MORE than 200 new student paramedics will be on the roads in the West Midlands later this year.

Out of the 1,100 people who applied for student paramedic places with West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust recently, 137 have been offered a place with the organisation, with another 90 completing final assessments.

And those who missed the opportunity to apply will have another chance later this year when the trust begins recruitment for another 70 student paramedics to increase its total number to 280.

The trust’s recruitment advisor Louise Harris said she was “overwhelmed” by the response to the original advert earlier this year.

“What was really pleasing was that we had applications from right across the region and from every community within it,” she said.

“As a service that goes out to every community it is really important that we get applicants who represent the people we serve.”

She said the first group of 33 applicants would start work on Tuesday, April 22.

“Over the next 30 months, they will develop their clinical skills, learn to drive using blue lights and sirens and gain invaluable experience learning people skills so that they can treat patients in their hour of need,” she said.

“We are very proud that the pass rate for the student paramedics is about 95 per cent which is down to a lot of hard work on the part of the students and paramedic tutors, but also an extensive support network provided by the trust such as the mentors the individuals will be working with.

“Later on this year, we will be recruiting a further 70 student paramedics as part of the trust’s commitment to have a paramedic on every vehicle.

“Although this is a major financial commitment, it is absolutely the right thing to do from a patient care perspective.

“I am sure each of the successful candidates will be elated but also a bit nervous.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming them over the next few weeks and seeing them develop over the coming years.”