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Civilian EMS providers to learn military trauma practices

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FORT DRUM — Civilian emergency medical services providers are encouraged to attend the Battlefield Emergency Care training Thursday on post to learn how military providers handle trauma.

Charles F. Brenon III, Jefferson County’s director of emergency services, said the training will showcase the military as being on the “cutting edge of developments in increasing the survivability of trauma victims.”

“The fact that they have such a high-speed system and expertise in trauma, it’s good to get our civilian folks exposed to that trauma base,” Mr. Brenon said. “We hope they learn the newest developments coming through the military care system.”

Some new resources that civilian providers may see, he said, include what’s called a pelvic compression device, which is used to help decrease bleeding from lower extremity wounds.

Mr. Brenon said one helpful item civilian providers learned about from similar training a few years ago was use of hemostatic gauze. Going by the trade name of “quick clot,” the gauze rapidly causes blood clotting to stop severe bleeding.

“That has since come in general use in emergency medical services,” Mr. Brenon said. “We also learned through military medicine the use of longer needles in chest decompression.”

Civilian EMS providers’ more frequent use of tourniquets also was learned from the military. Mr. Brenon said that, when he took his EMS training in 1979, tourniquets were used as a last resort to compress a blood vessel.

Knowing how beneficial the sharing of civilian and military practices and resources is, Mr. Brenon said the 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. training will provide participants with both lectures and visual and hands-on simulations. Topics include behavioral implications for combat soldiers, improvised explosive device wound patterns and initial EMS concerns, regional trauma systems and definitive care and tactical combat casualty care. Simulation will be provided through the post’s Bridgewater-Vaccaro Medical Simulation Training Center.

Capt. Martin L. Stewart, who is in charge of the simulation center, said the Fort Drum medical community wants to assist civilian providers with this training because it “has a vested interest in maintaining a robust professional relationship with the north country’s EMS assets.”

“Traditionally, the civilian EMS protocols have been several years behind the Department of Defense,” he said. “However, continued favorable casualty data has allowed the civilian sector to implement combat-proven techniques at a faster rate. Per Charlie Brenon, some local protocols have changed due to information received at the last EMS day event.”

Capt. Stewart said the training is offered in support of North Country EMS Week to offer the surrounding medical community exposure to the simulation center and to further establish the center’s role as a Northeast regional training center.

While the training targets EMS providers, it is open to all area health professionals. People who would like to attend the training should call Mr. Brenon as soon as possible at 786-3760, or send him an email at jbrenon@co.jefferson.ny.us.

The training is sponsored by Jefferson County EMS, Fort Drum MSTC, Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization, North Country Regional EMS Council and LifeNet of New York.

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