Training with the best for the worst

FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) – A training exercise unlike any other was held Thursday with the goal of better preparing first responders for disasters.

During the training, you could find a parade of stretchers outside, a makeshift clinic inside and instructors in another room watching it all unfold.

“What you’re seeing is an extraordinary collaboration,” says Dr. Pamela Boyers with the University of Toledo.

That collaboration is trying to change the way first responders train for disasters, giving them real time feedback of how they’re doing.

“The next time these guys or another unit does it, they’ll be better prepared and better equipped,” says John Jannazo with Cubic Defense Applications, which helped put on the training.

In this case, it was para-rescue jumpers from the Kentucky Air National Guard involved in the rescue.

In the scenario, they’re responding to a DEA mission with a violent ending and a few twists.

“We’re throwing little curve balls at them,” says Kristen Barrera with the 711th Human Performance Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Instructors can watch video replays of how they handle those curve balls and the mannequin patients they treat can give feedback of vital signs.

But they’re not the only ones, the jumpers are hooked up to sensors monitoring their heart rates and other measurements.

All of it is designed to show precisely where the rescuers can improve.

“They can grade them and say you did this well and you need to work on this a little more,” Barrera says.

The exercise that brought together businesses, universities and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base was held at Wright State’s National Center for Medical Readiness at Calamityville.

“I think this illustrates how a place like this can be a magnate in the community,” says the center’s director Jim Gruenberg.

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