MoD Search and Rescue Training

In late spring 2011, the opportunity to tender for the provision of medical training for the Ministry of Defence (MoD), Search and Rescue (SAR) Force arose. After examination of the tender requirements, it was decided that a collaborative approach between Outreach Rescue and Medic Skills could best provide the quality and robustness of service required by the customer. The joint application resulted in the award of the contract and ORMS was born.

The requirements

The tender required the successful contractor to provide medical education and training to the “Winch Operators / Radar Operators” and the “Winchmen” (Rearcrew) working with the MoD SAR Force across the UK, Falklands and Cyprus. Also, the contractor would need to provide training for the Royal Air Force (RAF) Mountain Rescue (MR) Service.

The key factors required for the tender were as follows:

  • The “Winchmen” training must enable the student to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a Paramedic on successful completion
  • The “Winch Operator” training must develop the student’s knowledge and skills to the level you would expect from an Emergency Medical Technician
  • The MR Training must meet the Scope of Practice currently in use by RAF MR Teams The programmes of study must minimise the impact on operational readiness

How we met the requirements

We designed an education programme from scratch to meet the following objectives:

  1. The student would exit the programme as a “Thinking, Paramedic”, highly suited to the purpose while still able to operate in helicopters and ambulances.
  2. The programme had to meet all of the Standards of Proficiency for Paramedics, published by the HCPC.
  3. The programme would be modular but offered in a manner that allowed for flexibility when rostering students. The programme was accepted by the MoD and the HCPC, ensuring ORMS was able to deliver high-quality tuition to the appropriate level and in a manner that suited the MoD.