Jenks Firefighters, Paramedics Train On Worst-Case Scenarios
JENKS, Oklahoma - Green technology is bringing new and dangerous challenges to emergency responders. A group of rookie firefighters and EMSA paramedic interns got a first hand look at how to handle some of those real-life situations.
The training allowed the two groups to work together as a team for the first time, and they not only learned how to free trapped victims, but also about the dangers that come with hybrid and electric cars.
There are five new faces on the Jenks Fire and Rescue team. And from cutting through windshields, to using the jaws of life, each rookie got his chance to put his skills to the test.
"We're practicing in a timely manner, too, because it's important to get to that patient very quickly," said Jenks firefighter Adam Hopper.
The firefighters teamed up with 15 EMSA paramedic trainees to practice some worst-case scenarios.
In an exercise Tuesday, the "driver" was trapped in a car so crumpled the paramedics had to treat the victim inside the car, while the firefighters cut through the metal to free the patient from the outside.
"It's a stressful environment. We're trying to simulate that, letting the guys work together, so they get used to doing advanced skills and offering treatments that are necessary to keep the patient alive, while we're trying to get them out and get them to a trauma center," said paramedic instructor Scott Williams.
To make it even more realistic, the training was outside during the hottest part of the afternoon.
"It's hot with all that gear on, but it's actually cool getting to cut through the metal of a car and seeing how easily the tools can cut through that stuff," Hopper said.
The group also trained on the new hazards that come when dealing with hybrid and electric vehicles that have dangerous high voltage cables.
"It's just a different kind of difficulty. You just have to train on that and know what you're supposed to be doing with the shut-offs and different things like that. You just have to be aware," said Captain Michael O'Brien, of the Jenks Fire Department.
The first responders have to be comfortable and confident when that real-life call comes in.
The paramedic trainees will graduate this summer and will be ready to hit the streets this fall.
The new firefighters, while they are still learning, they have finished their schooling and are ready to respond to fire calls that come in. They're just monitored a little more closely.