Nursing volunteers help prepare emergency medical responders

Nurses are usually among those tending to the wounded and injured. But this week a group of College of Nursing volunteers became the “victims” in a simulated disaster to help train emergency responders.

The event was part of the Wisconsin EMS Association’s Working Together conference and exposition Jan. 24-27 at the Wisconsin Center. The “Rescue Task Force” simulation gave groups of emergency medical responders an opportunity to practice working with law enforcement on a simulated mass shooting. The responders had to deploy into areas that had been cleared but not yet secured to treat and rescue victims.

Disaster drill trains emergency medical workers

The College of Nursing volunteers included faculty, staff and students who joined a group of fire cadets to play victims. The application of fake blood, bruises and wounds prepared the volunteers for their roles. They then spread out into a stairwell at the Wisconsin Center, where they lay moaning, groaning and screaming.

The volunteer effort grew out of the College of Nursing’s partnership with local fire departments to train fire department paramedics in community-based health care. When Milwaukee Fire Department Capt. Michael Wright, who works with that partnership, reached out looking for volunteers for the training exercise, said Kim Litwack, dean of nursing, the college was happy to put the word out.

“It was cool to work with all the people in nursing and to work with the EMS,” said Miranda Van De Loo,” a master’s degree student in nursing who was one of the volunteers.

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