welfare.” Vinny’s role as a consultant paramedic specialises in education, he works alongside NWAS’ Education Team to provide important clinical input into all aspects of training, including newly qualified paramedics and frontline ambulance crews as well as within the trust’s patient transport service and emergency operations centres. Chris Grant, Deputy Medical Director, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for Vinny to gain from the knowledge and experience of our colleagues overseas. “On his return, we will embed his learning into our own system to the benefit of our patients and staff. NWAS is committed to developing our senior clinical leaders and this award is a demonstration of how colleagues like Vinny will continue to drive the profession forwards.” Vinny will start his journey in July when he plans to travel to California before heading over to Canada and New Orleans in September. Follow Vinny’s journey on Twitter, @NWAmb_Vinny.