April 23, 2008
Ear-piercing screams and cries could be heard from outside as victims of a multiple shooting lay inside, many in critical condition and in desperate need of medical attention.
Luckily, the situation wasn’t real. But Saturday’s training drill assures that when disaster strikes, emergency responders will be prepared.
Students in an Emergency Medical Technician training class at Sierra College got a chance to experience emergency response first-hand during the North Tahoe Fire drill in Carnelian Bay.
The training, taught by paramedic firefighter Victor Hernandez, required the 11 students to act as victims with one “shooter.” The students faked severe injuries, wore ripped clothing and slathered on blood-red raspberry jelly. The training is designed to prepare emergency response personnel to handle multiple patients, Hernandez said.
“It gives them the perspective of being a victim and waiting for someone to help them out,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez, who sets up a drills like this once a year, said using live actors as the victims is the most effective training method.
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“It makes it more realistic,” Hernandez said. “The moan, they groan, they can take their vital signs and talk to the patients.”
The students also thought the drill was helpful for their training.
“It was really different to be on the other side,” Michelle Bergman said. “Its hard to visualize (as a responder.) It seemed like I was there for a really long time.”
Mike Powers, a deputy at Placer County Sheriff’s Department said the realistic drill gave him a better understanding of how to handle a real Multi Casualty Incident.
“We hope we never have to use it,” Powers said.