More than 100 people were involved in Barton Community College’s EMT Field Ops Day on Saturday. Students from the EMS, Medical Assistant, and Criminal Justice programs; instructors, volunteer patients; and local law enforcement and emergency medical service personnel were on hand to create lifelike emergency scenarios designed to put the students’ skills to the test and mimic the high stress situations they might encounter in the field.
Event organizer EMS Programming Specialist Jenny Ladd said creating a level of realism is vital to the effectiveness of the training.
Volunteer patients spent time getting makeup that ranged from creating fake bruises and scrapes, to protruding broken bones and bullet holes. Ladd dedicated an entire room to be used as a “moulage” to transform her volunteers into patients. Volunteers ranged in age from small children to older adults.
Sophomore in Criminal Justice Jonathan Rahe said the event is a good chance for students to utilize what their training.
“It’s a lot more fun than the classroom,” he said. “We get to do things instead of just talking about them, and the officers are here to answer questions. It definitely gets the heart rate up a bit.”
Ladd said the event is a huge undertaking that takes at least four months of planning and an extensive amount of cooperation with local agencies, including Great Bend Police Department, Barton County Sheriff’s Office, Pawnee County Sheriff’s Office, Abilene Police Department, Hoisington EMS, Reno County EMS, Pratt EMS, Trails West EMS, Barton 911, Midwest LifeTeam and the Great Bend Fire Department.
Doonan GMC provided wrecked vehicles and the Midwest LifeTeam landed on campus. Scenarios ranged from domestic violence calls, gunshot wounds and major car wrecks to sprained ankles and wrist fractures.
Medical assistant students worked in a makeshift emergency room to treat patients throughout the day.
Ladd said it’s important to bridge the gap between the classroom and the field.
“It gives them a chance to practice their training in a high stress environment without the risk of actually harming someone,” she said. “It builds their confidence level and it helps them prepare to go out in the field, and it really gives them something to build off of.”