Thursday, September 28, 2023
EMS, culinary students aid each other during mass casualty drill
Jen Maas, a Culinary Management student, acted as if she was injured during a mass casualty drill for the College's paramedic and firemedic students. Ashley Furrer, top left, and Rebels Lovelace, top right, were two of 17 EMS student who acted as first responders and learned from the drill.
Jen Maas yelled for help as she lay on the floor of the Culinary Management program kitchen at Chippewa Valley Technical College.
She didn’t really need help. In fact, she was the one doing the helping.
Maas was one of 14 Culinary Management students who acted as if they were injured to simulate a mass casualty incident for Paramedic and FireMedic program students to practice their response.
EMS instructors prepped the culinary students by drizzling them with fake blood and applying silicone flesh wounds for the drill – simulating a carbon monoxide leak, on Tuesday.
Colleen Dahlinger, EMS instructor, said the initial idea of combining the two programs for the drill was her’s, but it took both departments and many instructors and students to pull it off.
The first order was to get Melissa Tok, Culinary Management instructor, on board. Then, they determined the cause of the mass casualty.
“We could have used knives or something like that, but Melissa suggested a blast with glass, nails, bolts and severe burns,” Dahlinger said. “We’re giving all of these students an opportunity to learn, and we’re giving our medics a run for their money.”
Paramedic and FireMedic students who began their first year at CVTC in August were paired with second-year students so one could learn from the other, Dahlinger said. A total of 17 EMS students participated in the high-stress event.
DeWayne Hanson, a CVTC Fire Services instructor, said fire and EMS students have drills like this once or twice a year, but teaming up with another program like Culinary has been a unique and rewarding experience.
“Obviously, on the EMS side, we would have a much higher rate of seeing something like this,” he said. “For the Culinary students, they can learn what to do to help themselves if this ever happens to them.”
Hanson said EMS instructors want their students to experience an event that is as close to real as possible. That way, if they do encounter a similar situation on the job, “they have some experience they can fall back on and be able to manage the situation based on the resource they have available to them.”
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