SWASFT paramedics work with Bournemouth University on resilience training

Paramedics at South Western Ambulance Service (SWASFT) will be working together with Bournemouth University on a new training programme that will help Commanders across the South West if they ever have to face a major emergency involving a large number of casualties.  This will ultimately help save lives if the worst was ever to happen, together with other emergency services.  

Bournemouth University Disaster Management Centre (BUDMC) will be working with SWASFT to provide pre-course and post-course enrichment materials via their Online Learning portal so the training can be completed by paramedics currently working on the frontline.  

The course is going to enhance the disaster management skills of paramedics with specialist software to help simulate major disasters like a hazardous chemical incident, a terrorist bomb or a firearms attack.  It will help commanders to organise ambulance crews and NHS assets to the scene to quickly help triage and treat patients affected and the public at large.    

Robert Flute, Emergency Preparedness Resilience and Response (EPRR) Command Training Advisor, said: “The new online aspect of our command courses will greatly benefit SWASFT’s wider vision for the ambulance service as a regional centre of best practice in incident command training.

“Working with Bournemouth University Disaster Management Centre can only enhance the standing of our courses which are seen as best practice. SWASFT is the first ambulance trust to offer this unique partnership.”

SWASFT already have a robust Incident Response Plan in place to deal with major incidents of this kind but this online training will help paramedics in command practice their resilience skills in advance so they are ready to deal with a large amount of casualties well in advance, and response appropriately.  

They will learn how to manage interagency meetings, support medical and other responders who may assist SWASFT at a major incident. This eLearning will aid retention and enhance knowledge in between physical attendance at a command course. 

BUDMC’s bespoke e-learning platform will support all of our command courses for operational on scene commanders, and for those manging the wider tactical Trust response as well as the senior managers overseeing the strategic response and recovery from any disruptive challenge.

This online platform will allow our commanders to have access to a wide range of online training materials including simulated command groups, health advice and questions in such a way as is easily accessible from any device. 

SWASFT will be able to set assessment exercises and the software can issue certificates to students who successfully complete a given module of the online training. 

The platform has excellent reporting functions so training staff can monitor the progress of each individual through the course content. 

In addition, our suite of command courses are currently undergoing assessment by the CPD Standards Office. 

The CPD Standards Office is part of the Professional Development Consortium, which is also home to the CPD research project. The organisation and the logo are recognised internationally and by all 1,600 regulators, professional bodies and institutions in the UK.

This process will take 6 weeks. The assessment team will be looking at:

• The learning methodology of the training engagement of the participants

• The process will also look to see how command skills are retainable and transferable. 

• The process will look at the educational authority of the training; where the content was sourced from and how it was put together.

To register a defibrillator with SWASFT, please visit: https://www.swast.nhs.uk/welcome/defibrillator-scheme/defibrillators