University Of Cumbria Paramedic Students Take Part In Green Fledgling

University of Cumbria paramedic students have taken part in a field test before graduating this year.

The ‘Green Fledgling’ exercise was designed to ‘stress-test’ the skills and knowledge of third-year paramedic students ahead of graduation this Summer.

Group photograph of all the services that were involved over the two days.

22 third-year paramedic students took part in a two-day exercise at Halton Training Camp near Lancaster last month, designed to put the students through a series of escalating scenarios, the likes of which they are likely to encounter upon qualification.  

Named ‘Green Fledgling’, alluding to the iconic colour of paramedic uniforms and the students’ level of experience, the exercise was designed to ‘stress-test’ the skills and knowledge of third-year paramedic students ahead of graduation this Summer. 

Cumbria Constabulary and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service also participated, not only to test students’ clinical abilities but also to strengthen their team and partnership working skills.

The Army supported the exercise by facilitating use of Halton Training Camp, near Lancaster, enhancing the realism of the scenarios greatly. 

Senior Lecturer in Paramedic Practice, Darren Moss

Senior Lecturer in Paramedic Practice, Darren Moss said; “The aim of the exercise was to collectively challenge our soon-to-be-qualified paramedics to demonstrate their leadership, clinical decision-making, patient assessment, and management skills while working together with the student police officers and the fire service.

“This is the first time we have put our third-year student paramedics through such a gruelling series of simulations, and we have done it to prepare them for the future. We are very grateful for the support from Cumbria Constabulary and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service. Their involvement really enhanced the authenticity of the day.”

Cumbria Constabulary sent their latest cohort of trainee police constables and Lancashire Fire and Rescue sent two full crews including a specialist fast-flowing water rescue team to assist with proceedings.

The exercise involved five ‘scenarios’ where the third-year paramedic students were tested on progressively complex kinds of resuscitation.

A casualty is treated after a drowning incident

Simulations ranged from an assaulted pregnant patient with a sudden and unexpected birth, to a near drowning and a gunshot wound.

The finale involved the simulation of a five-vehicle road traffic accident with 10 patients displaying traumatic injuries.

Like in a real-life accident, the student police officers attended first, followed by paramedics and the fire service, who aided the extraction of casualties from the vehicles. 

The multi-faceted exercise has strengthened ties and understanding between professional services supporting the event.

Cumbria Constabulary’s police constables were only a few weeks into their twenty-two-week training programme and attending gave the new recruits a taste of how police respond to such incidents.  

PC Sam Butler, of Cumbria Constabulary’s training team, said: “We’d like to thank the university for organising this event. Our student officers got a lot out of this, providing them with some good experience of what they might encounter in emergency scenarios.  

“They were also able to gain extra insight into how other agencies work and the event challenged them to work effectively as a team and communicate with partners for the good of the public.” 

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service participated in the exercise on the proviso that if a real emergency were called in, they would abandon the exercise to attend.  

Matt Armstrong, Station Manager at Lancaster Fire Station, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said: “We are grateful to the University of Cumbria for putting on a first-class exercise which allowed our staff the opportunity to take part in a realistic scenario whilst providing experience to the student paramedics.

“The training allowed us to work in close conjunction with the police and paramedics. This will further develop our close relationships to help strengthen our response to incidents in the future.”

One of the patients from the simulation of a five-vehicle road traffic accident being treated.

In total, 45 student paramedics studying the BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science programme took part in the exercise at the end of January, including first-year students who played causalities and other supporting roles. 

This summer 22 paramedics on the undergraduate course will graduate from the University of Cumbria and will join the paramedic register to bolster the NHS workforce. 

The Centre for Excellence in Paramedic Practice is the principal provider of paramedic education in the UK.

Based at The University of Cumbria, it has over 3000 students studying on a mixture of degree and professional qualifications, including the new paramedic apprenticeship scheme which is delivered in partnership with seven English Ambulance NHS Trusts.