Fiat Emergency Ambulance – Mandatory Training
Unison Health & Safety has been contacted by a number of employees with concerns relating to the lack of consistency and variations in the training being provided on the new Fiat ambulances. Concerns that have been raised include a number of employees in some areas only receiving a total of 1 ½ hours training and no practical driving familiarisation.
Prior to the roll out of the Fiat ambulance it was agreed that there would be only ONE level of training cascading to ensure that only the Trained Trainers delivered the training in order to avoid dilution of the training and ensure consistency. Additionally, it was also agreed that a maximum three (3) hours would be allocated for members of staff to undergo this comprehensive and mandatory training. This was to ensure that crews were fully trained and familiar with all aspects of the vehicle, its equipment, functions, the new stair chair and the powered self-loading stretcher.
To ensure confidence and competency, training in the correct and safe use of the stair chair should be undertaken by physically moving persons on it up and down a flight of stairs.
To ensure confidence and competency in the correct use of the powered self-loading stretcher, the training includes loading and off–loading the stretcher under its own power. The training also includes training in what actions to take if the stretcher power fails or the vehicle loading system suffers power failure and the actions to over-ride the system.
Included within the training package is driver familiarisation which involves taking the Fiat ambulance out on the roads to become familiar with the use of manual gear box, driving controls, instrumentation and experience in the vehicles handling characteristics.
As an authorised trainer I would ideally train a maximum of 4 persons at a time so that there is an adequate number of persons to enable the stair chair and stretcher to be used in the role of operator and also as patient to gain a fuller experience. Likewise, with the Fiat having 5 seats it is ideal for all to go out as a group in order to gain experience in the vehicle handling characteristics and also to gain experience of using all the clinical seats, their closeness and positioning in relation to the (patient) stretcher, equipment and the travel experience in the rear patient saloon area.
There is a comprehensive sign-off form for every candidate and this covers all aspects of the training package for the Fiat ambulance and includes two statements on the last page which the trainer (Assessor) and candidate must read before they sign the form.
If the Assessor believes a candidate is not yet competent, they should not sign the form andshould consider extending the training in order to bring the candidate to the level required to become competent and then signed-off.
If the candidate believes they are not yet confident or competent at the end of the planned training period, they should make this known to the Trainer (Assessor) at that time and request additional training in order to become confident and competent in the full use of the Fiat ambulance and its equipment. The candidate should not be pressurised into signing the form if they believe they are not yet confident and competent.
Once the training is completed and the Sign Off form has been signed by both persons, the form is to be forwarded to their Locality Administration so that the form can be included in the candidate’s personal record.
Members of staff should raise a Datix if they do not feel confident or competent at the end of the planned training period or if they have any concerns about the level of training, the methods of delivering the training or the time being allowed including how many employees were being trained in the group and request that Health and Safety are notified.
It is crucial that this mandatory training is carried out consistently across the Trust in order to ensure the safety of the crews, patients, the public and other road users. Only fully trained and signed-off employees can crew the Fiat ambulance; a mixed crew of one trained and one untrained member of staff is not safe or acceptable
Unison Health & Safety Officer