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Maryville College students learn emergency response techniques in training exercise

The exercise involved a UT LIFESTAR helicopter touching down to show students how to load patients onboard and hand them off to other specialists.

MARYVILLE, Tenn. — Students at Maryville College may have seen a UT LIFESTAR helicopter touch down in the field near the Crawford House on Thursday. It wasn't for an emergency, though.

Instead, it touched down to give students a chance to learn emergency response techniques and how to help people when they need immediate transportation. The helicopter was there to show students about "patient hand-off" techniques.

Those techniques are used to stabilize and administer first aid to patients, keeping them stable until more experienced health care workers with specialized equipment can step in. Students learned about extrication and loading patients while the helicopter was on campus.

It had to leave after touching down the first time after receiving an emergency call in Monroe County. It returned later to continue the lesson, where crews answered questions and spoke about how lives could be saved by learning these techniques.

Students had a chance to tour the cabin, examine the helicopter's equipment and learn how to treat patients during emergency situations. 

The class is called "Wilderness Emergency Management Response" and was offered during the May term. The class is a requirement for students in the Outdoor Studies and Tourism major.

"We train a lot to manage what we expect to happen on an outdoor-based trip or activity, like considering health issues," said Tyson Murphy, an instructor at Maryville College.

The course also gives students a chance to test for national certification as emergency medical responders. It also shows students ways to identify and avoid hazards and how to transport important emergency equipment.

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