‘It’s a perishable skill’ Paramedics stay sharp by training for worst-case-scenarios in St. Charles County

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 10:18 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

St. CHARLES, Mo. (KMOV) - Preparing now so they’re ready when disaster strikes.

Paramedic teams from all across the St. Louis Metro area participated in an intense disaster training scenario Thursday night in St. Charles County.

The evening’s disaster was an earthquake simulation; paramedics worked with experienced trainers and volunteer victims to give them medical aid and get them out of the scenario. The idea was to have a chaotic environment - practicing for tornadoes, earthquakes or any type of building collapse.

They do this intense training about twice a year, and some type of training every month, all if vital to stay sharp.

“With anything that we do, it’s a perishable skill; it’s something we will lose if we’re not actively training in it. So we train frequently and incorporate new challenges into each training; we’re not rehearsing the same thing,” said Blake Gabbard, a paramedic with the Urban Search and Rescue Team.

The paramedics were in the dark in multiple ways. For one, they had no idea what type of scenario they were walking into when they walked to the training area.

Plus, holding the simulation at night was purposeful, as disaster can strike at any hour.

“Because having it dark makes it a whole different level, so when you can’t see and all of you have is a light on your forehead to be able to do an advanced skill in a well-lit ambulance, or somewhere that’s well-lit, a house, it gives them that element of surprise and they have to think outside the box a little bit more on,” said Jeremy Hollrah, Deputy Chief St. Charles County Ambulance District.

The trained team working with the group are experienced professionals conducting training nationwide.