Practice makes perfect for paramedic students

  • Left to right, Austin Leggert of the Spring Grove and Grayslake fire departments, Mike Bristol of Round Lake, Marty Shine, a student and Chicago resident, and Dusty Psaila of Elgin move "victim" Edward Nick, a Wauconda Fire Department cadet, during a training session Saturday at the Wauconda Fire District's Station #3 in Volo.

      Left to right, Austin Leggert of the Spring Grove and Grayslake fire departments, Mike Bristol of Round Lake, Marty Shine, a student and Chicago resident, and Dusty Psaila of Elgin move "victim" Edward Nick, a Wauconda Fire Department cadet, during a training session Saturday at the Wauconda Fire District's Station #3 in Volo. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Instructor Kevin Tracz right, leads a vehicle extrication training session Saturday at the Wauconda Fire District's Station #3 in Volo.

      Instructor Kevin Tracz right, leads a vehicle extrication training session Saturday at the Wauconda Fire District's Station #3 in Volo. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Paramedic student Luke Vesely of Arlington Heights saws into a windshield during a training session Saturday at Wauconda Fire District Station #3 in Volo.

      Paramedic student Luke Vesely of Arlington Heights saws into a windshield during a training session Saturday at Wauconda Fire District Station #3 in Volo. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Wauconda Fire District cadet Alex Boren of Mundelein serves as a car crash "victim" Saturday during a training session at Wauconda Fire District Station #3 in Volo.

      Wauconda Fire District cadet Alex Boren of Mundelein serves as a car crash "victim" Saturday during a training session at Wauconda Fire District Station #3 in Volo. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 4/17/2021 6:42 PM

Paramedic students enrolled in Advocate Condell Medical Center's EMT program learned how to care for victims of vehicle crashes during the Wauconda Fire District's annual Paramedic Extrication Class Saturday in Volo.

Using equipment including spreaders and metal cutters powered by compressed air, and specialized saws for cutting windshield glass, students learned how to extricate car crash victims, then how to care for patients at the scene prior to transport. Cadets from the Wauconda Fire District served as "victims" during the training.

 

Mark Dzwonkiewicz, the paramedic instructor from Condell in Libertyville, said the idea is to remove the vehicle from the victim.

"We've got to get to the patient," Dzwonkiewicz said. "So if they're in a mangled car, the rule is you remove the car from the patient.

"This is a specialized skill, and they're getting the basics of it today," he added.

While one group of students worked outdoors cutting into a trio of cars, another group was inside the station's bays learning the medical aspects of patient's care.

Wauconda Fire District Deputy Chief Patrick Kane said the district has been hosting the event for 30 years, though last year's training was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We're thrilled to be able to host this again this year," Kane said.

Covering parts of Lake and McHenry counties, the Wauconda Fire District serves 40,000 residents in nine towns plus unincorporated areas, Kane said.

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