Ahead of one of the busiest days of the year for emergency services in this region, Paramedic Science students at the University of Suffolk have been hearing from London Ambulance Service’s Advanced Paramedic Practitioner Dan Davis.
Dan was featured in the BBC One documentary Ambulance and his visit today (Thursday 15 December) comes just ahead of what is being dubbed as ‘Black Friday’ by the region’s emergency services.
Last year, the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) took 3,186 calls during Black Friday, making it one of the 30 busiest days between November and February. This year, the service is due to host a twitterthon to highlight the types of calls they respond to.
Dan Davis joined the London Ambulance Service in 2004 and became an Advanced Paramedic Practitioner in 2014. His work and that of his colleagues was featured in the fly-on-the-wall documentary Ambulance. In episode one, broadcast in September, Dan attended a double shooting East London.
As avid viewers of the show, the students and Course Leader Lee Cunnell put in a request to see if Dan would visit the University. He spoke to the cohort of Paramedic Science students, delivering a presentation and hosted a Q&A about what life is like for a paramedic in the country’s busiest ambulance service.
Dan says of his job: “Advanced paramedics carry more equipment and have a greater variety of drugs we can give to patients, but most importantly, we’re tasked with responding to London’s most critically ill and injured people. For example, one of my paramedic colleagues will go to up to six cardiac arrests a year, whereas in my role, I have been to 270 in two years.”
“At times this job restores your faith in humanity. The calls we get from people about an elderly neighbour or passers-by who stop when someone’s been hit by a car – you’d be surprised by the number of people who care about others.”
“The sheer volume of calls that come in now on an average day is what we used to get on New Year’s Eve when I joined the ambulance service 12 years ago. And so, what was an abnormal, one-off day is now a fairly regular thing.”
Paramedic Science is one of the University’s newest degree programmes starting in 2015 in response to a national need for paramedics. The degree follows the College of Paramedics requirements that half of the course is practice-based with students having placements with the East of England service.
To find out more about studying Paramedic Science visit www.uos.ac.uk/paramedic
The University’s next Open Event will take place in March. Visit www.uos.ac.uk/openevents for more information and to register for a place.
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