Do you want to know how to become an ambulance driver? If the answer is yes, then you have come to the right place. We pride ourselves on helping aspiring paramedics, emergency care assistants and ambulance technicians achieve their career goals by offering ambulance driver training courses in various locations. So, allow us to help you make the first step in a rewarding career as we explain everything you need to know about becoming an ambulance driver.
Why become an ambulance driver?
An ambulance driver is a crucial and integral part of any emergency service team, making it one of the most important careers in existence. As an ambulance driver, it is not just your responsibility to arrive at the scene of an accident at the earliest opportunity, but you must also ensure patients are transported to the nearest hospital quickly, safely and securely. If you want to progress in your medical career, then being an ambulance driver is a great stepping stone. Many drivers use their role to gain hands-on, practical experience which may be hard to find elsewhere. With the experience and knowledge gained from the role, you can then broaden your horizons within the medical sector and pursue a number of careers,
According to NHS health careers, to be an ambulance driver, you typically need to be qualified as any of the following:
- Ambulance care assistant
- Patient support service driver
- Emergency care assistant
- Ambulance technician
All the professions listed above are highly respected and valuable to the health service, but one of the most sought after medical vocations is working as a paramedic. Being a paramedic means you can expect to be the first person at the scene of an accident or emergency, so being fully qualified is imperative. If you want to be a paramedic, there are two routes which you can go down depending on your preferred way of learning. If you would consider yourself to be an academic individual, then studying a paramedic science degree at University would be the ideal choice. As standard, the course will take three years to complete, but the duration may vary depending on the institution and whether you decide to opt for a placement year. Alternatively, if academia is not for you, then don’t panic as you can still pursue your dream career by working as a student paramedic with an ambulance trust. By opting for this route, you will be able to take an apprenticeship approach to gaining the necessary qualifications by learning while you work. It should also be noted that for most of these courses, you must have at least 5 GCSE’s to apply; including Maths, English and Science.
It goes without saying that ambulance training is a key component to becoming an ambulance driver. However, having provided ambulance training in Milton Keynes for many years, we are here to tell you all about the course and give you some tips on how to be successful. After passing our ambulance training course, you will receive a C1 entitlement on your driving license – allowing you to drive all frontline emergency ambulances. Before undergoing your training, you should take the following into consideration:
The cost of an ambulance training course varies depending on who you choose to learn with. However, if you are considering our ambulance training in Northampton or one of the surrounding areas, you can see our price list here. As you will be able to see, there are a number of options to choose from with our C1 and C1+E courses. If you are a confident and experienced driver, it will make sense to opt for our 1 day training with test – the cheapest option. On the other hand, if you have limited experience and feel like you may need a little more preparation, it would be worth spending some extra money for our 3 day training course with test.
To bring you one step closer towards your ambulance training course, you must first apply for provisional entitlement for the correct category. This can be done by completing a medical with your GP and submitting D2 and D4 forms, along with your license, to the DVLA.
It should also be noted that, as you are adding an additional category to your license, you will need to sit a theory and hazard perception test for the vehicle. To book your theory test, simply click here and follow the instructions. Once you have passed your theory test, you can then proceed to take your driving ability test.
Having an idea of what the test actually consists of will allow you to be more prepared and thus increase your chance of passing. The test will begin with some “show me, tell me” questions about your vehicle. Then, these sections that follow can be conducted in any order:
- The drive – This part of the test is fairly straightforward as it lasts for one hour and is marked using the exact same criteria as your initial driving test
- Uncoupling and recoupling (+E candidates only)- During this section of the test, the examiner will watch you as you uncouple and re-couple your trailer. The task itself is fairly simple, but you will be tested on your ability to maintain, using set routines and safety procedures, complete control of your trailer. You can find our useful guide explaining uncoupling and recoupling here.
- The manoeuvre – Just like a standard driving test, before completion, you will be expected to manoeuvre the vehicle successfully. You can see a diagram of the manoeuvre for this particular test here.
As well as fulfilling academic requirements and training, being an ambulance driver also means you need to have some vital personal skills. Working at the frontline of an emergency or accident means you need to have the ability to work under intense pressure. As an ambulance driver, you need to be able to show initiative and act quickly without panicking. Being prepared for any situation can be quite difficult as you never know what your working day will consist of; however, this means being a problem solver is important. Working under pressure also means that you can intake and act on instructions promptly while remembering to follow all safety procedures.
Working in a quick-paced environment, and under such intense conditions, means communication skills are vital. When needed, you must be able to give clear, precise instructions to others. If a mistake is made or miscommunication occurs, it can be seriously detrimental to those individuals who you are trying to help. If there is a sudden change of plan or emergency, every member of the team needs to be kept in the loop.
As an ambulance driver, working in a team is of utmost importance. Although driving the vehicle is a one-person job, ensuring you get to the correct location, knowing what the emergency actually is and what role you play when you get to the scene all requires teamwork and effective communication between your colleagues.
At the scene of an accident or emergency, it is more than likely that the people you will come into contact with will be in great pain, stress or are incredibly distraught. For this reason, being caring and compassionate is necessary. Simple gestures such as calming down patients and reassuring them that you are doing everything in your power to resolve the situation can be very effective and should be implemented whenever possible.
Working in healthcare is an extremely rewarding career choice with a whole host of benefits. Being an ambulance driver is especially advantageous for the many reasons, such as the fact your day-to-day working life will never be dull. If you are one of those people that thrives of fast-paced environments and hates the idea of a 9-5 job sitting at a desk, then being an ambulance driver is an excellent choice. Gaining valuable medical field experience is another benefit of becoming an ambulance driver. If you aspire to be a physician, nurse or take advantage of another medical career, starting out by becoming a driver is a great way to improve your CV in the meantime. Arguably one of the most favourable benefits of being an ambulance driver is the fact that you are giving back to your community and ultimately helping to save lives.
We hope our guide on how to become an ambulance driver has given you all the information you need to know about this rewarding career. Now that you are well informed of how to begin the process of becoming an ambulance driver, it’s now time to take the first step. Don’t forget, we are here to help you achieve your career goals by providing you with the necessary driving training you will need, so please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.