The Student Opportunity Fund is supporting an ongoing collaboration between Edge Hill’s Paramedic Practice students and the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS).

In addition to their normal course curriculum, second year students on the DipHE Paramedic Practice course have been given the chance to gain hands on experience of patient extrication from simulated car incidents while training with the GMFRS at the station in Stockport.

Students are able to practice these scenarios using live casualties to make it more realistic. Patients are made up of former Edge Hill students who volunteer, along with third year Operating Department Practice students.

The Student Opportunity Fund has paid for the salvaged cars used in the training. The cars are provided by Stalybridge Auto Salvage, who work closely with the GMFRS, and they are cleaned and emptied prior to the training to make sure they’re safe to use.

So far, over 120 students have benefitted from the training which equips them with a number of skills from rapid patient assessment, techniques for extrication and teamwork, to risk management, experience of challenging environments and triage.

Karen Simpson-Scott, Senior Lecturer in Paramedic Science and Hospital Care has spearheaded the partnership.

“As well as supporting the Trauma Management module, this training enhances the student experience as it provides a unique learning experience to develop leadership and work closely with the emergency services,” said Karen. “It’s highly regarded by the students as a valuable opportunity and echoed by the GMFRS.

“The Fire service do not charge anything for this training and it is a well-established partnership which always creates positive feedback. The only cost to Edge Hill is the salvaged cars for training, which is paid for by the Student Opportunity Fund.”

Paul Redford, Station Manager for Whitehill and Stockport Community Fire Stations, Stockport and Tameside Area, said:

“This collaboration has evolved over many years.  It gives Fire and Rescue Service emergency crews and the Paramedic Students an opportunity to experience working together in a challenging environment which is controlled.  We debrief every scenario to maximise learning, which in the real world is more difficult, as the casualties and Paramedics are usually on the way to hospital.  I truly believe this is a unique opportunity to train together and promote joint working, which will ultimately benefit those we serve.”

The response from students who attended the training course has been really positive, and after analysing the feedback forms, students have rated the overall experience, the teaching on the day and the simulated scenarios at nine out of ten.

Students have described the day as “a brilliant learning experience providing a great overview of what the fire service does on scene”, and “using live casualties makes it much more realistic.”