A training exercise at Tauranga Airport tested the skills of EMT trainees today as they dealt with a plane crash scenario.
The scenario involved a crash where the pilot and co-pilot died and a number of others injured.
All people involved were volunteers and had not actually been injured.
EMTs (emergency medical technicians) are in the final stages of their course and are taking part in the last training exercise of their trauma section in today’s exercise.
St John clinical support officer Cushla Lahmert says they organise a big MCI (mass casualty incident) and they (the trainees) have to do the whole lot themselves.
“They have to do the treatment, the triage, the management, and all of that on their own.
“It’s about their ogranisation of getting the most critical patients out and triaging in the correct form.”
The scenario is based on a hard landing of a plane which has caught fire.
“We have nine patients of all levels of injury severity and we have to work and liaise with the airport fire.
“They also have to work in conjunction with control and make sure they communicate with all the different services, especially when you are in a controlled area like this.” Cushla says they have a range of injuries from burns to broken bones and a couple of people that haven’t made it.
“We will do a debrief at the end of this, talk through with the patients to see how they felt and how their care was. We will talk with fire and how they communicated.
“It’s all a big learning exercise with communication between the services and with each other as well.” The trainees have been in training for seven months now.
Once this exercise is complete, the trainees will have to go away and put a log book together before appearing before a formal panel to get their qualifications.
“It’s no easy feat.”