Craig, a 35 year old professional first aid trainer from Glasgow, is starting his first year of BSc Paramedic Science at the University of Stirling. He currently volunteers as a Community First Responder with the Scottish Ambulance Service.
Craig told Pay Student Paramedics:
I have found myself in a position where I no longer have a day job and the pandemic has meant the ability to focus on finding clients to train in first aid has all but fallen aside.
Although he feels that he is in a fortunate situation whereby he has some savings, he knows his savings will not last forever and will not be able to run enough first aid courses alongside his studies to keep up with the bills.
Pay Student Paramedics asked Craig the following questions:
What are a few key things you think about when you are preparing for the course?
There really is only two main things I think about before entering my first year as a student paramedic. The first is how to support myself through three years of study. If the Paramedic career path was how it used to be, join the Scottish Ambulance Service and get a salary while progressing to be a Paramedic, this would be ideal, but you now have to go to university. Now, without a full-time employment for the first time in 16 years and no prospect of running enough first aid courses to replace the loss in income, this is a major concern. The second, after 16 years away from full time education, how will I adapt to that as I'm sure the education system has changed since I was in college.
What does the Pay Student Paramedics campaign mean to you?
The campaign is important because when it is successful it will give some piece of mind while studying. For myself, although the amount would not match the salary of my previous job, it would help to know that there is some income to cover study; day to day and living expenses.
Imagine yourself in three years. What do you hope will be different about you then compared to now?
In three years time, I hope that I will be a qualified Paramedic, looking after people and fighting for their lives when they need help.
What would being granted a bursary like that received by student nurses and midwifes mean to you?
It would mean that I could have some piece of mind knowing that there is some sort of income that would help support me while I train to become a Paramedic and join one of the most important foundation this country ever created, the NHS.
Craig finally added that his main focus during his studies will be on the course itself. Adding that he would rather not have to worry about his financial situation which would be a lot easier with a bursary.