BOISE - A school shooting is a situation an EMT hopes they never have to respond to. However, in the event one was to ever take place in Idaho, it’s important they’re ready. On Saturday, EMTs and medical staff received hands-on training of what responding to one could possibly look like.
More than 100 EMTs, paramedics, and medical staff from across Idaho took part in the intense and chaotic simulation. It was all part of the annual Rescue Me Conference.
“This is the most realistic simulation that has ever been put on in Boise,” said St. Luke’s Simulation Educator Andie Woodward.
Woodward spent the last four months preparing for the training, working to make it as realistic for emergency responders. Staff using flake blood, special equipment, and even put the smell of gunpowder into the room.
“When you add the elements in simulation of all of the senses and emotion you have an 80 percent better retention rate,” Woodward said.
“I've done a few mock MCI's with paper mannequins, but this was a thousand times better,” said Murphy-Reynolds-Wilson EMT Matthew Kabush.
A school shooting is an issue that can be hard to talk about, but one Woodward wants to hit head-on.
“They're learning a lot about the capabilities that they have and mostly don't have and how to get them,” Woodward said.
In the simulation, paramedics worked to triage a variety of wounds from legs to the torso, also working with their interactions between themselves and those in the emergency room.
“This thing was really impressive. We don't get to do training like this very often and we don't get to really experience anything like this,” Kabush said.
The actors themselves, many of whom students from North Junior High School, also taking it all in.
“You just learn about how the EMT's are usually supposed to respond and what they're going to do,” said Ayla Sutton, A 9th grader at North Junior High School.
A hands-on, realistic training that helps better prepare those emergency responders on what they could be walking in on, in the event of a school shooting.
“It's just a great thing to do because it helps train the EMT's to do what they need to do, like if this was a real situation it kinda helps them because now they know what to do,” Sutton said.
Simulations of this complexity only happen about once or twice a year. However, the staff at St. Luke’s are doing simulations or training continuously throughout the year.