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Paramedic makes leap from clinical to counsel

May 9, 2024 | in News

Ambulance Victoria (AV) Regional Improvement Lead Paul Jennings celebrated a significant personal and professional achievement last week, marking his admission as an Australian lawyer to the Supreme Court of Victoria. 

Paul, a qualified Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance (MICA) paramedic, juggled his role at AV for around three-and-a-half years before successfully completing the Juris Doctor.

Paul is standing proudly while resting one arm on an Ambulance Victoria vehicle's side mirror.

Paul Jennings.

He said his interest in the legal profession piqued in 2019, when he became more involved in reviewing several patient safety incidents with the legal team. 

“I worked on a number of matters that went to the Coroners Court and was directly involved with the AV Legal team – so that was my entry point,” Paul said. 

“It was when one of my reviews was tabled at a coronial inquest that I sat in on the hearing and was so impressed by how the lawyers approached the material provided to them. 

“To watch as they methodically reviewed each point to finally land at a shared understanding was really interesting – it was something I wanted to learn more about.” 

He said the accomplishment was only possible with the support of his AV colleagues. 

“Our legal department does great work and I owe my thanks to so many of them for sharing their time, expertise and advice with me along this journey,” Paul said. 

“I’ve had so much support along the way and it’s a testament to AV’s efforts in supporting people to grow professionally. 

“The admission ceremony was a buzz, and it was great to share that moment with my mentor, family and peers.”

Ambulance Victoria Special Counsel Diana Valentine and Paul Jennings standing together outside the Supreme Court of Victoria. Paul is holding a certificate.

Ambulance Victoria Special Counsel Diana Valentine and Paul Jennings.

Paul was ‘moved’ to be admitted to the Supreme Court by AV Special Counsel Diana Valentine, who has been one of his many mentors over the past four years. 

“I was privileged to move his admission in the Supreme Court,” Diana said. 

“I admire Paul’s invaluable ability to combine his in-depth knowledge and passion for emergency health care with his ability to consider the legal and ethical issues which are often involved in AV Legal’s work. 

“Paul is exceptionally talented in legal and paramedic practice, and I look forward to seeing the amazing benefits he can bring to AV Legal in the future.” 

Around 15 years ago, Paul developed an interest in research and clinical studies, particularly around how AV managed cardiac arrest and patient outcomes in rural and urban areas. 

“I took a break from my paramedic role for five years to get involved in more research and teaching relating to paramedicine at Monash University,” he said. 

“I often find myself interested in learning new skills, particularly where these areas of expertise overlap with paramedicine. 

“I returned to an on-road role as a MICA paramedic about a decade ago and eventually found myself in my current role.” 

Paul said his qualification and expertise would be a great benefit as he continued his work on a broad array of legal matters relating to AV. 

“I look forward to working closely with our legal team to combine my clinical and operational knowledge with new-found legal skill set,” he said.