OhioHealth Teaches Paramedic Refresher Course in Bellefontaine
In a medical emergency, time and expertise are everything. Bellefontaine paramedics now have the latest and most comprehensive skills they need to serve the community, thanks to a three-way collaboration that recently brought cutting-edge training to the city.
Community Health & Wellness Partners, OhioHealth Emergency Medical Services and the Bellefontaine Fire Department recently collaborated to bring a paramedic refresher course to the community for the first time. Training took place at the CWHP center, which is large enough to accommodate social distancing and allow space for specialized hands-on training.
Bellefontaine Fire Chief Andrew Fissel said without the center, paramedics would have had to travel to Columbus for the refresher course. Holding it locally had several benefits, including decreased travel cost and keeping first responders close by and available for emergency runs. That happened during the recent training when three calls pulled eight firefighter/paramedics out of class within minutes. “Had we sent them out of town for this training, we would not have had enough staff to handle these calls,” Fissel said.
The local refresher training also heightened the department’s visibility and relationships. “My staff got to be seen in our home community advancing our skills. “
The partnership between the fire department and OhioHealth goes back nearly 40 years, said Holly Herron, RN, system director for OhioHealth EMS and paramedic. The program works with fire departments in 47 of Ohio’s 88 counties.
OhioHealth’s resources allow it to offer the latest and most sophisticated knowledge and equipment, including lifelike but costly simulators and mannequins used to prepare paramedics for real-life emergencies. Experience with leading-edge simulations gives first responders a leg up in the field, Herron said. “They have the muscle memory for when it comes time to actually make the assessments and do the procedures.”
Refresher courses like the one in Bellefontaine elevate pre-hospital care, which is vital, Herron said. “We know that what truly makes a difference in a patient’s outcome begins in the first few minutes. It’s the beginning of the chain of survival – when you call 911, it matters very much.”
The latest course included training in new assessment and intervention techniques in cardiac and respiratory care, trauma, drug overdose, pediatrics and labor and delivery, according to Barb Dean, RN, OhioHealth EMS program manager and paramedic.
Tara Bair, president and CEO of Community Health & Wellness partners, says she and her staff were gratified to be able to partner with OhioHealth EMS. (Bair’s husband, Rod is an educator with OhioHealth EMS.) “Being involved in a small way to support our local medics’ continuing education certainly supports CHWP’s value of developing relationships in our community,” she said.
Community Health & Wellness Partners is a non-profit federally qualified health center that provides primary health care and other wellness services to the citizens of Logan and surrounding counties.