New ambulance callers are being trained at Dudley College of Technology to help the NHS tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
The college’s Construction Apprenticeship Training Centre (CAT) has been repurposed into a facility for recruiting and training hundreds of new 999 and 111 call assessors for the West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS).
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Jeremy Brown, the WMAS Trust’s integrated emergency and urgent care director, said: “With our own training academy already at capacity, our recruitment and training teams are using the additional space to assess and train hundreds of new call assessors to further bolster staffing levels in our 999 control room.
“With more staff than ever in our 111 and 999 control rooms as the service continues to respond to the pandemic, the extra parking spaces that have also been provided by the college are also welcomed and being utilised 24/7 by our control room staff.”
Supporting the NHS response to coronavirus
Chief executive and principal of Dudley College of Technology Neil Thomas said: “We are proud to be playing our part and supporting our community during these difficult times as the training of staff for these key roles is vital to us all.”
The college is also developing protective face visors for NHS workers and has donated all of its supplies of relevant personal protective equipment to the local NHS hospital, Russells Hall.
Mr Thomas added: “The college is at the heart of the community and is here to help – we are pleased to assist in any way that we can. We have access to specialist facilities, a highly skilled workforce and our tremendous students, who want to play a role.
"We are involved in lots of initiatives already, but there is always more we can do, so I would invite any other organisations who think we can support them to get in touch with me. Our college and wider community knows we will only get through this by everyone working together playing their role for the benefit of us all.”