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County first responders gather to test their skills

Parkview LaGrange County EMS hosted the annual Skills Day for area first responders on September 24. Among the agencies participating were police and sheriff’s officers and volunteer firefighters from the towns of LaGrange, Shipshewana, Mongo, Topeka, Stroh, Wolcottville and Howe.

Jordi Disler, president of Parkview LaGrange Hospital, welcomed the nearly 50 participants. “We want to thank you all for giving up your Saturday for this event. And even more so we want to share our deep appreciation for your on-going dedication and service to saving lives here in LaGrange County,” she said.

The day’s activities consisted of six emergency scenarios designed to provide participants with the opportunity to train and/or practice the use of new and seldom-needed equipment. Each of the exercises offered a unique set of challenges to be worked through.

The first of the exercises focused on facilitating the safe landing, loading and take off of Parkview’s medivac helicopter, Samaritan. Members of the flight crew provided guidance about site selections for landing and gave participants the opportunity to role-play the transfer of a patient into the helicopter.

“Each time these men and women respond to an emergency call they are potentially placing themselves in harm’s way to help others,” Disler stated. “By regularly practicing emergency response scenarios, safety skills increase for everyone as does the potential for the best possible outcomes for the victims and first responders during an actual emergency.”