Ambulance service keeps medics’ skills sharp with training scenarios |

Ambulance service keeps medics’ skills sharp with training scenarios

summit daily news
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

FRISCO – More than 40 medics practiced life-saving procedures at the Summit County Community and Senior Center on Saturday, as several ambulances in the parking lot stood prepared for a real-life call.

Emergency births and response to such scenarios as a car crashing through the building were on the agenda for the biannual training session required of local emergency medical technicians, EMT-intermediates and paramedics.

Jill Ridenhour, supervisor with Summit County Ambulance Service, said training for “high-acuity and low-frequency” situations is essential to preparation for all sorts of scenarios.

Emergency births, for example, only occur about twice a year and sometimes not at all. But the medics must be ready.

“We had one about a month ago,” ambulance service director Marc Burdick said, adding that the baby was born at a local hotel.

Ambulance service training supervisor Jenn Oese said trauma calls – such as serious bodily injuries, wounds or shock – are more frequent in Summit County than lower-elevation, urban areas.

“We run trauma all day, every day. That’s what we do,” she said.

As such, the goal is to be “well above competency” for the spectrum of scenarios that may occur, she said.

Participants on Saturday rotated through stations that included work with opening airways, administering medication and using the latest technology to save lives.

The Glidescope is a video tool medics use to help place tubes into a person’s airway or remove foreign bodies. This was used during the training on a lifelike dummy of a human.

Medics were also trained on intraosseous infusion, which involves drilling into bone to administer medication.

Ridenhour said ambulance staff is also trained to give special medications – such as for heart-attack patients – requiring approval through the state when transferring patients from Summit County to Denver.

Burdick said the ambulance service’s 56 employees are only required to attend one of the biannual training days.

“Some people never miss any,” he said, adding that it’s part of a “bigger education plan” that includes frequent training and a large, sophisticated online system.

Saturday’s sessions ran from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and included two guest speakers.

While trauma scenarios had been intended for execution outdoors, the snowfall Saturday morning kept everything indoors.

Robert Allen can be contacted

at (970) 668-4628 or

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