Regional emergency service partners hold mock training accident in Castor

Partners train with each other to work seamlessly on an actual collision scene

When seconds count, first responders need to be able to work cohesively.

On medical calls and motor vehicle collisions, despite ambulance crews and firefighters having two separate but distinct jobs they need to work together to ensure the best possible outcome for the patient.

That's why, thanks in part to a local Castor business, the members of Castor Volunteer Fire Rescue, the Hakirk Fire Department, and the Primary Care Paramedics of East Central Ambulance Association's Castor station were able to take part in a vehicle extrication exercise on June 25.

Twelve members between the three organizations came together to practice their skills in an exercise lasting a little over an hour.

In the exercise, a sedan had rear-ended a big rig which had stopped for construction. The sedan was then further rear-ended by a sport utility vehicle, leaving the car trapped in the middle.

In total, between live actors and rescue mannequins, the rescuers had six patients to remove from the wrecked vehicles and treat.

Once the vehicles were in place, the actors playing the patients were placed, and then the crews went to work.

In a typical extrication, the vehicles are stabilized and then the vehicle is removed from around a patient so that the minimum amount of movement can be done to have them removed

These types of extrications are done using the Hurst tool, more colloquially known as the Jaws of Life, which can be used to cut, pinch, tear, lift, and otherwise pull the car apart.

During the extrication, there is usually a firefighter or paramedic with the patient helping keep them calm.

Once enough space is cleared around the patient, both firefighters and paramedics work together to move the patient, keeping the spine as straight and with as little movement as possible onto a backboard.

When the patient is fully secured on the backboard, the paramedics fully take over the care and the firefighters proceed to secure and clean up the scene while the patient is transported to the hospital and the RCMP or local police force investigates.

"We're trying to train together so each department can see what each other has and so we can hone our skills and serve the community better," said Castor Fire Chief Patrick Kelly.

"(The exercise) went really well."

These types of training opportunities allow the partner agencies to seamlessly work together when the worst happens, minimizing risk to firefighters, paramedics, and patients.

Kevin Sabo

About the Author: Kevin Sabo

I’m Kevin Sabo. I’ve been a resident of the Castor area for the last 12 years and counting, first coming out here in my previous career as an EMT.
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