First responders receive specialist trauma training

Khyal Gordon, Peter Lonergan and Claire Broniman manage a trauma “patient” during a simulated motor vehicle accident. This simulation gets very realistic with life like mannequins which scream when moved, gurgle when the airway is occluded and moan and groan to add to the fidelity of the situation.
Khyal Gordon, Peter Lonergan and Claire Broniman manage a trauma “patient” during a simulated motor vehicle accident. This simulation gets very realistic with life like mannequins which scream when moved, gurgle when the airway is occluded and moan and groan to add to the fidelity of the situation.

CareFlight has delivered specialist trauma training to first responders in Taree as part of its world class MediSim program.

Health services in rural and regional Australia can be stretched in emergencies and often the first people to arrive at the scene of a serious incident are local rescue volunteers.

MediSim program manager Colin Brown said those first five or ten minutes can mean the difference between life and death for the patient.

“This is where the MediSim program comes in. CareFlight sends experienced clinical educators to rural and remote areas, delivering world class trauma training to local first responders,” Mr Brown said.

David Edmond and Josh Goulden practice putting on a multifunctional rescue bandage – a new piece of equipment for most of the first responders

David Edmond and Josh Goulden practice putting on a multifunctional rescue bandage – a new piece of equipment for most of the first responders

“These emergency services do an incredible job for their community and they could be at the scene of an accident before professional medical help arrives. Quite often in rural and remote areas, first responders are on their own for a lengthy period of time so they need to be able to manage that situation appropriately.”

For the second time, the workshop was held at Taree and the emergency service volunteers here are a crucial link in the patient “chain of survival”.

The participants were absolutely fantastic,” said Mr Brown. “We could tell they were already highly experienced in dealing with trauma, but they asked so many great questions of the educators. Their feedback of the course was excellent. This course does bring together different agencies for training, sometimes for the first time, however the enthusiasm, coordination and camaraderie between the different agencies was excellent.”

Peter Cambrell, a VRA member who completed the training said, “We get called out to 150 to 200 incidents every year. This training added to my skills and delivered higher order thinking when it comes to trauma. I thoroughly recommend the training to any emergency service.”

The workshops trained 17 first responders, this means there are 17 people in the Taree region that are in a better position to respond quickly and effectively to an emergency situation in our local community.

“This gave me the ability to handover (to professional medical teams),” said Rusty Donnelly, a four-year veteran of the Rural Fire Service, “I’ll be taking back the lessons learned to my unit and passing it onto them.”

MediSim was launched in 2011 and more than 3000 emergency service volunteers have been trained free of charge to date. 

“Probably the best endorsement of the MediSim program is when our volunteers tell us about all the times they’ve used the skills we’ve taught them and all the lives they’ve saved in the process,” said Mr Brown.

The program is unique. Volunteers learn from highly experienced professional emergency specialists including doctors and intensive care paramedics.

Lifelike mannequins and a unique car crash rescue simulator aid in the recreation of a high pressure environment, ensuring the training is realistic.

The MediSim program was developed by CareFlight’s Dr Ken Harrison and has won highly prestigious awards both nationally and internationally.

MediSim is delivered at no cost to participants with the help of Origin Energy and the generosity of CareFlight supporters.