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Driving Educator Nigel recognised by ITRA

Driving Educator Nigel recognised by ITRA

Driving Educator Nigel has become the first International Technical Rescue Association (ITRA) Emergency Driving Instructor within the New Zealand ambulance sector.

Driving Educator Nigel

Nigel has been a paramedic for over 30 years and has been trained in diplomatic protection tactical driving.

He explains that driving urgently under lights and siren is very different to normal driving.

“The stakes are certainly greater and we need to afford the best level of training to our staff and volunteers to keep them and other road users safe,” Nigel says.

"As ITRA is starting to be used by other emergency response agencies around the world, it's about keeping pace and being part of a global standard that has external assurances around instructor certification and re-certification. We no longer can self-appoint ourselves as instructors without independent oversight,” he says.

The ITRA is a global non-profit that provides worldwide recognition of technical rescue practitioners and instructors across a wide range of rescue disciplines.

Because Wellington Free Ambulance also has a rescue squad, there are a number of benefits for ITRA – especially around ensuring rescue technicians are able to get quickly and safely to their patients.

There are also benefits for Wellington Free Ambulance in this new venture.

Nigel says it doesn't replace what Wellington Free Ambulance is already doing, but is flexible to complement existing training.

“For example, we still use our internal driver training checklist. The difference now is that I can provide credit for my students through an international database that allows for instant verification of the training which is something we have never been able to do before.

“ITRA encourages collaboration where should staff want to be formally assessed for the ITRA emergency driving qualifications, we must use an independent assessor from outside the service. This means we strengthen relationships with allied agencies as we can assess each other's students. It also keeps us to date with how other agencies are delivering their training too".

For Wellington Free Ambulance, having Nigel as a registered Emergency Driving Instructor with ITRA is a big achievement and will help us continue to provide the best possible care whenever we’re needed.



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