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Volunteers imitate emergency situations for EMS students

Students learn how to save a car crash victim as a part of ACERIP’s Trauma Day in the organization’s EMS certification class on Saturday.

Students learn how to save a car crash victim as a part of ACERIP’s Trauma Day in the organization’s EMS certification class on Saturday.

The students were participating in the Association for Carolina Emergency Response and Injury Prevention’s (ACERIP) Trauma Day.

The event brings in volunteers to act like emergency patients for students participating in the organization’s EMS certification class. Bailey, Szymanski and Riker were there to help set up the “patients” for the current students.

“When they walk in, they’ll see a patient who actually looks like something they’ve been training for,” Bailey said.

ACERIP was established in 2005 as a student organization dedicated to EMT training. It was approved as an EMS educational institution through the North Carolina Office of EMS and was affiliated with Durham Technical Community College until 2013. It became an independently recognized certified teaching institution in 2014 and began offering EMS classes in Spring 2014.

Lynn Webster, ACERIP EMS program director, said the organization’s EMS program is a unique and special one. She said the team has been working together for about 10 years and includes members who have experienced different areas of medicine and emergency medicine.

“We’ve got a team of very well-trained and educated people and a lot of different perspectives.”

Webster said she loves teaching at UNC because she is able to teach at a higher level than a typical EMS class.

“We run a serious class, but we also try to make it a lot of fun for the students,” she said.

And Trauma Day is one way they do just that.

ACERIP technical advisor Darshan Patel said Trauma Day began about eight years ago. It incorporates everything the students have learned over the course of the semester and brings it all together with hands-on experiences.

“It’s called Trauma Day because it only used to be trauma. Now it’s actually trauma and medical,” he said.

Throughout the day, students were exposed to four different emergency scenarios: a car accident, an allergic reaction and heart attack, a shooting and a house fire.

Patel said his favorite part about Trauma Day is seeing the students’ reactions when they first come on the scene.

“Throughout the class, we can’t do anything like this because of the time it takes. This is the first time that it’s not pretend, you know, they’re actually seeing people with fake blood, they’re seeing people with injuries and that reaction and how they respond is the best part for us as instructors, because we finally see the students putting it all together.”

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