St John WA holds Clinical Support Cadaveric Workshop for the first time

On Tuesday 3rd November 2020, 128 years after the first St John Ambulance training in WA, St John WA held their first cadaveric Clinical Support Paramedic workshop at the Clinical Training and Evaluation Centre (CTEC). Originally scheduled for April 2020, this workshop was postponed to the revised November 2020 date due to the impact of COVID-19 in Western Australia.

Workshop Information

The workshop development process began in November 2019 with Markus Pitter, a paramedic working as Clinical Quality Manager, reaching out to CTEC to assist in developing a realistic difficult airway workshop for paramedics. This hands-on cadaveric workshop, incorporated the learning objective requirements as set out by Deputy Medical Director, Dr Gayle Christie, and Clinical Support Paramedic Manager, Ade Barron, with the main principle of the workshop aimed at enhancing competency involving difficult airway management.

In consultation with St John WA, medical guidance from CTEC’s Director and Professor of Surgical Education, Professor Jeffrey Hamdorf, and the technical and implementation development from the CTEC Program Manager, Ms Maggie Cowie and CTEC Senior Course Coordinator, Mrs Lorna Christie, the workshop program was formulated.

This workshop was a full day of hands on activity relating to a variety of topics, including video and manual laryngoscopy techniques, Normal Airway, Airway Obstruction, Surgical Cricothyrotomy, and Traumatic Airway Bleed/Vomitus.

Fourteen St John WA Paramedics attended the workshop at CTEC and were joined by six Faculty Members. Participants had close supervision and guidance from the Faculty Members to assist them throughout the day.

Faculty members included Mr Ade Barron – Clinical Support Paramedic Manager, Dr Gayle Christie – Deputy Medical Director and FACEM, Mr Dan Rose – Resuscitation Improvement Coordinator, and three of the current St John Critical Care Paramedics who work on the RAC rescue helicopter – James Vine, Andrew Readhead and Clinton Van Der Westhuyzen.

Improving strategies to deal with unexpected difficult airway management, communicating effectively and working collaboratively within the high performance resuscitation team to minimise clinical risk were also reinforced.

Participant feedback included:  

  • It was an absolutely invaluable day yesterday.
  • The experience in the room was amazing and the hints and tips picked up by the trainers will help to improve our practice and give us the knowledge to spread the word and instil confidence in others.
  • It’s a very privileged position to be in to train on 'real' airways, and nothing else can compare, as it gives you that realistic feedback and tactile feeling.
  • I know that it was a huge undertaking to arrange this, so huge thanks to all involved. It would be so good to have a half day training every 6 months to keep our skills fresh and on point.
  • It really can't be quantified just how invaluable days like this are and how many patients this will benefit.
  • Absolutely invaluable experience. To have the chance to take our time and ‘play’ with real airways, experiencing how different moves and techniques can make such a difference in each airway. This sort of training will make such a difference to, not only our skills, but our confidence to be able to perform them when under pressure. Thanks to the team for their time and expertise today!
  • I would like to support the previous responses in regard to the CTEC airway training.
  • It was well organised and thought through. Having a full day to access our CCPs and Gayle and using real airways was an enormous step up from any previous training I have attended. To see other colleagues have this opportunity also cannot be underestimated. Thanks to Ade and CG (the Clinical Governance Department) for facilitating this opportunity.

Associate Professor Paul Bailey, Medical Director at St John WA advised, “I just wanted to say a huge thank you from our team for facilitating access to CTEC for our airway workshop on Tuesday.  From our side it was a great success and our team got a lot out of it. Thank you once again.”


Future Workshops

St John WA will be looking to hold additional workshops in 2021 with dates to be confirmed. If you are a Paramedic and interested in attending this workshop, please contact Ade Barron or Dr Gayle Christie from St John WA who will be happy to assist you.

Mr Ade Barron
Position: Clinical Support Paramedic Manager

Dr Gayle Christie
Position: Deputy Medical Director and FACEM

CTEC Venue Hire Arrangements

If you are interested in any venue hire arrangements at CTEC, please contact Lorna Christie, Senior Course Coordinator on or complete the online Venue Hire Enquiry Form

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