Conestoga news

October 1, 2014 3:45 PM

Putting their skills to the test

Second-year students in Conestoga’s Paramedic program put their skills and knowledge to the test late in September, when they participated in a training exercise with Minto Fire Department and Guelph Wellington EMS volunteers to respond to a series of mock disasters that simulated real-world emergency situations.

Scenarios included a hunting accident, a carbon monoxide leak at a local movie theatre, a texting and driving accident and downed electrical wires resulting from a car striking a hydro pole. Just as they would in real life, the emergency responders were challenged to make split-second decisions regarding their own safety and the safety of others, the order in which to treat multiple victims, and the need to bring in additional assistance from allied agencies.

“These exercises are rich environments for learning and as close to the real things as it gets,” said Neil Freckleton, coordinator of the Conestoga program.

During the exercise, students used vehicles, equipment and radios provided by the partner agencies and had the opportunity to interact with the other responders in a realistic emergency setting. Alumni and first-year students from the program served as patients for the various disaster scenarios.

The event also serves as a training opportunity for Fire Department and EMS volunteers, both new recruits and those hoping to refresh their skills.

“The level of volunteer and community involvement in these exercises demonstrates the strong relationship Conestoga enjoys with our community partners,” Freckleton continued, explaining that the commitment of the partners, along with the dedication of staff, students and alumni, is a major contributor to the program’s success.

The two-year Paramedic diploma program provides students with the knowledge and skills to practice emergency pre-hospital medical/trauma care and to function as an integral member of the health care team in assisting victims of injury or illness.

For more information, visit the program website.