When the next big disaster hits California, will you be ready?
On April 5th, Unitek EMT hosted Operation Urban Rescue, a mass-casualty simulation designed to prepare emergency medical services for future disasters. By incorporating military, civilian, and student emergency medical services into one training event, Operation Urban Rescue aimed to prepare the community of Fremont, California for future disasters.
To mimic the response required for a large-scale catastrophe, Operation Urban Rescue featured a huge disaster area, two scenario hospitals, an active ambulance circuit, dynamic extraction lanes, and a dedicated helicopter landing zone. More than 600 people participated in Operation Urban Rescue, including 32 government agencies, 264 volunteer patients, 40 medical instructors, and 245 military personnel. Participants responded to an armed insurgent threat, improvised explosive devices, hazardous materials, critical medical conditions, and a massive disaster scene.
Operation Urban Rescue also served as a training exercise for Unitek EMT students, who gained first-hand knowledge about treating critical injuries in a disaster setting. Students worked alongside instructors and military and civilian personnel to treat simulated injuries in the field. They also had the opportunity to transport patients to helicopters for further medical care at Washington Hospital. Intensive training events like Operation Urban Rescue help students to become the elite EMTs that go on to serve our community.
To provide training and increase community preparedness, Operation Urban Rescue simulated specialized scenarios. The Fremont Police Bomb Squad and S.W.A.T team took steps to contain hazardous materials and ensure patient safety. Volunteer patients also participated in a California National Guard Civil Support Team decontamination drill.
Throughout the event, CALSTAR and the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office transferred patients via helicopter for treatment in nearby Washington Hospital. Practicing life-saving techniques can only help to reduce loss of life from future disasters.
Operation Urban Rescue was a huge success for everyone involved. The Mas-Cal Training exercise provided a unique opportunity for military and civilian personnel to train together in the field. Additionally, Operation Urban Rescue served as a training exercise for Unitek EMT students. Operation Urban Rescue demonstrates that practice is one of the best ways to prepare communities to provide emergency care during a disaster.
Our mission is simple: train elite EMTs. Unitek EMT’s 14-Day Boot Camp is an extraordinary program that prepares students for their NREMT over 2 weeks of intense training and real-life simulations.
On April 5th, Unitek EMT is hosting Operation Urban Rescue, one of the largest multi-agency, mass-casualty training simulations ever held in the Bay Area. This year’s scenario is a large-scale military and civilian response to a simulated domestic disturbance in Fremont, California.
Participants will respond to an armed insurgent threat, improvised explosive devices, hazardous materials, critical medical conditions, and a massive disaster scene. Operation Urban Rescue aims to prepare the community for a major disaster by facilitating collaboration between government and civilian emergency medical services.
In addition to training current EMTs, Operation Urban Rescue serves as a training exercise for Unitek EMT’s students. Before they graduate, EMT students are given the opportunity to respond to the needs of critically injured patients in the field. Students learn to assess, treat, and move live patients efficiently in a real-world setting. Our training exercises take students out of the classroom and put them in a controlled environment in order to best train the next generation of medical personnel.
Last year’s event, Operation Rolling Chaos, was a tremendous achievement. We had more than 400 participants, including 100 military personnel and 200 live patients. Operation Rolling Chaos used 25 vehicles to simulate the breaking of Anderson Dam, including 12 cars, 2 buses, 8 ambulances, 4 military Humvees, 3 military transport trucks, and 3 helicopter landings. Eric O’Neal, a Unitek EMT instructor who participated in the event, called Operation Rolling Chaos a success, adding that
the event was a dynamic test in both working knowledge and fortitude. My guys were truly put to the test in every sense of the word. Operation Rolling Chaos ended up being physically, emotionally and didactically challenging for some. However, everyone walked away sensing that they took part in a phenomenal exercise that made them a better provider.
Unitek EMT’s mass casualty training exercises allow government agencies and civilians to interact in a way that they wouldn’t usually—until a major disaster hits. They also allow EMT students the opportunity to practice their skills in real-life situations before they’re needed to respond to a real disaster.
For more information about Operation Rolling Chaos and our annual mass-casualty training exercises, visit mascaltraining.com. Unitek EMT’s 14-Day Boot Camp is an extraordinary program that prepares students for their NREMT over 2 weeks of intense training and real-life simulations. For more information about our 14-Day Boot Camp, click here.
When you think of Emergency Medical Services, you probably think of heart-pounding action, heroic rescues, and dramatic life or death situations. While these things definitely happen over the course of an EMT career, they are (hopefully) few and far between. Some of the most memorable moments in an EMT’s career are the quietest and calmest. Madeline, a student of Unitek EMT’s Boot Camp*, got to experience this before she even graduated and became a certified EMT.
While completing her hands-on training with a local ambulance company, she and her coworkers were called to a code one: non-urgent patient transport. The patient they were to care for turned out to be Mrs. Jones, a retired Rosie the Riveter, who now had no immediate family and was recently diagnosed with cancer. Madeline and her coworkers were to take Mrs. Jones to a near-by hospital for her first of many radiation treatments.
Madeline and Mrs. Jones got to talking during their drive. They started talking about what they like to do, and discovered they had a shared interest in reading. Mrs. Jones loved reading on her Kindle. It enabled her to read a new book almost every day, and experience things she could no longer do. She was hoping to use the Kindle as a distraction from her impending cancer treatment. Unfortunately, a few days prior, one of Mrs. Jones’ nurses dropped her Kindle in a bucket of sanitizing solution, rendering it completely useless.
Madeline had formed a bond with Mrs. Jones, a bond stronger than the typical EMT-patient relationship. After hearing about the recent events involving her Kindle, Madeline wanted to help. Mrs. Jones had no where to turn, and no one to turn to, so Madeline stepped up. In class the next day, Madeline shared Mrs. Jones’ story with her class. The entire class wanted to help, and everyone offered to pitch in so they could afford to purchase a Kindle. Inspired by their class going above and beyond the call of duty, the EMT Boot Camp* Instructors brought Mrs. Jones’ story to Unitek EMT management. Unitek EMT wanted to help too. The company bought Mrs. Jones a Kindle, and arranged for Madeline and an Instructor to deliver the Kindle to Mrs. Jones.
Mrs. Jones was ecstatic. She thought she would never read again. She thought her radiation treatment would be long and lonely. But thanks to Madeline’s support and Unitek EMT’s generosity, she once again had the power to immerse herself in new worlds. And Madeline, she is just happy to make a difference in the life of a patient, says she “had the best day ever.” As an EMT, she will have many great days ahead of her, as she continues to go above and beyond the call of duty to help her patients.