Week 8: Out of the Box

Sofia R -


This week I got to see some things that do not necessarily pertain to my project but is essential for firefighters to be able to care for patients.

There were two training sessions that I got to attend, and even be a “patient” for. The first was TRT training. TRT stands for Technical Rescue Team. This resource is used to save patients who are stuck or injured in hard-to-reach locations. Some examples of uses for TRT is someone who is stuck on a cliff because they got injured as they were climbing, or someone who fell into a hole and broke their leg. For the training session I joined, they were practicing rescuing victims who were in a narrow tunnel and who were immobile. I got to see how Prescott Fire and CAFMA (Central Arizona Fire and Medical) worked together to train and rescue patients. In CAFMA’s training center, they had a narrow tunnel that “victims” were stuck in, then crews had to rig rope systems to be able to pull the patient out. As they practiced doing this, firefighters got hands on experience doing different rope set ups. As well as learning how to do this, working with a crew from another agency allowed for all providers to hear different ideas on how to operate this system on a real call.

Secondly, I got to be a “patient” for active shooter training. This is training done jointly with police and fire to learn how to handle mass-casualty situations. In this case, me and two other volunteers pretended to be patients in a small building, then police had to make sure that the area was safe for fire crews to come in and treat patients. This exercise allowed for firefighters to become more comfortable working around weapons and under extremely stressful conditions. First responders already are used to treating people who are extremely stressed, but they usually only have one patient at a time. For these scenarios, they had to treat multiple patients and consider new methods to provide proper care with minimal equipment use.

This week was very interesting, and I will be continuing to work at these active shooter trainings next week. The next session is on Monday, which I am riding with a crew, so I wonder if I will get to see how they train from the firefighters’ point of view, or I will once again be a “victim”. I only have four more rides left with the department, and I am dreading this project coming to an end because I have loved working with everyone! This has definitely confirmed my interest in emergency medicine, and I have better come to understand why this work is so valued.

See you next week!


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    Toby Chang
    Interesting stuff! Since there's so many rapidly changing situations that first responders need to know how to handle themselves in, how does TRT encompass as many situations as possible?
    Yajaira Garcia
    That's very interesting! How was your experience as a "patient"?
    It's great to see that the crew is trying to be flexible so that they can tackle each situation! Where did the rope set-ups originate from?

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