With help from Vineyard scouts, EMS gets realistic training


A group of 24 Martha’s Vineyard emergency medical technicians (EMTS), and paramedics spent the weekend completing a 16-hour course designed to provide realistic training in the procedures necessary to deal with sometimes horrific injuries.

“The program was developed on a national level with the cooperation of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons as well as the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians,” Chuck Cummens, Edgartown Fire training officer, said in an email to The Times. “We practiced treating injuries associated with high-speed automobile crashes, gun shots, knife wounds and traumatic falls throughout the weekend. All things fortunately that we only experience here on the Island occasionally.”

Providing specialized training is never easy on an Island Mr. Cummens, a PHTLS instructor (pre-hospital trauma life support) said. Off-Island instructors from the Cape and Island EMS organization and Dr. Jeffery Zack, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital emergency department director lent their support.

Island scouts played the roles of pediatric patients. They cherrily embraced the need to add gory, realistic embellishments, which fit with the weekend’s Halloween theme.

Mr. Cummens said members of the community provided great support from food to junk cars for use in recreating crash scenes. “It was a great success for all who participated,” he said.