Every day the various ambulance services around the UK provide life-saving transportation for those suffering from medical emergencies. In addition, non-emergency services transport patients to and from medical appointments and healthcare facilities using specially-built ambulances and vans. You could be part of this very noble calling by earning your licence to work as a professional. The HGV Training Centre is one of only a handful of training companies in the country offering intensive ambulance driver training.
For purposes of clarification, there is a difference between an ambulance driver and a paramedic. You need to know this before you begin searching for work. If an ambulance service is looking to hire a driver who is also a paramedic, you will need to have completed the appropriate paramedic training prior to applying. If an ambulance service is looking only for what is known as a patient transport service (PTS) driver, no paramedic training is needed.
Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules that apply to ambulance service hiring practices. Some services hire paramedics exclusively to provide both patient care and transport; others hire separate drivers who do nothing but operate ambulances while paramedics provide care. You will need to carefully read job descriptions to know what a given ambulance service is after. If a job listing is not clear, do not be afraid to ask.
It is common to find information on the internet that suggests you may not need a special driving licence to be a professional ambulance driver. In other words, you can drive an ambulance with a Category B licence. Please be cautious with this kind of information. While it may be true in some cases, those cases are the rare exception rather than the rule.
Most ambulances require a minimum Category C1 licence due to the weight and size of the vehicles in question. This licence allows you to drive vehicles between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes MAM, without external trailers. Given that the average ambulance exceeds 3.5 tonnes of actual weight once you load in equipment and patients, the Category C1 is the standard licence for ambulance drivers.
Ambulance services in the UK have a certain amount of liberty in putting additional requirements on drivers. Once again, you will have to inquire with those individual services about their hiring needs. You may need additional training above and beyond an initial Category C1 training programme.
Regardless of hiring requirements, you will need to have excellent driving skills to be an ambulance driver. Remember, you will be transporting people either suffering from a medical emergency or a non-medical condition that limits mobility. As such, their health and safety rest in your hands. You cannot be a careless or reckless driver and still operate an ambulance safely and in a way that is best for patients.
As previously mentioned, the HGV Training Centre offers top quality, intensive ambulance driver training. This training begins with the basic Category C1 training necessary for obtaining the appropriate licence. From there, we move into more specialised training that deals with transporting patients.
Training with us is the fast and cost-efficient way to earn your licence. Our intensive training programme consists of three primary categories under which all of our training topics fall:
Despite the tremendous amount of knowledge we impart in our ambulance driver training, it really doesn’t take too long. Most of our students can complete their training and be ready for their exam in about a week. More on that in the next section.
We advertise our training as intensive. We do so because we believe in the concept of getting drivers trained, tested, and looking for work in the shortest possible time. This is not to say that we rush students through so quickly that they cannot grasp what they need to know. In fact, we do just the opposite.
Our intensive training approach involves giving students the information they need in short, concentrated bursts. This enables the average student to learn and retain a lot more quickly than he or she would if he/she were put through a long and cumbersome course lasting weeks or months. We all learn better in shorter bursts. Yet it gets better.
Our training approach also results in better retention and recall at test time. In other words, not burdening the mind with long and cumbersome courses enables students to remember what they learned so that they have little trouble passing mandatory tests. Does this approach work? Absolutely. Our first-time pass rate is consistently above 90% across all of our training programmes.
It would be impossible to successfully employ our intensive approach to ambulance driver training simply by using books and other training materials. Doing things correctly requires employing instructors who actually have real world experience. To that end, all of our ambulance driver trainers have spent time in the past working for an ambulance service – most often, here in the UK. They know what it’s like to sit behind the wheel of an ambulance, navigating through all sorts of traffic and weather.
Experienced instructors know how to take book knowledge and apply it to real life. They know the areas students are most likely to struggle in and are more than capable of providing extra help and support that will see such students through. They know what kinds of information will be included on the Category C1 licence test at the end of the training programme. As such, they are the best suited to prepare students for that test.
There are other training companies you could utilise for your ambulance driver training. We understand that. But we also believe that the HGV Training Centre is your best choice. Since our company was established decades ago, we have worked diligently at developing effective training programmes that get results.
We have a reputation throughout the UK for being a provider of high-quality training programmes for all kinds of commercial driving licences. Furthermore, we give our ambulance driver training the same type of commitment given to each of our other driving programmes. We know that we do not succeed if you do not succeed. Therefore, our goal is to make you the best ambulance driver you can be throughout your entire career.
Please find below a selection of our other articles on LGV driving:
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