Black Hills Life Flight does “drive-in training”

HERMOSA, S.D. — Each year first responders need to renew certifications and brush up on essential skills, but COVID-19 has forced agencies to get creative with training. On Thursday, local responders were at Roy’s Black Hills Drive-in Theater for training.

Every spring Black Hills Life Flight makes its way around to all of the agencies in the Black Hills to do landing zone training. This year, they were unable to do that, due to COVID-19.

“To make sure that we give the most updated safety information on how to safely operate around our aircraft and scene flights in car crashes and things like that.” said Darryl Crown, Regional Account Executive for Air Methods.

Staying up with training is mandatory, so Life Flight along with Air Methods came up with a group- “drive-in training”.

“We were sitting around the base one day just visiting about all of the CDC restrictions and guidelines and how are we going to be able to do this training this year.” said Teresa Farnsworth, Area Manager of Air Methods, “We got to thinking old school. If we go to the drive-in we’ll all be compliant with social distancing.”

All first responding agencies were notified of the training and over 30 agencies came out. First responders parked their cars in front of one of the two viewing screens. A helicopter came in from Wyoming, so they were able to watch a landing in person, from there pilots were able to show first responders the interior of the helicopter.

“A lot of times emergencies happen, but it’s the pre-planning that actually helps us to be more effective in the field, and the more we work together, the better the outcomes” continued Farnsworth.

After that they watched a training video on the big screen, from their vehicles.

Once the pandemic subsides, local agencies will have more hands-on training, so they can full grasp the techniques and perform them safely.

“Safety in the EMS world is paramount, and that’s what we want to make sure we do because Air Methods is very dedicated to safety in and around our aircrafts.” continued Crown.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, South Dakota News

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