Hiram – The Cleveland Clinic Critical Care Transport team and the Hiram Fire Department recently held a Trauma Training Day in Hiram. Over the course of the day, Cleveland Clinic helicopters landed at key locations in Hiram, as flight crew, paramedics and flight nurses trained with local first responders to practice patient hand-offs between pre-hospital rescue personnel and air medical crews. Severe medical trauma creates major challenges for first responders. And while traditional classroom training is essential, there is no substitute for actual experience in the field. As such, throughout this local training day, teams experienced a variety of emergency medical scenarios, including tending to adult and child burn patients at a house fire, roadside care at an auto accident, and assisting a drowning victim.

Adding to the reality of the scenarios, three volunteer ‘victims’ participated, providing the professionals with a more-realistic training experience. The volunteers arrived at least an hour in advance of the training in order for Joe, a Cleveland Clinic Critical Care transport nurse, to work his magic. Through moulage, the art of applying mock injuries for emergency medical training, Joe, skilled at healing injuries, is also adept at creating realistic-looking replicas for training purposes.

As volunteer ‘victims’ Haley, Troy, and Valerie sat drinking coffee, chatting, and casually checking their smart phones, wounds and simulated burns are applied to them. The scene is relaxed, yet somewhat surreal, as if they are extras on some garish movie set. They are each given their ‘roles’; and ask questions regarding the injuries they will be portraying. They stayed hidden from the training group so that crews training wouldn’t be able to access their injuries prior to the training scenarios. “It’s so much fun, and so rewarding to be able to help,” shared Valerie. Mary Jo, a Cleveland Clinic nurse added, “Events like this are a valuable opportunity to get training, practice and feedback on care at roadside and in emergency situations.”

Fire and EMS crew from Garrettsville, Freedom, Nelson, and Troy participated with the crew from Hiram. Estimated response time for the flight crew is weather- and location-dependent, and ranges from 18 – 25 minutes. Currently, there are 38 emergency response squads in the area under the medical direction of the Cleveland Clinic Critical Care transport team.