On Nov. 21, Salt Lake Community College students training to earn certification as an emergency medical technician participated in a mass casualty incident (MCI) event, one of three held every year.
MCI events, organized once every semester by the college’s Emergency Medical Technician program, simulate scenarios like car crashes, train accidents and mass shootings. Kylie Linford, the course coordinator for the EMT class, said these events prepare students for real-life emergencies.
“They learn the functionality of how [emergency medical services] work, and how to perform in these high-stress environments [as] a team,” Linford said.
The results of holding such training, Linford continued, can be lifesaving.
“Doing things like this helps preventatively save lives,” Linford said. “Even if they’re not on duty working … they can potentially keep somebody stable until an ambulance arrives.”
Students who participated in last month’s MCI event were split into groups to respond to different medical situations. One group responded to a pair of students posing as a contentious couple after a car accident. EMT students assessed the scenario for danger and then proceeded to treat the couple for fake injuries while deescalating their fighting.
This MCI event was the first since the college introduced a new hybrid certification program at the start of fall semester. The hybrid course provides all materials and online instruction via Zoom, with an aim to increase EMT certification in rural areas of Utah.
“That way some of these students that are over six hours away from us were able to attend class,” Linford said. “Because a lot of their barrier was getting access to education. It’s not realistic when the closest college is a few hours away.”
EMT students are required to meet 160 hours of instruction, half hands on, after which they can begin working in their new field. The new parameters for this program, Linford said, can help people in surrounding areas.
“We have a huge [emergency medical services] shortage in Utah right now, which is part of why we’re doing what we’re doing with our program – to see if we can get more EMTs out there,” Linford said.
For more information about the college’s Emergency Medical Technician program, visit the SLCC website.