NCSP and SPTC Pilot the EMS Special Situations Course

17 September, 2012

EMS Special Situations Course participant applies a tourniquet to a blast victim during a training scenario. EMS Special Situations Course participants use a bed sheet for improvised patient transport out of a tornado-affected trailer.

The National Center for Security & Preparedness (NCSP) and State Preparedness Training Center (SPTC), NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services delivered the first pilot of the EMS Special Situations Course on August 25 and 26, 2012. The course had over twenty Emergency Medical Services (EMS) students and was taught by subject matter expert (SME)-instructors from across the nation.

The EMS Special Situations Course trains EMS and fire rescue personnel to respond to requests for service involving special circumstances often not encountered during routine response. The emphasis is on using basic skills that these personnel already possess while teaching new concepts that complement their understanding. For instance, SME-instructors presented a basic overview of Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) and basic skills that assist in TECC phases, including tourniquet application, hemostatic agent application, and use of the Reeves Sleeve� and SKED� for patient transport.

The training emphasizes the importance of learning through doing, with scenario-based activities comprising the bulk of the curriculum. Students worked in teams to respond to special situations, including multiple patients, physical hazards, and difficult operating environments (all indirect threat situations). Each scenario is designed to strengthen basic emergency medical skills and develop new skills through instruction, practice, and individualized coaching from the SME-instructors. The scenarios took place at seven specialized venues at the SPTC, including many that were recently added and used for the first time.

Students confidently responded to the training, gaining insights from their response to the scenarios. The students adapted their approach and mindsets, employing basic skills as well as unconventional methods to work through the special situations. Many were impressed with the expertise of the SME-instructors and expressed interest in attending future EMS trainings at the SPTC.