Dudley paramedic's first time on the front line to be televised

Dudley News: Julie Plante - photograph courtesy of the BBC. Julie Plante - photograph courtesy of the BBC.

A DUDLEY paramedic will become a star of the small screen when she is featured in a new BBC documentary .

Cameras followed the newly-qualified Julie Plante, as she worked her first few shifts for West Midlands Ambulance Service.

First Time on the Frontline follows new recruits across all emergency services as they embark on their new careers and Julie, aged 53, will appear in episode three of the show.

Viewers tuning in to BBC1 at 11.30am on Wednesday (April 30) will see Julie attempt to help a patient who is struggling to breathe.

Julie, who is based at the Dudley Hub, Burton Road, said: “It was a very pleasant experience working with the BBC. In many ways, the thought of taking part was much worse than actually having the camera with you. To be honest you are so focused on helping the patient that you just forget about the camera."

She continued: “I hope that the series will give people a better understanding of what we do. It’s not like Casualty or Holby. Most of our patients are elderly and very often have conditions such as chest pains and infections. However, although it isn’t all trauma and road traffic collisions, the work that we do is absolutely vital for the hundreds of patients that we see."

Julie was among 65 graduate paramedics that ambulance service took on last year and said she feels that being older has worked to her advantage: "Communication is such a vital part of our job and my life experiences, such as having grown up children and a family member with dementia means I am possibly more confident than some of my younger colleagues.

"When I am faced with a distressed patient, I know how to talk to them, to calm them down and that is one of the great advantages of being a little bit older.

"I hope that people who are older and perhaps looking for a second career will see that age is no barrier to becoming a paramedic."

She added: "I absolutely love my job and would encourage anyone who wants to get the same sort of job satisfaction to go for it."

Series producer, Julian Dismore, added: “One of the great things about this series for me was seeing people excelling at their jobs at such an early stage in their careers.

"There are so few positive role models for youngsters these days – it’s all pop stars and Big Brother contestants – so seeing young professional emergency services personnel responding to 999 calls and saving lives must be a good thing."

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