(WBIR) Class is in session this weekend for local medical teams. The subject: getting a look at the equipment they will use in case of a large scale incident.
UT Lifestar held it's 10th annual training session, welcoming colleagues from around the district.
"We have the ability to provide them hands on access to some regional casualty assets that we have," said Andrew Slemp, the Regional Operations Manager for UT Lifestar. "Not only our EMS colleagues, but all of the citizens here within the 21 county area we serve."
The colleagues come from several backgrounds, including hospitals, emergency management, and even staff from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
"You can't beat the face-to-face contact when you are actually on an incident, and you're working with folks," said Ellen Paxton, who works with the park. "The face-to-face time you get with folks before the actual incident takes place is invaluable."
And all these workers are getting a first look at some new equipment. Since June, Lifestar and Rural Metro EMS received an AMBUS, a combination of an ambulance and a school bus. It has enough room to help and transport up to 24 patients at a time. It also has 12 stretchers on the inside of it.
"It could be a large scale incident. Anything from well you know we had the bus crash last October in Jefferson County and a bus like this could be deployed to an event like that," said Slemp.
While UT Lifestar is most commonly used in air evacuations, the AMBUS adds to its services. It Along with their mass casualty tents, UT Lifestar also has what are known as "mobile emergency rooms."
"We hope we never have to use it. And we do try to get it out quarterly," according to Richard Holbert, the General Manager of Rural Metro in Knox County. "Each one of the different pieces for different things. We are supposed to have a disaster plan."
From funding donations and through grant money, UT Lifestar and Rural Metro EMS can have these resources. And after this Saturday class, people will know when to make the call for them.