Paramedics take part in Galway mass shooting training exercise

A broad range of frontline emergency services and voluntary groups took part in a training exercise recently based on the scenario of a mass shooting in a residential area.

The mass casualty training event involved paramedic graduates and was held in a vacant building on the grounds of St Bridget’s Hospital in Ballinasloe.

It was organised on a joint basis between the Ballinasloe Civil Defence unit and the National Ambulance Service College, which has a base in the town. This is one of the two sites nationally where the ambulance service trains its paramedics.

Education Officer Tomás Connaughton said that these training events allow paramedic students to gain exposure to realistic mass casualty events prior to being deployed as interns.

“While we would always hope against situations where the numbers of injured parties greatly outweigh the responders to that event, international experience shows us that these are likely to occur to all paramedics at some stage in their career.”

He commended the involvement of many off duty members of the National Ambulance Service for their input and assistance during the day, as well as the members of the various voluntary groups who travelled from as far away as Meath and Limerick to take part.

The training event was attended by a broad range of front line emergency services and voluntary groups. Volunteer patients came from the Moore unit of Scouting Ireland, Civil Defence, Red Cross and the Order of Malta, with responders from the regional support units of the gardaí, the Coast Guard and the fire service.

The paramedic students, as well as emergency medical technicians from An Garda and voluntary groups, were exposed to a wide range of injuries. Class president Conor Hoey said that the experience will be of great benefit to the future careers of all in Para 19.

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