Last weekend there was a local fund raiser and charity event in the park and it had an awesome turn out. The whole family went along and while I had to work for most of it I had an awesome time. I was asked to provide my photography services to document some of the EMS training and demonstrations. Most of the images I was taking would be used in new EMT and Paramedic Training manuals, so I was more than happy to help out for such a good cause.
There were quite a few challenges, as a lot of the demonstration involved large emergency response vehicles and equipment, which I was not used to as a family portrait photographer
It was truly amazing to see the fire fighters, EMTs and Paramedics all in action, and of course the Sheriff’s department was available as well. Most people that watched the demonstrations had simply no idea how integrated the services are when it comes to dealing with all types of emergency. As part of the training documentation that was being revised I spent most of my time with a group of EMTs and I learned an awful lot from them.
We started off with focusing on some of the basic first aid that an EMT has to learn, and I was delighted to be able to get to try out some CPR techniques and learn about the basics of defibrillators. Most of the photos I took I tried to do as unposed as possible. When I looked at the old training material the images just looked horrible and posed and didn’t give a good idea of the situations.
So I got the team to work on different dummies and real people to demonstrate all types of first aid. I then took as many pictures from all angles which will form part of broader training material; and since a lot of it will be digital they will be able to use a lot of the photos.
Then things got really interesting with demonstrations of more serious situations where the paramedics stepped in to show procedures for the advanced EMT training and also the Paramedic stuff. All different levels of EMT require ever-increasing training and this enables them to help more people with all kinds of illnesses and injuries. We covered a lot of ground with burn treatment and different methods for diagnosing heart attacks and strokes.
This was particularly interesting. While I am under no illusion that I could possibly do what those guys do, they did give me a great set of basic diagnostics that anyone can perform to identify someone’s illness. This can greatly help emergency services as a call to 999 with some preliminary analysis of a situation can save time. It also means that when the EMS appears on the scene they are better prepared to help. Every second can make the difference between life and death for a patient.
I have to say that this was one of the most enjoyable days of work I had and I was delighted to see so many people show up with interest and support for these great men and women that we could all become reliant on at some stage.