Ambulance bosses say they are stunned after more than 1,200 people applied to join a new student paramedic programme in just a week.

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Last week the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust launched a recruitment drive to hire 400 student paramedics.

Trust chief executive Dr Anthony Marsh said: “I’m delighted by the huge number of people, who come from all backgrounds and sections of our communities, who want to take up this fantastic opportunity to help people, often in their greatest hour of need.

“This shows great faith in the service and what we can do to help patients.

“We know we need more staff so that we can improve the care that we provide to patients and this programme will take us a long way down that road. It will help us reach our goal of having a paramedic on every vehicle which will undoubtedly increase the quality of patient care.

“As someone who trained as a paramedic myself, I know what a tremendously rewarding career it can be. Be under no illusions, it is not for the faint-hearted, but the satisfaction it brings is second to none.”

The training programme for a student paramedic to qualify takes two and half years to complete and the ambulance service will then offer the successful participants full-time paramedic contracts.

As well as recruiting new students, the service is continuing to recruit graduate paramedics and qualified technicians and paramedics.

To apply, visit www.jobs.nhs.uk or follow @EEAST_Jobs on Twitter for job updates.

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