PARAMEDICS from West Midlands Ambulance Service take centre stage in a new Channel 4 documentary which starts tonight.
‘Paramedics: Britain’s Lifesavers’ captures the extraordinary lengths West Midlands Ambulance Service went to, to ensure it was able to deal with the biggest challenge it has ever faced – the COVID-19 pandemic.
Calls to 999 and 111 quadrupled overnight as the virus spread.
The documentary is spread across three episodes – tonight, next Monday and the one after.
It will be screened at 9pm.
Cameras captured the daily decisions being made to make sure ambulances could continue to provide urgent medical care to the West Midlands.
Students and volunteers also stepped up to join those on the frontline and give something back to the NHS.
The programmes look at many different areas of the trust and tell the stories of some of the staff as they deal with the enormity of the situation faced by the entire service.
From new call assessors, student paramedics, to staff returning to work after the call for additional staff – the command teams, education and training, they are all featured in the programmes.
Trust Chief Executive Anthony Marsh said: “Allowing Channel 4 access to WMAS enables us to show the extraordinary lengths that staff in every part of our organisation went to, to meet the challenge of coronavirus head on.
“I am immensely proud of the work my staff did and continue to do, every single day.
“The series shows first-hand how amazing they all are and the efforts they went to keep patients safe and save lives despite some of the most difficult conditions we have ever faced.
“I am immensely proud of the way every single person within the Trust played a vital role in our response and how those efforts saved lives every single day.”
The programme was made by Dragonfly Film and TV.
Series editor, Pete Wallis-Tayler, said: “We would like to thank all of the incredible staff who were filmed and those who have kindly allowed us to tell their stories.
“This series gives those at home the chance to understand more about the excellent work that went on behind the scenes to respond to the global pandemic.”
Fozia Khan, Commissioning Editor Channel 4 said: “We are very grateful to West Midlands Ambulance Service for giving us this privileged access to document their incredible work and show our viewers the reality of their jobs at this most challenging of times.”
The show will be available to view on Channel 4’s catch-up service 4OD after tonight’s screening.
This is the third documentary to focus on West Midlands Ambulance Service – others included the BBC’s Ambulance and Channel 4’s 999 On the Frontline.