Emergency crews train in patient extrication

The Adair County Ambulance District and other area first-responders recently completed a new training exercise.

Ambulance District personnel, Kirksville Fire Department, Adair County 911 Dispatch Center, Rural Fire Departments and Air Evac worked together to free a patient who was trapped underneath of a vehicle. Those responders treated the exercise like they would any real emergency situation. They made calls to the Dispatch Center, and gave regular updates on the patients vitals. The Internal Training Coordinator for the Ambulance District says that responding to entrapment calls does not happen often, but it is always good to be prepared if the situation does occur.

"We've been very fortunate in this area to not really have to respond to a lot of them, but the potential is very high in different aspects. Not so much the building collapses and things like that, but because of the agriculture and everything else," said Internal Training Coordinator for the Adair County Ambulance District, Darrell Crooks.

When freeing someone who has become trapped, it is important that those responders make contact with the patient if they are responsive and prevent hypothermia, even on the hottest of days.

"The process on this particular instance was to make the patient contact, establish IVs, get some fluids going and be ready to give more fluids and more medications just prior to the extrication of the patient," added Crooks.

These training exercises give first responders an idea of what to expect when responding to a call. However, no call is the same.

"Everyone responds a little bit differently, and so we just continue to look at all the possibilities of things we can possibly have in response to things," said Crooks.

In Thursday's exercise, emergency crews used the 'Jaws of Life' to lift the vehicle and free the patient. In past exercises, responders used air bags to lift the vehicle. At an emergency situation, it is always important to remain in constant communication and evaluate the scene before proceeding to help the patient. Different training exercises such as this one are held every month, that way, first responders know how to react in an emergency situation.

"We train through the month with our own personnel and then we have what we call 'bringing it all together' at the end of the month where we invite everybody in and we continue to basically build on each other's strengths," added Crooks.

The next accident training exercise planned will be how to respond to a school bus accident.