More than 150 first responders and emergency medical technicians underwent intensive training Saturday in new lifesaving procedures and tactics to quickly and effectively handle life-threatening situations.
About 71 fire departments, six volunteer ambulance corps and members of the Nassau County Police's Emergency Ambulance Bureau received critical training at an all-day special emergency services conference at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow.
"EMS is a key component of the trauma team," said Dr. Lambros Angus, NUMC's director of trauma and vice chairman of surgery, adding that continuing education is imperative in the emergency services and medical field. "They're the ones who take the story, take pictures of the accident, access the scene and get the patients here quickly."
Conference topics included saving people with autism, drug overdoses, abdominal trauma, and breathing and circulation issues. "We're training them to be more aware with these kinds of patients," said Dr. Victor Politi, president and chief executive of NUMC, which is a level-one trauma center, stroke center and burn center with 72,000 to 75,000 emergency room visits a year.
The state Health Department requires first responders to renew their EMS certification every three years and complete a minimum of 72 hours of education. Conference participants received five continuing medical education credits.
"This is an opportunity to learn up-to-date information," said Yao Chu, 66, a volunteer EMT with the Locust Valley Fire Department EMS Unit. "It is very comprehensive."
Two members of the Nassau County Police Department Aviation Bureau flew in a medical air ambulance to teach how to properly place patients in the helicopter while being cautious about the blades, to prevent injuries.
"This helicopter could be anywhere in the county in less than five to seven minutes," Politi said. "It's like an ambulance in the air."