Bosses at West Midlands Ambulance Service are "stunned" by the number of people who have responded to a regional recruitment drive.

Last month the trust launched a campaign to recruit 150 emergency care assistants to increase the number of A&E crew members by more than five per cent.

Now, more than 300 people have enquired about the posts and requested application forms.

The trust is looking to hire 80 new staff in Birmingham and Black Country, 15 in Coventry and Warwickshire, 30 in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire, and 25 in Staffordshire.

Nicola Rose, from WMAS's recruitment department, said: "We thought that the chance to join the service would be popular, but we have been stunned by the response.

"This is an opportunity to do something amazing - help save lives on a regular basis and make a real difference in your community.

"We are looking for people who have excellent communications skills, are physically fit and have a caring and patient approach to people particularly those who are ill, injured or in distress.

"Candidates must be over 21 years old, hold a C1 driving licence and have a minimum of five GCSE's or equivalent including numeracy and literacy."

Trainee emergency care assistants will undergo a seven-week training scheme which includes driving under blue light conditions.

The posts fall under Agenda For Change Band 3, but also come with a 25 per cent unsocial working hours allowance, as successful candidates will work on a 24-7 roster.

Anthony Marsh, the trust's chief executive, said: "The start of a new year is the ideal time to consider a new opportunity in the NHS. The organisation is constantly improving to meet the needs of the people of the West Midlands.

"We are expanding our services with over 60 new ambulances and 30 rapid response vehicles being delivered this financial year (2007-08) and more will be ordered in 2008. "We are training our staff to ever higher levels with 130 becoming paramedics this year and a similar number will be trained in 2008-09."

* For more information about the role log on to, contact the WMAS recruitment hotline on 01384 24 64 64 or visit the recruitment section of the Trust's website The deadline for applications is January 31