CHOGM focus for trauma training

By Jacquelyn Jimenez Romero 10 July 2024, 10:00PM

Trauma training by the United States Army reserves and some good acting by local responders from the Samoa Fire and Emergency Services Authority left many believing it was a real emergency.

However, it was training for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in October. 

The three-part training series is called the Trauma Technician Additional Skills Identifier (TTASI) course to prepare for man-made or environmental mass casualty situations. This course began back in April with upcoming training in August and October. 

In this session, local responders played out a mass casualty scenario involving a building collapse after an earthquake. 

Students learned to use devices such as a tourniquet which is used to apply pressure to a limb to stop the flow of bleeding or a chest seal which is used to seal the chest after a traumatic wound. 

Before training by the US Army Reserves, local responders had some training that provided a foundational level of knowledge. 

“From what our students have told us this is the first time they’ve done something on this level,” said TJ Larson, a medical nurse and the Chief Medical NCO in the Pacific with the US Army.  

Even if a mass casualty event doesn’t occur, the skills that students learnt during the training have already helped them in real life scenarios where they needed to save someone’s life. 

“Since our class in April, I've received messages from my students saying that they've used the skills we’ve taught them to save people who would previously not have made it,” Larson said. 

According to Commander EMR Apelu Sauoaiga, what makes this training unique from other training is that it focused on tactical emergency medical services. 

“We will offer the efficient service, not only for the people of Samoa but to whoever comes into the country,” Sauoaiga said. 

By updating their knowledge of emergency services and pre-hospital trauma management, local responders will be able to match the same level of care as other countries, said Sauoaiga. 

The last part of the training will conclude in October. 

By Jacquelyn Jimenez Romero 10 July 2024, 10:00PM
Samoa Observer

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