Student paramedics from the University of Huddersfield are set to gain invaluable experience thanks to a new partnership with North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (NYFRS).

Students recently visited the training centre at Easingwold in North Yorkshire to take part in a road traffic collision simulation exercise, where they worked alongside trainee firefighters under supervision from experienced paramedics and firefighters.

The highly realistic scenario involved wrecked vehicles flipped onto their sides or left upside down, with mannequins and actors playing the roles of those trapped inside. The emergency services assessed the stability of the vehicles, before Huddersfield’s student paramedics began to apply their learning in a real-world situation.

The day at Easingwold followed soon after students took part in a major incident mock-up on campus inside the university’s Institute of Rail Research (IRR), and more emergency placements with NYFRS are set to take place throughout 2022.

“The purpose of the visit to Easingwold was to provide realism for something that we cannot replicate in the classroom,” says paramedic science lecturer Ash Scaife. “It’s another level from talking about injuries and extrication, to working in a mangled car. It was a highly-realistic scenario where the students worked alongside multiple agencies.

“It’s very rare to get the chance to experience this kind of scenario. The multiple voices, the noise, having to make emergency decisions – you cannot replicate that in a classroom.

“It was great to see a real exchange of knowledge between our students and the rescue services, it was not just a one-way situation. It was an opportunity to understand the different working practices of each agency and learn how to communicate effectively in a potentially stressful environment.”

Stuart Simpson, the head of operational training for NYFRS, said “The involvement of the student paramedics enhances the training that we can offer our firefighters, and makes our training scenarios even more realistic.

“Having direct access to medical skill and knowledge allows us to discuss and develop our extrication techniques, further improving our casualty care.”

School director of external engagement, Dr Leanne Monchuk, said: “This is a new and exciting partnership that has provided excellent learning and knowledge exchange opportunities for everyone involved.

“I’d like to thank colleagues at North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue for planning and facilitating the day, and we look forward to developing this partnership further.”