BY DANIEL J. CEDILLOS
For the past three months, Culberson Hospital and Culberson Hospital EMS have hosted an Emergency Medical Technician – Basic (EMT-B) course conducted by Fire-Med Training Services from El Paso. This past weekend the students, along with Culberson Hospital EMS staff, conducted 18 hours of hands-on training for the final section of their coursework, EMS Operations.
This training was made possible through the assistance of Elite Medical Transport, Native Air/Air Methods, Van Horn VFD and Fire-Med Training Services.
The weekend training included Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) management and transportation of patients, Air Medical transport (helicopter and fixed wing), EMS Incident Command, Vehicle Extrication, and a culmination of EMS skills learned over the course of the past three months.
Saturday, training was conducted by Elite Medical Transport at the Culberson Hospital EMS Barn and Van Horn Airport, with the Elite Medical Transport Ambulance Bus (AMBUS) and fixed-wing medi-vac air ambulance.
The AMBUS, which is utilized to transport patients during a mass casualty incident, is able to transport up to twenty patients during a major incident (Hurricanes, Fires, Haz-Mat conditions, etc.).
The AMBUS is an available resource to Culberson Hospital EMS, in emergencies where the local EMS resources have been exhausted. This was the case in the 2013 November ice storm where the AMBUS was dispatched to Culberson Hospital to transport critically injured patientâ€™s to El Paso area hospitals.
On Sunday morning, training was conducted by Native Air/Air Methods Medi-Vac Helicopter at the Culberson Hospital Heli-Pad and EMS Barn. This training provided helicopter safety, dispatching, operation and establishing a landing zone when helicopter medi-vac services are required either to an emergency scene or to Culberson Hospital in transporting patients to definitive care in El Paso. Students and EMS staff were treated to classroom instruction followed by hands-on training on the El Paso based helicopter.
Over both days, afternoon training was conducted by Fire-Med Training services along with equipment from Van Horn VFD, where students and EMS staff conducted training on the use of the “Jaws of Lifeâ€, incident management, patient triage, and EMS basic skills where several vehicles were “cut apartâ€ in simulated motor vehicle accidents. Students were shown how to safely utilize the “Jaws of life,â€ disentangle and extricate patients trapped in a motor vehicle accident, and further treat and transport patients.
Last weekend, students and Culberson Hospital EMS staff gained valuable knowledge. For some students, this is the beginning of a long career in EMS, and for those seasoned EMS provider this training provided valuable insight and continuing education of an already established profession in EMS.
The students in the EMT-Course now move to the final portion of the course in conducting clinical rotation at Culberson Hospital, Culberson Hospital EMS and Northern Hudspeth County EMS. In mid-February, students will complete the EMT-B course and will be ready to certify as Nationally Registered and Texas certified Emergency Medical Technicians. We wish these students the best of luck as they move toward the start their careers.