On Monday October 18th, the Global EMS team, led by Dr. Joachim Unger, arrived in Saint Lucia to start the implementation phase of the EMS Improvement Program.  The aim of this program is to develop treatment protocols in collaboration with the EMS instructors and create an EMT Certification Training for these protocols. 

Global EMS with Saint Lucia Fire Service EMS instructors joined by the Deputy Chief, Mr. Victorin, in front of an ambulance

The protocols were decided in collaboration with the EMS instructors during multiple online meetings that took place during the past year. These are the protocols on which we will focus on for this Train the Trainer Workshop. The chosen protocols include: CPR, Shortness of Breath, Chest Pain, Loss of Consciousness, Obstetric emergencies, and Trauma Care. 

The first day began at 9 am with an introduction from the EMS instructors and their expectations for this global health partnership.  Mr. Prospere, an EMT and Firefighter instructor who has been in service for 19 years, said “He hopes this will bridge the gap between EMS and the Hospitals.” He was joined by his colleagues, who all voiced their excitement for this collaboration and the positive impact it will have for the people of Saint Lucia. 

After introductions the work began.  The decision of competency levels and definitions where established and the brainstorming began. By the end of the morning session, we had accomplished our Objectives for the CPR protocol.  The involvement of the Saint Lucian instructors was evident; they truly owned the process. 

Introduction of the concept of Competency Based Medical Education (CBME)

            The afternoon session was filled with a hand-on approach to high performance CPR.  The skills were broken down into steps and then each instructor got the opportunity to be the expert in each skill and teach to their colleagues. This cemented their role as educators with the Global EMS instructors providing feedback on constructive feedback and positive reinforcement.

Ownership in Treatment Protocols by SLFS EMS instructors through collaborative development.

            By the end of the day, we asked for feedback about the process.  It was unanimously positive with emphasis on the safe work environment we provided, and they appreciated our constructive criticism.  Even less experience instructors felt confident to participate and show their leadership skills. We ourselves felt humbled and energized to begin this 10-day workshop.

            The next day, we started with a recap of the previous days’ practical skills training.  With the skills and objectives in mind we set out to build a CPR protocol that would suit the needs and environment of the Saint Lucia EMS providers.  A vibrant discussion led to the development of a locally adapted CPR protocol from international guidelines. We then created a simulated case scenario that would represent the EMS reality on the island using the created protocol.

Hands-on Skills training for High performance CPR

            By mid afternoon we had a big surprise! Mr. Joseph Joseph, The Saint Lucia Fire Chief, gave us the honor of visiting and appreciating the partnership that had been created between Global EMS and the Saint Lucia Fire Service. It was a great end to a very successful day.

Fire Chief Mr Joseph visiting the workshop on day 2. Picture includes paricipants from Saint Lucia Fire Service and Global EMS.

The atmosphere created was so positive and constructive that the Saint Lucian and Global EMS instructors continued to discuss topics and share ideas and information well after the day had ended on online platforms.

To be continued…

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