On 18 May, CIPHER Medical paramedics, technicians and emergency care assistants attended valuable training with the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS). Training for the full day, they were introduced to the service and the provision that can be delivered. Naturally, it’s important to the team at CIPHER Medical to know exactly what is appropriate to request from GNAAS when responding to 999 calls, so this training is vital.
As many in the region know, GNAAS provides air ambulance services across the Northeast, Cumbria and North Yorkshire and is, incidentally, entirely reliant on charitable funding. We are all familiar with the comforting sight of the green and white helicopters and their crews of specialist paramedics and consultants, who are able to transport patients at 190mph, saving valuable time in order to save lives. Working with fellow emergency services like CIPHER Medical and the NHS, GNAAS has become an important part of the region’s major incident response, so it has been of real benefit to secure this training opportunity with them, developing the CIPHER Medical team and learning about GNAAS.
As part of the day’s training, a tour of the GNAAS base was given, which included a trip to the hangar and an inspection of one of the helicopters. The CIPHER team were really interested in how and where the medical kit is stored on board in order for the medical crew to have easy access when attending an incident.
For the final part of the training, the CIPHER team was split into four groups working with four different moulages (these are simulated injuries for the purposes of medical training), treating each ‘patient’. The moulages reflected the types of incidents and injuries the GNAAS crews are frequently required to attend, and which were referred to earlier in the training day. One ‘patient’ had been involved in a road traffic accident following a medical event suffered prior to the collision; another ‘patient’ had been knocked off his moped by a car, and another had sustained a traumatic head injury after falling from a height – the requirement of GNAAS to attend was fairly obvious in all three cases. However, the fourth ‘patient’ was slightly different in that it wasn’t a trauma patient (which is where we would assume GNAAS would attend), but a young patient suffering from a life-threatening asthma attack. A valuable reminder that GNAAS responses are not only for injuries sustained in accidents or incidents, but are very much a service for any life-threatening situation. The CIHER teams did very well in applying their knowledge and expertise to treat each patient successfully before sending them on their flights to hospital, we are pleased to report!
The team had a very informative – and fun – day, gaining an insight into the work of GNAAS and their critical care crews.