The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

May 18, 2012

[VIDEO] Young ER doctors gain insight from mock crash

Patrick Buchnowski

— Thirteen resident doctors from Memorial Medical Center were at the scene of a three-vehicle crash Thursday in Johnstown.

City firefighters rescued two people as part of a crash simulation sponsored by Memorial’s emergency medicine residency program.

The drill took place near the firefighter’s training facility off Iron Street.

“We tried to make this as realistic as possible,” said Dr. Neil Yoder, Emergency Medical Services Fellowship Program director.

“This is an opportunity for the emergency medicine residents to come out to the scene of a mock car accident,” he said.

“It will help them to know what goes on at the scene, which will help them to take better care of their patients in the emergency department.”

Two volunteers played the roles of the injured. Firefighters cut one man from a vehicle. He was flown to the hospital via medical helicopter.

Another man was treated at the scene and taken to the hospital by ambulance.

Along with city firefighters, West End Ambulance, Cambria County Emergency Management Agency, Cambria County Special Emergency Response Team and paramedics from the hospital’s disaster assistance response team showed off their skills.

It is the second year for the training, which hospital officials hope to make an annual event.

“We had a day like this last year,” said Robyn Kratenstein, a second-year ER resident.

“Before that I didn’t know how my patients got to me, where they were coming from and what condition they would be in,” she said. “Without a day like this there would be no other avenue for us to figure those things out.”

The hospital received a fellowship to begin training residency graduates at crash and fire scenes beginning this summer, Yoder said.

Four physicians are being trained during the two-year program, he said.

“They will be responding, treating and transporting the patients with the paramedics,” he added.

Storm Nagle, pre-hospital operation manager, called the training invaluable.

“We wanted to show the residents how everybody works together as a team,” she said.

“They’re seeing a different facet from outside of the emergency room.”