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First aid course sparks new career

Published: January 15, 2018

Cornwall College Saltash

South East Cornwall is to benefit from the services of a new Emergency Care Assistant (ECA) thanks to a college employee inspired by a first aid course.

Campus Support Assistant from Cornwall College Saltash, Kevin Oak, decided to pursue a career within the ambulance service after completing a First Aid at Work course in his current role and is leaving the College to pursue his dream career.

“After completely the first aid course at work it made me realise I wanted to focus on helping others. The training was excellent and really gave me the interest to learn more,” Kevin said.

For the last six months Kevin has been a First Responder, which is a voluntary position with the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT).

“If someone calls for an ambulance in the Saltash area, whilst the ambulance is on the way to them the First Responder is dispatched to attend the scene to monitor the situation, do basic observations and CPR if it’s required.”

“It is a role I have really enjoyed alongside my full time job and it further convinced me that a full time role within the ambulance service was what I wanted to do,” Kevin continued.

“In my new role as Emergency Care Assistant I will be driving ambulances, assisting the paramedic once on scene and taking patients into hospital and doing the handover. I am really looking forward to starting the next step in my new career.”

SWASFT covers one of the most rural areas of the UK and are committed to providing the population of the South West with the highest standard of out-of-hospital care.

Access to Higher Education Lecturer at Cornwall College Saltash, Melanie Yarwood, said it is “great news Kevin is pursuing his dream career to eventually become a paramedic.”

“For those interested in a change of career such as this and who may be worried that they don’t have sufficient qualifications, our Access to HE Health & Social Care (Nursing) course puts you on the right pathway to applying for a BSc Paramedic Practitioner or a BSc Paramedic Science degree.”

“Our alumni from both pathways have been exceptionally successful at securing their university places. To date, we have achieved 100% progression rate into this sector from both Access to HE pathways.”

Head of Cornwall College Saltash, Margaret Butfield, said that at Saltash “we pride ourselves with our connection with the community”.

“Kevin, our Campus Support Assistant, has embraced the opportunity to qualify for a change in career and to give his time helping others in need. We will miss him terribly but we are all incredibly proud of him.”

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