Paramedic students test skills in mock casualty drill

DYERSBURG, Tenn.–“I did learn that it’s very hectic at first, but once you get your arms around the situation and you’ve got good people helping you, then things just fall into place,” Dyersburg State paramedic student Jason McDonald said.

McDonald is one of many paramedic students at Dyersburg State Community College who took part in a mock casualty drill to put their skills to the test.

Wednesday’s drill featured a school bus and car crash, along with the potential bomb threat.

“It definitely was a lot of chaos in the beginning, trying to figure out what was going on. In the simulation, we had a suspicious package and I had to leave patients on a bus, kids that were screaming. I can’t leave them, but if there was a bomb that went off, we’re just creating more patients,” McDonald said.

Students worked with local authorities, and even Air Evac, to help respond to the scene.

“We need to learn how to stay calm because we’re going to be thrown into stressful situations, so we really need to learn how to just be calm through those situations,” student Melody Pierce said.

Instructors say that this situation is designed for students to make mistakes so they can learn.

“This just kind of culminates all of their trauma experience, all of their clinicals that they’ve done, and we kind of put them in a stressful situation to see how they perform,” Dyersburg State EMS program director Jim Logan said.

Students say this scenario helps teach them for future emergency situations.

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