Tucson Medical Center
Courtesy photo

A class of PCC Emergency Medical Technology students will act as patients during a Tucson Medical Center emergency preparedness drill next week.

The Hospital Emergency Response Team is a group of TMC staff that coordinates with other area agencies, such as Tucson Fire Department and Rural Metro Fire Department, to train for potential mass casualty/disaster incidents. This keeps TMC prepared and better able to protect patients and their families, as well as serve the wider community.

As part of the Dec. 5 drill, the 15 to 20 students from the Emergency Medical Technology-Basic Program will stand in as mass casualty victims. The students will be made up with realistic-looking wounds, and go through hazardous materials decontamination before being treated in an emergency room setting, said Wright N. Randolph, Jr. C.E.P., program director. As participants, the students also have the opportunity to see first-hand the triage system, learn the difference between various decontamination procedures, and distinguish between mass casualty incidents and more common emergencies.

“It is always beneficial to have community members involved in these drills because, in the unfortunate event that something like this actually happens, it affects the whole community,” said Ted Voss, Captain of TMC’s HazMat Emergency Response Team. “The more people who are familiar with what we do, the better.”

The drill will run from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., on Dec. 5, 2013 at TMC. Rural Metro first responders will be participating, while Raytheon Missile Systems first responders will be observing.

Randolph said TMC will not give more details in order to protect the integrity of the drill and test the adaptability of the first responders.

“I am very excited at the opportunity our students are being given,” Randolph said. “My goal with this program has always been to provide the students with the most realistic training and preparation that we can provide. This will be a wonderful opportunity for all.”

PCC’s EMT-B certificate training qualifies completers to take Arizona and National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians exams for certification to work as an EMT or firefighter (with required fire science training) and/or pursue an Associate of Applied Science in EMT-Paramedic. EMT-B certification is required for all EMTs, firefighters and paramedics in the state of Arizona.

PCC annually trains more aspiring EMTs, paramedics, firefighters and police officers than any other southern Arizona academy. In 2012-13, a total of 155 future EMTs, firefighters and paramedics completed training at PCC or its Public Safety and Emergency Services Institute, which is based at the 29th Street Coalition Center, 4355 E. Calle Aurora. Another 80 students graduated with an Administration of Justice Studies or Law Enforcement degree or certificate.

EMT classes at Pima are held every day of the week except Sunday. Pima enrolls 120 EMT students each Fall and Spring semester, and 72 each Summer. The EMT-B program is based at East Campus, 8181 E. Irvington Road. For more on the program call the EMT Service Center, 520-206-7839.

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