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Prisma Health physicians get up close look at firefighting during training visit

For the second straight year Columbia Richland Fire hosted area physicians for a morning of education and outreach at the CFD training complex.

The focus of this year’s exercise on May 22, 2019 was learning about the physical and stress-related injuries that a major fire can cause. About 30 resident physicians in emergency medicine at Prisma Health-Midlands took part.

Resident physicians with Prisma Health trying on firefighting gear

Following a morning lecture hospital staffers got to try on actual pieces of firefighting gear and equipment to get a feel for their sizes and weights. Afterward they observed CFD crews conduct a simulation exercise that entailed fighting a house fire and rescuing a victim inside.

The purpose of the day was to give the physicians an up close look at the physical demands of firefighting, brief them on how fire crews rehabilitate while fighting a fire and explain the types of injuries that victims of a fire can suffer.

The hope is that will give them added knowledge while treating fire victims as well as firefighters who have been injured in the line of duty.

“It’s important for our physicians to know the stresses they’re going through,” said Spencer Robinson, who is a DO with Prisma Health and also serves as the medical director for the CFD.

Resident physicians tour the CFD burn building before the fire simulation

“I think it makes us better physicians when we can empathize with our patients,” he added.

Several of the physicians will be concluding their residencies with Prisma Health-Midlands over the coming months and moving on to new jobs at hospitals across the country.

Last year many of the same physicians came to the training grounds to learn about vehicle extrications and how firefighters help victims of car wrecks.

Staff with Richland County EMS also were on hand and took part in the exercise.