A NORWEGIAN paramedic spent a shift on an ambulance in the Black Country to find out about saving lives across the pond.

Hans Sigvart Hansen, who usually works in temperatures of around - 33 and uses a snow mobile, experienced a 4.30pm till 2.30am shift on a rapid response car in the borough.

Hans, who was visiting the UK for a third time, works for Vinjes Ambulance Service based in the quiet mountainous region of Hommelvik, Sor-Trondelag, where the nearest hospital is two hours away.

He joined Dudley based advanced paramedic Lee Farley on the shift.

Lee said: “It was really interesting to find out about the differences between the two services.

“It was clear the main difference was the shift work; in Norway they do 24 hour shifts and every few weeks of their rota they start on Friday and finish on Monday!

“Hans said they’re trained to use a lot more drugs that our paramedics as they are so remote and miles away from the nearest hospital.

“With mountains in the area they cover, they’re obviously equipped with snow mobiles and six wheeled ambulances which contain three day survival packs for prolonged rescues and in case adverse weather hampers their journey.

“We both thoroughly enjoyed our shift together which saw the temperature hit the dizzy heights of two degrees; in Norway the temperature on an average shift is usually a staggering -33 degrees.”

Hans said he was looking forward to a return visit in 2013.