November 14, 2011
Dozens of emergency services personnel from across the state descended on Winnemucca last week to complete their continuing education requirements.
Humboldt General Hospital's Emergency Medical Services group offered its "2011 Basic Refresher" from Friday, November 4, through Sunday, November 6, at the East Hall of the Winnemucca Convention Center.
According to HGH EMS Rescue Education Coordinator Ken Whittaker, this year's program set a new bar for attendance, as well as classroom and on-site instruction.
"I think our participants were rewarded with a well-rounded, exciting student experience," said Whittaker.
This year, more than 70 participants represented regional mines, fire departments, ambulance services, schools and private businesses.
Those numbers came as a surprise to the local group. Emergency responders re-up their certifications every two years, so local trainers were expecting this to be their "small year."
"We were anticipating 40 to 50 attendees," said Whittaker, "and we got 71! So the attendance was great, but we also had plenty for our participants to sink their teeth into, including a really great combination of in-depth lectures and hands-on scenarios."
Hands-on scenarios included a Water Canyon cold weather setting where HGH EMS Rescue Operations Coordinator Tony Shope laid in 27-degree creek water to demonstrate a cold challenge.
Local EMTs Lacy Constable and Joey Savoie oversaw a confined space medical scenario in one of the boiler rooms at HGH, and a final scenario, which involved 21 volunteers, simulated a gas leak and explosion with each four-man team having to triage victims and obtain an accurate body count.
The 24 hours of instruction also included information on the latest CPR guidelines from the American Heart Association.
Whittaker said Humboldt General Hospital EMS Rescue has been offering the "Basic Refresher" since 2003. "Each year we step it up even more to give our participants the best information possible as they move into the new year."
Whittaker said the response to this year's offering was overwhelming. "It was a huge success. Everyone had a great time and we received comments like 'Best Refresher I have attended in 20 years of EMS' and 'I definitely will be coming again for next year's refresher.'"
He added, "We are thrilled with the success of this year's program and know that each participant went away more prepared to help those in need."
For more information on the "2012 Basic Refresher," which will be presented by Humboldt General Hospital Emergency Medical Services Rescue in November 2012, please call Education Coordinator Ken Whittaker at (775) 623-5222, ext. 262 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.