Article by South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS)
South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) is delighted to be supporting the first International Paramedics Day on 8 July and is marking a double celebration by announcing the arrival of nearly 30 Australian paramedics who will soon be providing emergency care across the South Central region.
International Paramedics Day was the brainchild of the College of Paramedics who wanted to create a day that showcased the vital work done by paramedics, first responders and support staff in the UK and around the world. It is a day of celebration enthusiastically supported by SCAS as this year also marks the Trust’s participation in the International Paramedics Programme – a programme run by Health Education England that offers newly qualified paramedics in Australia the opportunity to live in England and work at an NHS ambulance trust.
A first cohort of 14 newly qualified paramedics are currently going through their clinical training with SCAS and will be going out on the road on placement for two weeks from 20 July. They will then return to the SCAS Education Team for driver training and, once completed, will be fully operational. A second cohort of 14 Australians are starting their training on Monday, 11 July, and one of those is Megan Venters.
Megan, 22, was born and raised in Chandlers Ford, Hampshire, but emigrated to Perth, Australia with her family when she was seven. When she realised at school in Year 12 that human biology was her favourite subject, she was then set on a career to become a paramedic and achieved a BSc in Paramedical Science in Australia.
“I’ve come to the UK, not just because I have family still here in Hampshire, but it also offers incredible travel opportunities in Europe when I’m not working. I chose SCAS as it is an innovative, exciting and respected ambulance service and, of course, allows me to be very close to my extended UK family which will help me settle in.
“Starting a career somewhere far away from home and within the NHS will provide me with so many different experiences and I can’t wait to be part of an amazing and unique organisation as the NHS. I’m really looking forward to putting my knowledge into practice, helping patients and meeting new colleagues and friends. All in all, I’m just excited to start as it’s been my dream job for as long as I can remember!”
As well as the most recent Australian recruits, SCAS employs a total of 102 international staff from 21 different countries in frontline emergency operational roles. Those colleagues include staff from Finland, Germany, Hungary, India, Japan, Poland, St Lucia and South Africa.