Northwestern Medicine Hosts Training for Hundreds of First Responders

Northwestern Medicine
Emergency Medicine and Trauma August 29, 2014
“When there is an emergency trauma situation, you treat people where they lie, then you get them to where they can get care and they live,” said Reed Smith, MD, medical director for Arlington County, Va. Fire Department and its Rescue Task Force. “In many ways, it’s simple.”

Tragedies such as the Boston Marathon illustrate the importance of first responders.  On Aug. 29, 2014 approximately 200 first responders, consisting of emergency medical technicians, firefighters and SWAT team members of the Chicago Police Department, attended a day-long training at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, hosted by Smith called “Tactical Emergency Casualty Care Guidelines for High Threat Medical Response.” First responders from all over Illinois and Wisconsin attended the event, which was funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and a collaboration of Northwestern Medicine and the Chicago Police Department. 

Smith told attendees that today’s large-scale trauma threats could include explosives, fire and individual active shooters and that first responders should be prepared for anything even when responding to what seems like a routine call.

“Emergency room physicians know the importance of on-the-street care,” said George Chiampas, DO, a Northwestern Medicine emergency medicine physician and also EMS director for the Chicago police department. "Research tells us that when first responders are empowered with the proper training, survival rates increase for patients.”

Well known, yet simple, emergency treatments can be lifesaving, Chiampas added.

“Performing CPR or using the right tourniquet make a big difference,” said Chiampas, who is also an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “It’s very comforting for me in the hospital’s emergency room to know we have the very best first responders here in Chicago. In many ways they are an extension of our hospital’s top quality emergency care.” 

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