Paramedics converge on the capital

SEE VIDEO http://www.ottawasun.com/news/ottawa/2010/11/12/16116001.html

They’re learning to set up field hospitals so they can be ready when disaster strikes.

Three hundred emergency workers from across the country are in town this weekend for the Paramedicine 2010 Expo and Conference.

Training by simulation is the theme and participants are learning what it takes to be a Global Medic.

“The teams generally are deployed within 24 to 48 hours of a disaster like a tsunami or earthquake, flooding, whatever so we have to be able to set up a field hospital and water purification which is primarily what Global Medic do as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said Yvonne Malbasha, an Ottawa EMS paramedic who’s been to disaster zones in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Vietnam and Gaza.

Blake Rankin has worked as a local paramedic for more than 25 years and said he took a day off and also used a vacation day to attend the conference.

Over the weekend, they’ll be examining tactical simulation scenarios with the Canadian Armed Forces.

“We’re working very closely with ICU physicians and emerg physicians as well. So it’s a phenomenal event,” said Darryl Wilton, president of the Professional Paramedic Association of Ottawa.

kelly.roche@sunmedia.ca

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