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Practice makes perfect, firefighters and paramedics train together in Thomastown

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26 Nov 2013
Ambulance Victoria paramedics teamed up with MFB Rescue Crews for a realistic training exercise at Thomastown Fire Station last week.

The exercise involved two scenarios that were set up to be as realistic as possible. In one scenario a car had rolled over while in the other a car had  collided with another car before hitting an LPG tank.

Crews also had to identify various hazards on scene, from fallen power lines to a potential gas leak.


The drill focused on management and extrication of trapped motor vehicle trauma patients. Live patients and special dummies were used to simulate patients with critical injuries.

Unfortunately, vehicle collisions resulting in critical injuries are a daily occurrence in Victoria and are a particular concern for emergency services as we head into the holiday season.

Thomastown Senior Station Officer Roger Chitty said the training exercise helped paramedics and firefighters understand the roles they each need to play at the scene of a major accident.

“When we arrive on scene, our role is to extricate victims in the safest possible manner while AV paramedics provide patient care,” he said.

“Our rescue firefighters are specially trained to work with the heavy vehicle rescue machinery and are highly skilled at what they do.  This was an excellent opportunity for the agencies to work together and share knowledge and experience.”

Senior paramedic team manager Huw Colechin said that it was an invaluable opportunity to hone their skills with the MFB and he looked forward to increasing multi-agency training opportunities in the future.

“The patients were actively assessed and treated while they were still in the car and were then carefully removed from the wreck keeping in mind the possibility of spinal injuries,” he said.

“Training exercises, like the one held at Thomastown, are one way that paramedics maintain their high clinical standards and work seamlessly with other emergency services, including the MFB, to get patients safely out of vehicles and to hospital.”

In the lead up to Christmas, Ambulance Victoria, MFB and other emergency service workers urge all Victorians to take care on the roads for a happy and safe holiday period.

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