Rescue training exercise emphasizes teamwork | News, Sports, Jobs


Photo by Deb Gau A North Memorial Air Care helicopter kicks up dust as it takes off from a gravel road in rural Lincoln County on Wednesday evening.

IVANHOE – There were a few minutes left before the practice drill started, and the “victims” of the fake car accident went over their roles.

“They hit me? » Brenda Full asked, as she sat in the driver’s seat of a wrecked car parked at the edge of a cornfield.

“Yes,” replied Ivanhoe Ambulance co-director Becky Paluch.

Paluch reviewed the scenario: A drunk driver and passengers in an SUV collided with another vehicle, and injuries included a victim who was ejected from the vehicle.

Then a call was sent out on the dispatch, and it was up to the area firefighters and paramedics to help the fake victims.

Emergency responders from Lincoln and Yellow Medicine counties held a joint training exercise Wednesday night at a rural intersection north of Ivanhoe. Paluch said the idea for the mock crash arose from discussions at an ambulance meeting earlier this year.

“We thought we hadn’t exercised in a while,” in part because of precautions taken during the COVID pandemic, Paluch said. Stakeholders were looking for an opportunity for joint training.

“The goal was to have teamwork here today,” Paluch said.

Several agencies participated in the training exercise. Ivanhoe Fire and Ambulance, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and a team from North Memorial Air Care of Redwood Falls were all present at the scene of the mock crash. Paluch said the Hendricks ambulance was initially going to help with the training, but they ended up having a real emergency call to respond to.

Responders went to work as if they were at a real crash site. Firefighters used tools like the Jaws of Life to extract the fake victims from the crashed vehicles and searched part of the cornfield for the ejected victim. At the same time, members of the ambulance team worked to prepare three of the fake victims to be taken to hospital.

Firefighters prepared a landing area for an Air Care helicopter on Lincoln County Road 18. After the helicopter landed, responders helped move Full into the plane and ready it for transport.

Paluch said one of the benefits of being able to stage a mock accident was that it gave responders the chance to practice different rescue methods.

In one example, firefighters used an extrication method that went through the front of one of the crashed vehicles instead of the door. After the exercise was over, the responders also stayed to speak with the helicopter crew. Crew members answered questions about how to set up a landing zone and what kind of information to provide to Air Care in the event of an actual emergency.

Joe Gislason, a Canby paramedic, said it was interesting to play the role of one of the crash victims.

“I’ve always been on the other side” Gislason said.

Paluch said stakeholder collaboration was the most important part of the exercise.

“In rural areas, we are very few,” she says. With few speakers, teamwork was crucial. “At the end of the day, we’re all on a team.”



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