ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – Although it’s just a drill, the screaming, blood, and bodies scattered across a smoked-filled gymnasium make it feel all too real.
“It’s scary as a parent to know that this is potentially able to happen, but it makes me feel good that we are training appropriately so that we are as prepared as we can be here in Saint Charles County to respond of these types of calls,” said Andrew Broeckelmann, a paramedic with the St. Charles County Ambulance District.
Broeckelmann took part in the training Wednesday all with other EMTs, firefighters, and police from the surrounding St. Charles County area. Some nursing students from St. Charles Community College also participated.
“The need, unfortunately, does continue to increase for this type of training. We can’t go more than a few weeks seemingly without hearing about some type of situation somewhere,” said Kyle Gaines, St. Charles County Ambulance District.
Just this week, eight people were injured and one student was killed at a STEM school in Colorado.
Back in St. Charles County, EMS workers and medical staff in are learning to work together with law enforcement. They’re paired up to assess patients and get them to safety for treatment.
“It’s important to understand our role in these events of how we need to respond when we go in, how we work with our community, with the police officers, with our firefighters, and the ambulance district – all together,” Broeckelmann said.
Patients were loaded up one by one and brought to a virtual ER where they were triaged.
“That’s why we do the full immersive experience with live victims where there are a lot of things competing for first responders attention so that they can get used to making those decisions in a real-world environment,” Gaines said.
There will be nine training dates and a total of roughly 500 first responders in the St. Charles County area will go through the program.