BSSC VET Health Services students gained invaluable first aid experience on Tuesday with a visit from St John Ambulance Regional Divisional Manager and experienced paramedic, Josh King.

Mr King ran the students through all the benefits of becoming a St John volunteer, explained the opportunities offered by La Trobe University’s Aspire program, and answered some insightful questions from students about life as a paramedic and the varied pathways to the career.

“There are so many pathways to becoming a paramedic,” Mr King said. “The La Trobe University Aspire program is one way to give yourself the best chance of getting a place, but there are other tertiary courses – other opportunities – that can get you there, even if you don’t get the ATAR you aimed for.”

Mr King also talked about the benefits of becoming a St John Ambulance volunteer and the opportunities it opens up if you aspire to a career in Health Services.

“Being a volunteer doesn’t just get you a front row seat to some of the biggest sporting events, festivals and concerts, it allows you to work closely with health professionals and learn from them. It can be a life-changing experience and help you decide your career direction.”

Students were given hands-on first aid experience, with Mr King using the St John response vehicle to simulate a range of scenarios.

VET Health Services teacher Kait Kelly said Mr King’s visit was a real eye opener for students into the life of a paramedic.

“It’s invaluable for students to gain this kind of insight into paramedicine – a career they normal wouldn’t have the opportunity to explore in such detail, Ms Kelly said. “They were able to get answers to all their questions from first-hand experience and learn the level of communication required in the job.”