Helicopter, firefighters and more participate in paramedic training

NORFOLK - A "grisly" scene in Norfolk.

Paramedics in training head out to put their skills to the test.

Paramedic students at Northeast Community College took their final exam in the form of a crisis simulation - supported by Norfolk Fire and Rescue EMTs and even a Lifenet helicopter.

"This is the first time we've done this as a final project for our paramedic students," said Carol Rodenborg, the director of the EMT and Paramedic Program, "and it really gave them the chance to put all of their skills together and add some chaos and some stress which is what you're going to get on any call.

The students have to assess who needs saving first, what treatment they need, or if they're totally beyond help.

Organizers pulled all the steps to give the trainees an authentic crisis.

"For a lot of us, this was really our first time triaging any type of patient, so it's always a learning experience," said EMT Schuyler Hellerich "I think, overall, we did really well. We learned a lot."

With their training mixing with on-the-spot decision making, it was a lot to multitask. The exercise was designed to be equal parts technical, practical, and memorable.

"If they made a mistake with the drug dosage or an intervention, they won't forget it," Rodenborg said, "We always tell them it's better to make a mistake here than out in the field and I think they all really learned a lot today."

Overall, graders and instructors say they passed with flying colors.