Students learn why Cumbria is the best place to be a paramedic Student paramedics from University of Cumbria were invited to an open day with North West Ambulance Service to encourage them to choose Cumbria as their destination of choice when they are qualified healthcare professionals. The event, which was the first of its kind in the county, was attended by 50 students in the first of a two year diploma in Paramedic Practice. Students made their way around various workshops which gave them an exclusive look into how paramedics provide care for patients in major trauma situations. They also got ‘hands on’ with members of the special operations team that responds to major incidents such as extreme weather or terrorism. The ambulance service teamed up with representatives from the Army and mountain rescue to demonstrate partnership working in challenging environments; from the mountainous Lake District to hostile battlefields in the Middle East. Before the day concluded experienced paramedics, who have gone on to specialise in various aspects of patient care and management, talked about the reasons they think North West Ambulance Service is the best place to work and why Cumbria specifically appealed to them. Tom Davidson, Senior Lecturer Paramedic Practice at University of Cumbria said: “The event was a great opportunity for our students to get hands-on experience of different roles available within the ambulance service. “The service is really investing in our students and encouraging them to stay in the area upon qualification which will help to satisfy the growing need for paramedics in Cumbria." Although University of Cumbria students undertake placements with North West Ambulance Service during their studies, they are spoilt for choice when it comes to potential employers due to the huge demand for paramedics across the country. North West Ambulance Service’s head of service for Cumbria, Peter Mulcahy, said: “All of the existing paramedics who helped run the event spoke with passion about why they feel North West Ambulance Service is the best place to work. As the head of the emergency ambulance service in Cumbria that makes me extremely proud. “Anyone joining our teams can be confident in the knowledge that they are joining a progressive service which invests in its people. Our clinical leadership structure absolutely cannot be rivalled anywhere else. We have progression opportunities for paramedics willing to put in the hard work which go all the way up to consultant level. “Being a paramedic in Cumbria provides a unique opportunity to live and work in one of the most beautiful and remote parts of the UK. Because of the unique geography and location of health services here, the knowledge and skills of a Cumbrian paramedic are tested to the extreme. Working here gives newly qualified paramedics an excellent grounding for the future.” For information about careers at North West Ambulance Service, go to www.nwascareers.com.