After our social media series on first responder training, we wanted to take a deeper look. We spoke with Dawn Munroe, Training and Exercise Support Supervisor at the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston, Alabama to learn more about their training.
There are several different types of training courses available for first responders. They may attend Hospital Emergency Response Team (HERT) training, Emergency Medical Operations (EMO) training and Healthcare Leadership (HCL) training. Each of these programs ensures that they are well prepared for each step of the emergency situations that they may be dispatched to.
When it comes to the type of events that they prepare for, it includes scenarios such as earthquakes, subway bombings, active shooter situations, hurricanes, and even the Super Bowl. They need to be prepared to respond to a variety of situations so that they can provide the best possible care, while also protecting themselves.
Each training exercise takes a lot of time and preparation. The first responders usually train for 4 days and learn things such as proper PPE usage, how to set up a decontamination line, how to triage victims, how to process those victims, and how to transfer and treat victims.
To help with these exercises, The Ginn Group provides role players and Simtechs. The role players themselves have a lot of work to do! They are trained on how to use moulage, how to change their appearance, and are trained in medical terminology.
Dawn explained that “Simtechs are first responders who actually work in our community and surrounding areas. They drive ambulances, push gurneys with victims, give reports to the student, and run high-fidelity manikins that support the exercise.”
First responders also train for protection. They learn how to properly put on and take off their PPE and have a dexterity exercise that shows them how to perform their skills in full PPE including three sets of gloves.
Dawn says that the most rewarding part of working in this field is when she receives letters from students who trained with them and then dealt with a mass casualty incident. She also shared how rewarding it felt when she realized that she had a part in training the first responders who responded to the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.
Dawn’s advice to anyone interested in becoming a first responder is, “First responders never face the same thing each day. You never know what disaster the day may hold so always be prepared…train all you can, each chance you get!!”
To learn more about how The Ginn Group helps to train first responders at the CDP, contact us today!