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Clinician Recruitment & Selection
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All TAAS Paramedics and Doctors have to undergo a rigorous recruitment & selection process, prior to working for our local air ambulances.
The environments in which our critical care crews operate are challenging and therefore our stringent recruitment process ensures that successful candidates are ideally suited to meet these demands.
Become One of Our Doctors
Doctors working on TAAS Helicopters & Critical Care Cars all have significant previous pre-hospital experience, gained either on other HEMS units or on Pre-Hospital Immediate Care schemes such as BASICS or EMICS. The doctors are predominantly from an anaesthetic or emergency medicine speciality, however, we also have some experienced general practitioners and intensive care medicine doctors with pre-hospital experience and anaesthetic training.
Recruitment is initially made via an advertisement in medical journals and the NHS Jobs website. If the applicant has the required experience and skill set, they will be invited to attend selection days where they will be assessed on practical skills, underpinning knowledge, teamwork and interpersonal skills. This is done by undertaking numerous medical, trauma and resuscitation scenarios. The shortlisted applicants will then be invited to interview and, if successful, may be offered a position as a probationary/trainee HEMS Doctor.
Another route that doctors may choose to pursue is via the Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine (PHEM) training program and qualification. These doctors are recruited on a national level via local medical deaneries and have to complete a comprehensive training curriculum.
Both newly selected Doctors and PHEM Trainees are mentored and supervised by an experienced HEMS Consultant and have to have numerous competencies signed off prior to working as a solo Doctor on a HEMS crew.
Become One of Our Paramedics
The Air Ambulance Service is fairly unique in that we employ our own paramedic staff rather than having them seconded from local Ambulance services. This allows us, as an organisation, to upskill and provide specialist training to our Paramedics. Indeed all Paramedics selected to work for TAAS will undertake post-graduate training to attain the qualification of Critical Care Paramedic (CCP). Once qualified as CCP’s, they are able to administer additional drugs for example pain relief and sedation (over and above what a standard UK paramedic can give), and also carry out surgical skills to aid in patient treatment
TAAS Paramedics are predominantly recruited from NHS Ambulance services, having gained a minimum of five years Paramedic experience “on the road”.
The selection process is similar, but arguably more intense than the Doctors selection and is usually completed over an entire weekend, which will comprise of several written examinations, practical assessments, fitness tests and psychometric and leadership assessments. If successful the candidates are invited back for an interview and presentation, after which a decision is made on suitability for a probationary job offer, subject to the successful completion of further training.
The Air Ambulance Service Paramedics/CCP’s also carry out the role of HEMS Crewmember, which is a European Aviation Safety Association defined role. This involves air navigation, meteorology and other aviation specific aspects. The initial HEMS crewmember course lasts two weeks and is provided by our aviation provider. Following completion of the course, the paramedic will be supervised and mentored in the role until they are ready to be “Line Checked” by one of the training captains after which they will then fly as the solo HEMS crewmember assisting the pilot on missions.
Due to legal and regulatory requirements, we cannot offer work experience places within the Operations Team.
Our Children’s Air Ambulance Pilots
The pilots who work on the Children’s Air Ambulance are professionals employed by Specialist Aviation Services (SAS) and, in order to maintain the highest standards within the team, we have specific sets of criteria.
Our Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) is held by our aviation provider SAS. All of our pilots are very experienced and require an EASA multi engine IR (Instrument Rating) on the type of aircraft we use.
It is not a position that is available on a volunteer basis, as many legalities with aviation would make this difficult.