Major incident exercise held to prepare paramedic students for the future

Swansea University’s Faculty of Medicine Health and Life Science have held a major incident training exercise for its final year paramedic students in the Meadow area of Singleton Campus.

The exercise brought together the paramedic students, staff and members of the Welsh Ambulance Services University NHS Trust (WAST), who took part in a simulated road traffic accident involving multiple casualties. The exercise was carefully created to provide an accurate scene and realistic injuries. It was designed to help the paramedic students develop their experience of triaging, transporting and managing patients during a major incident.

Thomas Hewes, Programme Director of Swansea University’s Paramedic Science BSc said:

“At Swansea University, we are committed to prepare our students for the challenges of paramedic work. Operational training events like this allow the students to train in a realistic, yet challenging, environment where they work alongside WAST colleagues and the learning they take from exercises further develop skills, response and future working relationships.

“We know that casualty outcomes are vastly improved with early and effective intervention, and this experience has instilled confidence in our students to respond effectively to major incidents.”


Carys Davies, a third-year paramedic student said of the exercise:

“It allowed us to work with other students as well as professionals from all across the paramedic field. It has developed our teamwork and communication skills in addition to our clinical skills. This will prepare us for major incidents if we get called to them when we qualify.”


Deian Thomas, Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response Operations Manager at the Welsh Ambulance Service, said:

“This training scenario has provided an exciting opportunity for our WAST staff and our aspiring paramedics to test their reaction to a major incident involving multiple casualties.

“Although we hope to never be called to this type of incident, these training exercises ensure our staff know what to do in a worst-case scenario as well as discuss their valuable feedback during the exercise’s debrief session.

“A big thank you goes to Swansea University who coordinated the day, and we look forward to doing further exercises in the future.”


It is anticipated that in the future, Swansea University will hold annual paramedic exercises for final year paramedic students.


Professor Jayne Cutter, Head of the School of Health and Social Care added:

“Patient outcomes are vastly improved with early and effective intervention, and this experience will instil confidence in our students to respond effectively to an actual major incident.  Training exercises such as these are hugely beneficial to our students are they prepare for their future as practising healthcare professionals and they go hand in hand with the existing simulation and immersive learning opportunities that underpin all of our healthcare professionals’ training here at Swansea, including Nurses, Doctors, Pharmacists, Midwives, Operating Department Practitioners and Occupational Therapists as well as Paramedics.”