Saturday (8 July) marks the second annual International Paramedics Day, and the theme for this year is ‘what paramedics do’; to showcase the diversity of roles paramedics have and create a better understanding of the breadth and depth of work carried out by paramedics around the world.
At Magpas Air Ambulance, the medical team that delivers A&E-level care to patients in life-threatening emergencies across Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire, is made up of a doctor and critical care paramedic on every shift. The clinical team members work at the same level while responding to emergencies, taking it in turns to lead on each mission.
All of Magpas Air Ambulance’s critical care paramedics have extensive experience of providing medical care in all sorts of environments outside of the hospital. This, combined with the Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine (PHEM) training they receive upon joining the charity, means they can provide the best possible care someone can receive outside of a hospital, wherever that patient’s incident may have occurred. From general anaesthetics in someone’s workplace or home, to surgical procedures on the side of a road; the skills of Magpas Air Ambulance’s critical care paramedics are outstanding.
However, the 13 critical care paramedics don’t just save lives while working on board the Magpas Air Ambulance helicopter. Last year, the charity launched an additional advanced paramedic service in partnership with the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST), where the charity’s most senior paramedics now also provide solo care in Cambridgeshire and beyond, responding via a Magpas Air Ambulance rapid response vehicle. This new service has increased the medical provision in the region and means the helicopter remains available for only the sickest of patients.
Many of the service’s critical care paramedics are also now trained, or in training, to work on the critical care desk at the ambulance call centre. This means they can monitor the 999 calls coming in to the East of England Ambulance Service, looking for the most serious emergencies that need the extra level of care air ambulance crews or advanced paramedics can provide, and deploying charities such as Magpas Air Ambulance to help.
As well as the above, most of Magpas Air Ambulance’s paramedics also work for the ambulance service regularly on board normal road ambulances and with other charities in the region, making sure they’re available to help patients whenever they can.
Chief Executive of the College of Paramedics, Tracy Nicholls OBE said, “Last year’s International Paramedics Day was a real celebration of the profession coming together from all over the world to reveal why they were proud to be paramedics. But this year, the message is clear—being a paramedic is a versatile, multifaceted and diverse profession which has grown exponentially in the last decade. It’s time people recognised, understood and appreciated that.”
Natalie Church, Magpas Air Ambulance Director of Operations, sums up “Our team of paramedics have trained and worked in the field for many years to reach the highest level they can, ensuring they give patients across the East of England the very best critical care; saving lives 24/7. They’re advocates for not only the charity—regularly helping out with fundraising events and raising awareness of the service we provide—but also examples of where a career as a paramedic can take you and what you can achieve in the role. Every one of our critical care paramedics gives their all to not only this charity, but to the profession as a whole, and we’re excited to be able to use International Paramedics Day to highlight the incredible work they do every single day.”