The staff working on our emergency ambulances include Paramedics, Emergency Medical Technicians and Emergency Ambulance Crews. They respond to a wide variety of calls but mainly to serious or life-threatening calls.
We have also created a new role in our Service, called Assistant Ambulance Practitioner (AAP). This role fits in our career structure to mean a member of staff can start in our Non-Emergency Transport Service (NETS), become an AAP and eventually, should they wish, progress to other clinical roles including paramedic positions.
AAPs will be crewed alongside either a registered paramedic or another suitably-qualified member of staff such as an Emergency Medical Technician or Emergency Ambulance Crew. A paramedic or other suitably qualified clinician will guide and support the Assistant Ambulance Practitioner and maintain overall clinical responsibility for the patient.
Our crews are trained to deal with life-threatening illnesses and injuries. However, paramedics are trained to carry out invasive procedures which they may need to perform during the most serious medical emergencies. These procedures include intubation (where a tube is entered into the windpipe to help a patient breathe) and needle chest decompressions (inserting a needle into the chest to release the build up of air pressure).
We carry a full range of equipment on our emergency ambulances, including electrocardiogram (ECG) machines to monitor a patient’s heart and defibrillators which can restart the heart if a patient goes in to cardiac arrest.
Non-Emergency Transport Service (NETS)
Our Non-Emergency Transport Service crews also go to patients in an ambulance. But they help patients who do not need the clinical skills of a paramedic, emergency medical technician or emergency ambulance crew nor an ambulance on flashing blue lights.
The staff who form these crews have been trained in basic life-support and help to keep our emergency ambulances free to attend patients who are seriously hurt or unwell.
They aid a variety of patients, including elderly people who have fallen at home, transfers to hospices and children with high temperatures.
The vehicles can carry four seated people, have a stretcher and capacity to support patients who are required to travel in a wheelchair. The Service currently operates between 8am and 10pm every day, within the M25 geographical area.