Coventry University paramedic graduates star in BBC show

A portrait of Three Ambulance staff stood outside the Ambulance van

Rookie paramedic recruits Sam Duplessis Grimson, Ben Pallante and Maya Black (Image © BBC)

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Monday 02 June 2014

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Two former paramedic science students from Coventry University are starring in a new BBC documentary series focusing on the next generation of emergency service recruits.

Sam Duplessis Grimson (22) and Maya Black (29), both graduates of the University's foundation degree in paramedic science, are already making waves after featuring as fledgling paramedics on the BBC show First Time on the Front Line.

The duo was hand-picked from hundreds of highly-qualified applicants for prestigious paramedic roles with West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS), which serves over 5.3 million people over an area of more than 5,000 square miles in the region.

First Time on the Front Line shows the pair being put through their paces during WMAS's initial assessments, before being offered the job and setting about an intensive six week training programme.

Sam and Maya – who feature in the show separately – impressed the service with their medical knowledge, CPR skills and ambulance driving abilities, all of which were put to the test in their first few hours on the job.

The series follows both of them as they embark on their first shift, then as they settle into the role and handle the day to day challenges faced by their emergency response units.

Episode 1 of First Time on the Front Line – which is available now to watch on BBC iPlayer – also shows Sam receiving his degree honours at Coventry University's graduation ceremony in the city's cathedral last November.

Sam first developed a passion for helping others while in the Air Cadets, aged 16 years – when a fellow cadet collapsed during an exercise, Sam's basic first aid training kicked in and he rushed to assist, calming his colleague by talking him through what he was doing to help.

Sam, who is now studying for a BSc in Pre-hospital Emergency Care at Coventry University, said:

It was nice to be able to give the public an insight into the job we do. Given I am at the start of my career it was a bit nerve-wracking but we were supported by our much more experienced colleagues every step of the way. Knowing your every move is being filmed is a bit nerve-wracking but you just get on with the job of helping patients first and foremost. I'm looking forward to showing the grandkids when I am much older!

First Time on the Front Line also follows newcomers in the fire, police, lifeboat and mountain rescue service – each of whom are stepping up to a role on the emergency services' front lines for the first time.

For more information and to watch the programmes online, check out the BBC's episode guide.