STAGED river rescues and dramatic airplane fires took place across the city yesterday as part of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) conference.
More than 400 emergency medical professionals observed and participated in skilled demonstrations by Cork City Fire Brigade and Cork Airport Fire Service where the importance of teamwork was highlighted.
On the port of Cork, a river rescue took place where a rescuer got into difficulty and had to be rescued and tended to.
Fire officer Noel Heaney explained to the Evening Echo this exercise was to do with learning within the EMS services how to deal with water-based accidents.
Water and River Rescue demonstration at Port of Cork, City Pontoon. Crosshaven Coastguard members (front ) Vincent Farr and Paul Lonergan and (rear) Killian Twomey and Adam Brennan in their 8-metre Delta Rib in the River Lee during a 'man overboard' rescue demonstration. Pic; Larry Cummins“It is not the same as a traffic accident, the risks are completely different. If you have someone who is not breathing and has no pulse, they need early defibrillation and you can’t do them when they are wet so there are procedures to follow.” Mr Heaney said that the demonstration would allow a whole spectrum of medical professionals to come together and share ideas about how to deal with
“It is not the same as a traffic accident, the risks are completely different. If you have someone who is not breathing and has no pulse, they need early defibrillation and you can’t do them when they are wet so there are procedures to follow.” Mr Heaney said that the demonstration would allow a whole spectrum of medical professionals to come together and share ideas about how to deal withWater and River Rescue demonstration at Port of Cork. Delegates listen to Breandan O'Donnchu, Third Officer Cork City Fire Brigade. Pic; Larry Cumminscertain emergency situations.
“The idea is to use our knowledge and share it with the EMS,” Mr Heaney said.
Yesterday the EMS professionals learned about water awareness, throw bagging, which is simply throwing a specific type of robe to a person in distress and how to put on a life jacket.
They also watched a number of rescue scenarios being demonstrated including helping out in an instance where an actual rescuer goes into cardiac arrest and the EMS staff are tasked with disrobing him before they use a defibrillator and do basic CPR.
At the airport, including setting an aircraft emergency simulator on fire and rescuing two dummies from the plane which were tended to by EMS staff.
As well as this, medical professionals were brought on board the aircraft emergency simulator where volunteers acted as injured passengers that needed attention.
Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer Anthony Byrne said the most important things to be taken away from the demonstrations were the importance of site preservation to allow for the investigation of the accident after and the categorisation of casualties.
“The most important thing a person can learn here today is how to approach an aircraft and the debris field, as well as how to categorise people. Priority one, which is a very serious injury, to priority two which is less serious, but injured and priority three walking wounded and unfortunately, we also have the dead category.” Mr Byrne said they had a great mix of doctors, nurses and advanced paramedics learning the different elements of airport emergencies yesterday which was great to see.
As well as this there was another large demonstration down the docks on Kennedy Quay.
Here, under the supervision of Cork City Fire Brigade Station Officer Ger Ryan, EMS professionals were shown how to break down a door in the case of an emergency.
Other interactive demonstrations included a person’s hand trapped in a machine, someone stuck on a stairs, someone trapped in a car without the fire service in attendance and the EMS staff had to get the person out of the back of the car while the car was on fire.
Finally, there was another car trapping a person against a wall while another person was trapped underneath and another car with four different casualties inside and EMS staff had to assess and prioritise which was the worst and which was the most urgent.
Mr Ryan said all the situations were carefully selected to represent topical rescue that could be needed.
“It all worked very well. Teamwork, listening, prioritising and staying calm under pressure. If these professionals are exposed to this now, they might be able to respond better in a real emergency,” Mr Ryan said.
The EMS Conference continues today.