UCLan paramedic students prepare for the worst in hyper-realistic training day

30 May 2024

A boat crash, factory explosion, tunnel rescue and a house fire could all be seen in Fleetwood in what was thankfully a fictitious event for University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) paramedic students.

The trauma scenario day saw 47 BSc Paramedic Science second and third year students put their training to the test in five different emergency situations.

Drama students from Blackpool and the Fylde College ensured the exercises were as realistic as possible, with students made up to look like real casualties suffering from burn and wound injuries, broken limbs, respiratory issues and in cardiac arrest.

Scenarios included a boat crash on Fleetwood beach after the driver suffered a heart attack, a large engine explosion in a factory, a helicopter training exercise failure in water and a house fire with a fatality.

Second year student Gary Moore said: “I’ve just taken part in the helicopter training simulation, which involved multiple casualties. It was tough but we learned a lot. We had a clinical mentor who supported us and calmed us down when things were erratic at the beginning. He encouraged us to think things through and calmly assess what we needed to do.”

Fellow student Isabella Wallace commented: “Our next simulation will focus on an explosion in a factory so it will be interesting to experience that and see how we get on. Immersive training in our job is essential because the job is so practical and we need to gain as much experience as possible.”

Staff and students from Fleetwood Nautical Campus and officers from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Services and HM Coastguard Fleetwood all helped to bring the event to life and ensure the students had an immersive and realistic experience.

Mark Sumner, Team Leader for Safety and Renewables at Fleetwood Nautical Campus and Station Officer at HM Coastguard Fleetwood co-led the event. He said: “This is the third year we’ve run a trauma exercise day and it’s a big multi-agency effort that is as close to real life as we can get. We’ve got great actors in very realistic make up and the paramedic students are thrown into these emergency situations to see how they perform under pressure.”

University of Central Lancashire BSc Paramedic Science second year cohort lead and co-leader of the event Donna Ryan added: “Students may not experience some of these situations during placement so we make sure they’re super realistic with the sights, the sounds and even the smells of a real situation. We’re able to collaborate with other emergency services so it prepares them for life as a paramedic as much as possible.”

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