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Celebrating International Paramedics Day! by Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Updated: Jul 11, 2022

Today we are celebrating the incredible work done by Paramedics around the world every minute of every day in every imaginable situation - and especially the 2,347 Paramedics who work for #TeamYAS.

For the first time, 8 July is being dedicated to the world's paramedics as International Paramedics Day. This date is the anniversary of the birth of Dominique-Jean Larrey, the man often referred to as the 'father of modern-day ambulance services'.

International Paramedics Day has been created, organised and run by the College of Paramedics in the UK, with support from professional paramedics' organisations from around the world.

We have been supporting the event by sharing stories from our Paramedics about why they are proud of their profession and how they became a Paramedic. These can be viewed below.

Nick Smith, Director of Operations, said: “I am really proud to support International Paramedics Day for two main reasons. Firstly, to recognise how much the profession has progressed over the last 30 years. Secondly, is to thank every paramedic working across the world in primary care, urgent treatment centres and ambulance services for what you have done for your patients and the public, particularly during the COVID pandemic over the last couple of years.”

Warm welcome for overseas recruits

International Paramedics Day falls in the same week as we have welcomed our first recruits from Australia and New Zealand to the YAS paramedic team as part of a new pilot programme.

Fourteen newly qualified paramedics have come to join us in the Leeds area with 16 more joining us later in the summer in Sheffield and East Yorkshire.

Chief Executive Rod Barnes and Executive Director of Operations Nick Smith met the group earlier this week after they travelled north from Heathrow Airport.

Rod said: “It was a real pleasure to meet them all and they were very enthusiastic about their new roles in Yorkshire. They were all very positive and I am sure they will receive an extremely warm welcome from colleagues across the service.”

We were one of three ambulance trusts chosen to work with Health Education England on the pilot International Paramedic Programme to recruit directly from Australasia. Fifteen Higher Education Institutions offer paramedic degrees in Australia and every year many of the newly qualified paramedics in Australia are unable to find employment across the six states as there are more graduates than roles available. This contrasts with the picture in the UK where there is often a shortage compared to the vacancies available.

Zac Aarons, from Melbourne, is one of the new international recruits.

He said: “After living and growing up in Melbourne I wanted a change and to experience some cold weather – I’ve heard really good things about Leeds, especially its music scene. I wanted a mix of busy work/busy city life but outside of London. It’s much sunnier than I thought it would be. Leeds seems to be a diverse and happening place. The people that I have come across have been very friendly.”

Bree-Arnn Lawrence, from Melbourne, has always wanted to live overseas.

She said: “I missed out on travel during COVID so wanted to start travelling. Leeds sounded like a good town to be in which attracted me to Yorkshire. I was really happy for the job offer from YAS due to the lack of Paramedic jobs back home. The support from YAS has been really generous. The weather has been good so far which has been surprising. My first impressions of Leeds have been really good, it’s nice to have canal/rivers around to break up the city centre feel.”

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