Metro Fire, St. Mike’s Team Up for Mock Rescue
Left, Metro Fire responders assess a mock victim’s condition before attempting to open the vehicle. (City-Times photo)
By Brandi Makuski
Fire and EMS crews on Wednesday joined with Ministry St/ Michael’s for a large scale training exercise involving three vehicles and multiple “victims”.
About 60 men and women from Metro Fire Department- comprised of crews from Stevens Point, the Town of Hull and Plover/Whiting- played out 3- vehicle accident scenario with mock victims suffering an array of injuries. The drill was held in the tow yard of Johnson’s Towing on Patch Street.
According to SPFD Captain Jeff Davis, similar training events are held about six times a year and are designed to keep crews frosty.
“We could encounter something like this any day of the week,” Davis said. “These crews need to stay familiar with each other, stay on their toes every time we get to a scene because you never know what you’re walking into.”
Davis said the exercise was made to be realistic as possible, beginning with a call from dispatch reporting the accident. Crews had to assess each scene and injuries, then work as teams to stabilize overturned vehicles, cut away pieces of each car and safely remove victims, with some being moved on backboards to awaiting ambulances.
“This is a learning experience for everybody,” SPFD Assistant Chief Bob Finn told the crew as they gathered for a pre-training briefing. “This scene is something we can see on any day here. The main thing is everybody be safe.”
Victims’ injuries for the drill were predetermined by SPFD Assistant Chief Joe Gemza. Some victims with walking injuries were role-played by fire crew members, while others were played by rescue dummies.
Nurses from Ministry St. Michael’s were also on the scene to observe the exercise- part of the hospital’s end of the training scenario which tested the emergency department’s communication skills.
Stacey Firkus is an infection preventionist who works with emergency management at the hospital. She and emergency department nurse Kristen Pupols said it was their first time observing an onsite drill.
“We’re activating incident command at the hospital right now, and our nurses are working the drill, we’re just here to see their side of it,” said Firkus, pointing to the fire crews. “They’re going to assess things at the hospital, how many beds we have available, how many patients we can take, we’re going to activate our call in tree to see how many people we have available. We’re going through the motions.”
Pupols said the emergency department does several other training events throughout the year, but they’re not always so exciting.
“We do a lot of tabletop drills,” said Pupols. “But this is far more interesting,” she added, laughing.