On Thursday, May 21, 2021, Instructor Joe Smith organized a Mock Mass Casualty event at the City of Fulton's new drug and alcohol treatment center, Changes Rehabilitation. The center is located in the previous Parkway Regional Hospital facility that closed in March of 2015. The scenario given was an explosive device went off in the local Emergency Room where firefighters had cleared the building and deemed it safe for entry. EMT students were to go in and triage patients and practice critical life-saving skills learned in the classroom.
A Mass Casualty occurs when the patient count exceeds the available resources. In a small, rural community like Fulton County, KY, this can happen quickly and may be much less elaborate than what we see on TV. For example, a two vehicle motor vehicle accident with multiple passengers and injuries is considered a Mass Casualty event. It was important for EMT students to gain experience handling a Mass Casualty situation as they will likely experience them multiple times throughout their careers.
This is the second EMT Basic Class that the ambulance service has provided. Thankfully, this Spring semester looked a little different as COVID-19 restrictions eased and allowed for in-person classes and hands-on learning. This night allowed students to practice triaging, medical and trauma assessments, vital signs, bleeding control, splinting, placing patients on backboards and many other skills.
Following a $5,000 investment in the program, the Hickman Rotary Club sent volunteers to serve as patients and real-life training resources. Our Rotarian patients were loaded onto stretchers and into ambulances where EMT students gave report as they handed off patient care to ALS crews.
While the night proved to be a fun experience for all those involved, it was an invaluable learning tool for EMT Students. Having mock events such as this ensure quality EMT's enter the field upon completion of the course. We take great pride in knowing this is what sets our program apart.
We can't share this event without saying thank you. Hickman Rotary Club members here were the best patients! The grant they applied for on behalf of the ambulance service provided three students a scholarship, paying their program tuition in full, as well as giving $500 toward the purchase of critical training equipment that will greatly enhance instruction and the program overall. In addition, thank you to Changes Rehabilitation for use of their facility. This community is very lucky to have this resource available that also brings in jobs and puts the prior hospital building to use.
Finally, thank you to South Fulton Fire Dept. Chief, Dennis Pittman, who captured these awesome pictures to share with our community. This event was a team effort and would not have been possible without the help, time, and facility donated. Be sure to check out this story in the June 2, 2021 edition of The Current Newspaper.
We look forward to providing more educational opportunities for the service area and surrounding agencies in the Fall semester. There will be another EMT Basic Program, as well as an Advanced EMT Program offered. Applications are currently available and will continue being accepted until Wednesday, June 30, 2021. Visit www.ktems.org/academy for more information on Fall programs. We hope that by students taking advantage of these programs we can provide a rewarding career and help to reduce the shortage of pre-hospital providers. If you would like to make a donation toward the EMT Program or help sponsor a student, please contact 270-208-1069 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.