Kellogg Community College EMS students get hands on first responder training

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Kalamazoo Community College emergency medical service students go through simulated mass casualty training. (WWMT/ Patrick Hagan)

Kellogg Community College emergency medical service students put their first responding skills to the test during a a mass casualty training event Monday.

Public Safety Education Department said they hope the students would have many positive takeaways from the training.

"This is the first big one we've done but every week from the end of first semester to now. You do simulations running through sick patients, trauma injuries, cardiac arrest, things like that. I was definitely kind of nervous going in to this. I didn't want to mess up too bad. I think we got our goal accomplished," Nate Pewoski said.

Evan McGlothen, the college adjunct EMS instructor and lead instructor for paramedics lab course, said students are taught what to do during a mass casualty situation in class. He said the training prepares them for the pressure of having to save several lives.

Pewoski, who got his basic EMT certificate in 2018 at Kellogg Community College, said he enrolled in the paramedic program to continue his education.

McGlothen said he wished he would have had a training exercise before the first time he had to respond to a mass casualty event.

"My first mass casualty incident was the Kalamazoo biking tragedy in 2016 where nine bicyclist were struck. Communication between me and the area fire departments led to a delay in immediate care to a patient. Even though it didn't lead to a life and death situation," said McGlothen.

Both Pewoski and McGlothen said as unfortunate as it is, this is their job and they can only hope to be prepared.

"We never want it to happen, but it is the nature of our job and we just want to be prepared I really think it helps with the communication aspect and working together as a team," said Pewoski.

Local public safety agencies and Kellogg Community College faculty and students helped with the training.

Students said they know what to improve to better prepare themselves for when they complete their training.

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