If you were to ask a child what they wanted to be when they grew up, quite a lot of them would probably say doctor, or ambulance driver, along with fireman and policeman. There’s something all of those professions have in common – they are all heroes. But with the current pandemic shining a light on just how essential everyone within the medical profession is, we’ve started to see a spike in people looking to retrain as paramedics. One of the skills you need for that job is to be able to drive an ambulance – so what do you need to be able to do that?
The main bulk of the training is medical, as you would expect. This is partly why becoming an ambulance driver isn’t a quick process. It takes an average of 5 years to become qualified as a paramedic, and during that time you will be going to medical school and working in an ambulance part-time for on-the-job experience. By the end of those 5 years, you’ll have either a degree or a diploma of higher education in paramedic science, depending on what institution or programme you chose.
Oh, and on top of that, you need to have a HGV license.
Yes. Unfortunately, there are no two ways around that. Being an ambulance driver means holding a full Drier CPC, and a Cat 1 license. This license allows you to drive any vehicle over 7.5 tonnes, and while it might not seem like it, a modern ambulance weighs in at 5 tonnes. And no, you can’t opt to just be a paramedic and not drive the ambulance, and you can’t opt to only drive the ambulance and not also be a paramedic. It’s a prerequisite of the job to be able to take your turn behind the wheel, and a C1 license is a requirement for every paramedic. The best way to achieve this is to sign up with a HGV driver training school, who can get you up to speed quickly and guide you through your Driver CPC and Cat 1 license.
Just like any other job, being an ambulance driver isn’t a solo venture. You will work alongside a team of people with different roles, and will likely play a lot of those roles yourself too, depending on the day. After all, the ambulance service is made up of a huge variety of people, including:
Every since one of those roles requires dedication, good communication, organisational skills and the ability to stay calm under pressure. If that sounds like you, then it sounds like you have a promising career in the ambulance service ahead of you!
At The LGV Training Centre, we are proud to work with aspiring ambulance drivers to help them achieve their Driver CPC and Cat 1 licenses. There is no career quite like a career in the NHS, and we regularly run courses for ambulance drivers, either as a long course or an intensive one, to help you achieve your goals, on your timeline. And with online Driver CPC courses available you can get started today, without even leaving the house. If you would like to know more, just get in touch with us today.