Emergency medicine doctors at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center are taking their training to the next level. Resident physicians worked alongside first responders, practicing life-saving skills that they may need if they’re called out to an emergency.
“We actually bring the residents out to test some of their skills and allow them to see what first responders do in their daily duties as far as emergency rescues go,” said John Brudzinski, Johnstown Fire Department Assistant Chief.
The Johnstown Fire Department and Conemaugh Health System Emergency Medicine Residency Program held an annual training session Thursday.
Doctors and first responders practiced extracting multiple victims from confined spaces, intubating, rappelling and other rescue techniques. They said it’s crucial that doctors get as much practice as possible before emergencies happen.
“They can learn from their mistakes. They can take their time and learn how to do things right. Sometimes when you’re doing things on the fly, there’s a chance to have some issues,” said David Gnugnoli, Conemaugh Health Systems EMS Director.
The training not only teaches doctors important skills, they said they have more respect for first responders because of what it takes to get patients to the hospital.
“We have all these resources available to us that these workers don’t have. So they’re kind of having to deal with the worst of the worst situations with very limited resources,” said Abram Weimer, a second-year resident in the Emergency Medicine Program. “It’s pretty phenomenal when you think about the situations that they’re in and how well they do it.”
The training also gives residents and first responders a chance to get to know each other and work side-by-side.
“Anytime you can have better communication, I think that makes it better for the patient because things can happen a lot quicker as far as treatment goes,” said Brudzinski.
While doctors and first responders can’t predict when emergencies or mass casualties will happen, they can prepare.