Wednesday 14th January 2015 – 10.55am – Murray MacGregor.
For 550 people across the West Midlands, there was good news at the start of the week, but also a realisation that the hard work has just begun.
The group are the lucky ones who have made it through the first round of recruitment to become one of 300 student paramedics with West Midlands Ambulance Service later this year.
The posts, which were advertised over the Festive season, will all be filled within the next few weeks with all 300 beginning their training by the summer.
There are two further stages of the selection process that candidates need to complete before they are offered a job with the Trust:
The next round of the selection process will test each of the candidates on their Level 2 Literacy & Numeracy skills and their knowledge of the Highway Code. Practice papers are widely available on the internet for anyone wishing to practice. Also as part of Stage 1 candidates will be assessed on their ability to work with others to solve problems.
Those that pass the first round of testing are then invited to take part in an interview along with a test of their driving ability and also a fitness test.
Recruitment Advisor, Louise Harris, said: “We are delighted that so many people made it past the initial shortlisting. For some, the thought of going through over 1,000 applications might be daunting, but when you see the efforts that the candidates have gone to filling in the applications and the enthusiasm they show, it is a rewarding process.
“We are often asked what preparations candidates should make. Clearly each one will be different, but these are some of the areas that we will be looking at:
- An understanding of what the ambulance service is all about, what we do and the part that our student paramedics will play in their new role and then also eventually as a HCPC Registered Paramedic
- Knowing what the job is about and what they are signing up for. A lot of the information is contained within the job specification, but you can also find plenty of information on our website.
- Being able to show us what their relevant experience is and how that might be useful in their new role. That isn’t necessarily about the caring they might have done, but also their problem solving abilities. Our staff regularly have to think on their feet to get the right care for the patients they are dealing with.
- Be able to demonstrate that they can drive smoothly, safely and undertake manoeuvres in an ambulance sized vehicle
- Being a paramedic can be physically tough so a good level of general fitness is important. Specifically though, we will be checking flexibility – can you touch your toes for example and your ability to lift is measured through the ‘grip’ and ‘leg strength’ tests. The cardio element of the fitness assessment simulates attending a cardiac arrest; carrying your equipment up stairs to your patient, performing CPR and then carrying your patient back down the stairs.
Louise continued: “We are very much looking forward to meeting all of the candidates. Judging by the feedback we’ve had over the phone and via social media, we have a lot of really keen individuals who can’t wait to get started. Good luck to you all.”