Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) have started the New Year with seven new trainee Critical Care paramedics joining the Charity Critical Care Team.
The Charity made the appointments as a response to an increase in demand for the life-saving service. Missions across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight have doubled for the team since the Charity Critical Care Team Vehicle became operational in 2017.
Selected from a total of 89 applicants, the seven trainee Critical Care paramedics had to complete a tough selection process comprising fitness tests and other scenarios designed to test their medical skills, as well as their compatibility with the Charity values; dedication, professionalism, team work and openness.
A crucial part of the recruitment process is the fitness test and swimming assessment. The teams must be physically fit to carry heavy life-saving equipment to their patient. Those who successfully passed were then invited to the Charity Airbase to undertake incident scenarios before being invited back for a formal interview.
Director of Operations at Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, Nick Thuilliez said: “We are delighted to welcome the new trainee Critical Care paramedics to our Critical Care Team, bringing the paramedic team from 9 to 16. This increase in the paramedic team at HIOWAA will help to ensure that we are there when people really need us, and this would not be possible without the continued fundraising support from the local community. We rely entirely on their donations in order to keep saving lives every day.”
Last year, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance responded to 1,429 emergencies across the south. It costs £15,000 a day to keep the life-saving service operational.