Rochester Fire Dept. holds annual EMS simulation training for mass casualty events

(ABC 6 News) – All crews with the Rochester Fire Department are taking part in a three-day EMS simulation training. The department does this type of EMS training for mass casualties at least once a year.

Although RFD doesn’t get calls very often in Rochester for these types of scenarios, it is important to be prepared.

“Time is always of the essence when we’re on an emergency call or a medical scene,” RFD Capt. Brett Knapp said.

Instead of a sing-patient scenario, these scenarios prepare the Rochester Fire Department for multiple-patient accidents like a large vehicle accident, such as a bus, an active shooter or a bomb detonation.

In these scenarios with multiple victims, emergency crews don’t just focus on one patient. Knapp said the key for the emergency crews in these types of situations is to focus on triaging patients in the field, or going around and assessing injuries and what steps they can immediately take to keep the patient alive until they can get them to the hospital.

“The challenge in these types of scenarios is to triage patients in a way that is going to do the most good for the most people and sustain life and help us treat people in ways that will best benefit everybody that is involved,” Knapp said.

RFD goes on almost all of the EMS calls in town with Mayo Ambulance and RFD staff are trained on how to work in all types of situations such as these mass casualty situations in case they ever do happen in the area.

“The thing we’re really trying to focus on here today is triaging these patients and getting them treatment right away for as many people as we can in ways that are going to save lives,” Knapp said.

RFD crews will finish up training on Thursday.