Monday, January 10, 2011

Manikins and on-the-fly scenarios help emergency responders meet increased demands for services

National EMS Academy (NEMSA), Louisiana, USA:

At the National EMS Academy (NEMSA), classes accommodate learners’ work schedules and accelerated paramedics attend training paid sessions. “We got together with the business and academic communities and identified a chronic need for paramedics and basic-EMT workers,” said Director Gifford Saravia. “Now, 175-200 students start each semester and within four months, those who complete basic-EMT training can work full time while continuing their paramedic training. In a typical college setting, you complete core courses, then specialize; we reversed that model.”

During Hurricane Katrina, Saravia assisted with evacuations and rescue operations. “It was eye-opening, a huge undertaking.” Not surprisingly, NEMSA favors on-the-fly scenarios. “As a medic, you have to be prepared for anything, and we rely heavily on simulation so students can make – and learn from – their mistakes. Most EMT training programs use simulation these days; those that don’t are missing a huge opportunity.”

“With students and instructors scattered all over Louisiana, our jobs are made a lot easier because of Laerdal technology,” Saravia said. “Our mass casualty incidents (MCI) and trauma simulations are where the rubber really meets the road.” Twice yearly, 40-50 paramedic students come to Lafayette where basic-EMT students and manikins are patients for plane crashes, school shootings or vehicle crashes into a crowd. “We bring in helicopters, fire and police departments, and the media for interagency activity. Students enjoy it – and learn – because it gives them a sense of scale and added realism.”


National EMS Academy (NEMSA), Louisiana, USA "Manikins and on-the-fly scenarios help emergency responders meet increased demands for services" Available Online:


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