A new partnership between Lytham Sixth Form College and North West Ambulance Service allows students to get first-hand experience of life as a paramedic.
The new programme sees students on relevant health-related courses given the opportunity to join an ambulance crew to see what a career in the service entails.
The three-part programme sees the student first assist with patient transfers, before going on to more serious “urgent care” call-outs and, finally, join a crew on “blue-light” emergency runs.
The first Lytham Sixth Form College student to take part in the programme is second-year Health and Social Care student Lucy-Mae Cain, from Warton.
The 18-year-old said: “I’ve wanted to be a paramedic for a long time and am really enjoying the work. I think it is a really rewarding career where you have the opportunity to help people on a daily basis.
“The crews I have worked with have been brilliant. They are very careful to ensure you only do what you are capable of and aren’t put in any situations you aren’t comfortable with.
“You learn different things on every session and it has really helped me get an understanding of what it is like to be a paramedic.”
The partnership is part of Lytham Sixth Form College’s commitment to ensuring students get hands-on experience of the careers they are studying towards.
Matthew Barr, Associate Head of Lytham Sixth Form College, said: “We are really pleased to have joined up with North West Ambulance Service to offer our students this kind of opportunity.
“We firmly believe that students who choose to study with us should experience what is required in the workplace and get a firm understanding of life outside the classroom once you embark on your chosen career pathway.
“We know that kind of industry experience also puts our students at the front of the queue when applying for jobs, or a course at a leading university.”
While having obvious benefits for the students taking part in the placements, the partnership also gives the ambulance service the opportunity to have input into training potential future paramedics from an early stage.
John Gillespie, Head of Clinical Education from North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) NHS Trust, said: “North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust has for many years supported cadet programmes across the region.
“It is exciting to add Lytham Sixth Form College to the group of educational institutions we are working in partnership with.
“I wish Lucy Mae all the best with her studies and that she has the type of experience with NWAS that helps her with the decisions she needs to make about her future.”
For more information about courses at Lytham Sixth Form College, and the work placement opportunities involved, contact 01253 504670.