CONNIE SWINNEY • STAFF WRITER
MARBLE FALLS — From cutting through metal in a scorched vehicle to rushing a patient into an ambulance, the ability of first responders to successfully accomplish such feats requires regular training as well as experience.
To that end, several agencies recently joined forces at the city of Marble Falls public yard just off Colt Circle to simulate a series of scenarios at crash scenes aimed at sharpening the skills necessary to save lives.
“Mostly, it lets us think through how we’re going to respond to these severe accidents ahead of time,” Marble Falls Area EMS Operations Director Kevin Naumann said. “For us, it’s all about building teamwork to result in the very best patient care.
“We’ve got an established order and know how everyone’s role falls into place,” he added.
The EMS entity worked primarily with Marble Falls Fire Rescue and the Horseshoe Bay Fire Department on the latest training exercises.
“It gives an opportunity for the firefighters to learn from one another,” Marble Falls Fire Rescue Chief Russell Sander said. “We hone our skills, operate better, and learn new techniques that way. It also helps us maintain our ISO rating.”
Officials said first responders focus on teamwork techniques to compensate for limitations in personnel numbers as well.
“With our limited staffing in both departments — Marble Falls and Horseshoe Bay — we rely on each other heavily on real incidents,” Horseshoe Bay Fire Chief Joe Morris said. “To be able to train together and have those resources and learn how each agency operates is invaluable.”
With regular scheduled training — along with real-time experience — first responders have discovered they rely on synergy to operate effectively.
“Marble Falls is like an extension of our department. They come onto a scene and assist, and it’s seamless,” Morris said. “They fall right into what we’re doing and vice versa when we go to Marble Falls.”