Paramedic students learn under fire

Realistic drills give trainees a feel for the EMT lifestyle.

The blood was fake but the intensity was real.

“Like I tell everyone, there is nothing that prepares you more for real life than these competitions,” said Broward County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Josh Cornblit. “Some things you don’t find in a book.”

Adventure Island and the Temple Terrace Fire Department hosted the Advanced Life Support Competition on Monday, designed to test the skills of paramedics in a competitive environment.

“In the next two days they are going to be exposed to about every kind of patient there is in the medical field,” said TTFD captain Carl Sullivan. “It’s actually (more fun) to watch these things and organize them than to compete.”

Teams of three raced against a 12-minute clock to diagnose and treat four patients, all suffering from different injuries in a mock construction scene. Medics encountered a man with a saw injury, another with a nail gun injury, a woman suffering from dehydration and another who felt faint. The teams were graded on how well, and how quickly, the tended to the patients.

“Definitely overwhelming,” said medic student Teddy Krajkowski. “A lot to do and not a lot of time.”

His teammates agreed.

“We knew what to expect,” said Dakota  Koch, who began his medic training two months ago. “Now, experiencing it was a whole other story.”

This is the 11th year of the competition that brought 14 departments from all over the station. Teams will compete in six different events over Monday and Tuesday. The winner will be announced and prizes awarded Tuesday evening.

The competition is fun but the training is the focus.

“You just never know what your call is going to be,” said Sullivan. “We try to get them on that training aspect. We mix in medical and trauma.

"You never know what’s going to be behind the door.”

(© 2016 WTSP)


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