McLean County Emergency Medical Services is planning to host a free education and safety field day on Sept. 14 to teach the public about emergency procedures and safety.

Doug Edwards, a training coordinator with the McLean County EMS, said that the county usually holds a health and safety fair each year, but due to low participation in the event, the EMS instead decided to host a free education and safety field day for emergency provider recertification training. The event, at the McLean County Health Department in Calhoun, is for the public to come ask questions and watch emergency providers perform skills. A paramedic will also be on site to explain procedures to attendees, Edwards said.

The field day will consist of more than eight skill stations for providers including bleeding control, fire safety, cardiac arrest and overdose. Each station will host a 30-minute hands-on skills training for providers. Patrons will have limited participation in training sessions due to state regulations on certifications to perform certain emergency and medical procedures, Edwards said.

Edwards said that there will also be a bloodmobile for donations and attendees can have their blood pressure and blood sugar checked. Law enforcement personnel will have traffic accident simulators on display and a substance abuse presentation.

He said he also wants to try to get the coal mines involved to talk about coal mine safety for not only emergency providers, but also for the public when driving on coal haul roads.

He said sheriff's department will be at the event to talk about crime scene safety for emergency providers to know what to be aware of to keep evidence and the scene intact. Additionally, they will talk about traffic safety when there is an active emergency vehicle on the road.

"You're always supposed to pull to the right and come to a complete stop so that we can get around you," Edwards said. "So many people just keep going straight, just blow by us going 60 miles an hour not even trying to slow down or anything."

The ambulance service will also have a simulation with open doors in which the public can watch as providers load a patient into the truck on a stretcher and work on stabilizing the patient and getting vitals.

"Everything we're doing in the back is getting them ready and making sure they're stable enough and then we decide are we going to go ... to the hospital or are we going to take it nice and easy because maybe it's a back injury," Edwards said. "This is what we're doing while we're sitting in the driveway ... the major stuff is already done before we leave so we have time to treat the patient on the way to the hospital."

Edwards said that it's important for the public to attend the event to see what their taxes are paying for and to see the dedication and skill of the county's emergency providers.

"Taxpayers pay our salary. They pay for our equipment and everything and I'd think it'd do them good if they want to come out," he said. "They really get to see where their money goes and see the dedication that everybody has. We're all volunteering to come out there and do this."

The field day will also host other local organizations and businesses such as Moon River Coffee Bar and the McLean County pageant booth, in addition to local medical clinics, Edwards said.

The field day will start at 8 a.m. and run until 4 p.m.

cnetherton@mcleannews.com, 270-691-7360

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