News, Training

Casualty Drill Helps Prepare Texas EMT Students

Students at Texas State Technical College’s Abilene campus Friday got to experience the adrenaline rush that comes with handling a mass casualty incident, and the “victims” of the crash got to walk away injury-free.

The multivehicle crash set up near the flagpoles at TSTC, 650 E. Highway 80, was part of a drill for the school’s emergency medical technician-basic students before gaining their certification.

Firefighters from Dyess Air Force Base assisted with the exercise, demonstrating the use of power tools to free people trapped inside crushed cars.

Before the drill, the military firefighters talked in detail about the various tools of their trade.

Student Alexa Mojarro hefted an extraction tool and struck a Terminator-like pose, to the delight of onlookers.

High school students from the Academy of Technology, Engineering, Math & Science and some administrators donned various fake but realistic-looking wounds and smeared a red substance to simulate blood on their faces and clothes for their roles as crash victims.

The TSTC students had to successfully assess and triage the patients.

“The opportunity is a valuable teaching tool to prepare the students for a large-scale incident, where coordination between multiple organizations is required to service all of the patients involved,” said Julie Cromeens, director of marketing and communications at TSTC West Texas.

The students may have chosen their career field well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted a 33 percent growth in demand for EMTs and paramedics in Texas through 2020, Cromeens said.