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The Kansan - Newton, KS
  • Real life training

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  • A woman has her hand caught in an old fashioned washer.
    A man has been hurt when a riding lawnmower turned over.
    A horse kicked a lady and she lies unconscious in a horse stall.
    Add a dog bite, a drive by shooting, and getting caught in the blades of a combine, and it's a full day for paramedics and EMS workers.
    Fortunately it wasn't real. It is two days of Paramedics Field Operations  at Hutchinson Community College's south campus near Yoder.
    "Everying is real but the blood," people were fond of saying as they got ready for the event Tuesday.
    Students from paramedic programs around the state were able to go on realistic looking calls throughout the day Tuesday.
    Today they will go to more disaster-like situations where there are multiple injuries. They will go to things like plane crashes, mass shootings and ambulance accidents.
    EMS and fire departments from around the state, including Newton and Halstead, took part in the exercises. People from local departments served as mentors and supervisors on the calls that were answered.
    Some have a lot of experience, and some have never been on a medical call.
    Newton firefighter Chad Tormey had been through a few of these sessions and has been with the Newton Fire Department for four years. He is an EMT, but Tuesday he was able to function as a full paramedic on some calls.
    "It was our chance to be the lead in a safe environment. It was fun. We ran a lot of calls, it was a good day," he said. Tormey is scheduled to become a paramedic in 2014.
    Drew Couey, also with the Newton department, was a mentor and rode along with students, some of whom were making EMS calls for the first time.
    He said they kept it fairly simple, with just one patient per call, to give the students a feel for what a real call will be like.
    Several fire departments from around the state were also involved, including
    Newton Fire Chief Mark Willis said it gives students a chance to get some real experience without the pressure of having to care for someone who is seriously injured.
    There were 14 stations set up around the south campus and Yoder. They ranged from car accidents to heart attacks to farming and industrial accidents. They tried to make it as lifelike as possible, and at times extra things were thrown in to make it more realistic.
    In one scene there was a burn injury at a camping area. While they were treating the person they had to call police to come help.
    They treated farming accidents such as a person getting kicked by a horse, or getting trapped or otherwise injured on farming equipment.
    Page 2 of 2 - Volunteers were used as victims of injuries, and they were made up to look as realistic as possible.
    Two students from Halstead rode with Couey of the Newton FIre Department, and students from Newton were on board ambulances from other areas.
    There is also some recruitment going on. Students have a chance to show what they can do, and fire officials can keep an eye out for people they might like to hire in the future.
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