Volunteers treat mock victims, get real life preparation

The faces dripping with blood, the bones sticking out of thighs, and the eyeball hanging from a socket were all fake – part of a casualty simulation training session Monday night at the Red Cross office. 

“[W]hen you see an eyeball hanging down somebody’s face, it gets the adrenaline running. It makes you believe slightly differently than if it was an imagined scenario,” said Peter Hughes, training manager at the Red Cross. 

The simulation is a supplementary class for members of the Red Cross who have already completed basic first aid and CPR courses.  

“This is monthly training for our volunteers in volunteer programs who are already first aid trained. It’s to help hone and sharpen their skills as first-aiders,” Mr. Hughes said. 

On Monday, 15 trained volunteers participated in the gruesome scenario to help them learn how to respond to real-life disaster situations, such as car crashes.  

“Casualty simulation is a fairly unique thing. It’s not easy to add a sense of realism to a first-aid scenario,” said Mr. Hughes. 

Local makeup artist Jimmie DeLoach prepared moulage – mock injury makeup used to create realistic looking injuries on the “victims.” 

Four volunteers posed as victims of car crashes, one with a piece of fake glass sticking out of his shoulder blade.  

First aid trained volunteer Herfer Hyde, who has been in a three-car accident, said she found the training helpful.  

“These simulations prepare us because the things you do in the simulations, sometimes when you go out there … you can run into the same situation in real life,” said Ms. Hyde. 

“It teaches you how to deal with the situation and how to be calm and reassure the victims and get all their information and you can pass that on to the EMT [paramedic],” she added. 

Ms. Hyde has been a volunteer in the Red Cross since 2003 and believes everyone should complete at least a CPR certification.  

“I think everyone should do CPR and disaster training because it’s very, very important, because you never know, it may not be for you or your family, but there may be a time where you will have to use those skills to help somebody,” she said.  

For more information on becoming a volunteer with the Cayman Islands Red Cross, phone 949-6785 ext. 29, or email [email protected]