Research Tracks Stress Levels of EMTs during Mass Casualty Drill

A collaboration between students, faculty, and the South Metro Fire Rescue (SMFR) in Colorado has resulted in research published in the Journal of Emergency Medical Services. The authors included Joshua Calvano, OMS III, Ryan Henschell, OMS III, Rebecca Ryznar, PhD, William Suddarth, OMS II, Alex Knippenberg, OMS II, Anthony LaPorta, MD, FACS, Ryan Shelton, MPS, NREMT-P and Andrew Glen, PhD. The research, “Training Effectiveness for Point of Injury Medical Care – Vital Sign Monitoring and Demographic Comparisons of Paramedics in Warm Zone Active Shooter Drills,” was designed to assess changes in the physiological responses as paramedics underwent hyper-realistic training sessions in preparation for mass casualty scenarios. These scenarios—organized by SMFR—took place last fall in the Denver metro area, with the cooperation of RVU and several community organizations and law enforcement agencies.

During the scenarios, measurements of heart rate and arterial blood pressure were used to provide information about the stress response and adaptation to the training over time. The main aim of the study was to determine stress response and previous conditioning associated with mass-casualty training sessions and to look for possible correlations between demographic data of paramedics and their associated physiological response to the training.

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