In early October, the medical school’s newest students braved the rain and wind as they took part in the capstone event for Medical First Responder training.
The all-day event was held on Thursday, October 5, 2023, at the Kalamazoo Regional Fire Training Center and consisted of several emergency scenarios, including a mass-casualty incident, a vehicle extrication, and rappelling down an elevator shaft.
WMed students spend several of their first weeks of medical school participating in MFR training. Their work culminates with the MFR capstone event and the training qualifies students for state and national certification as medical first responders.
MFR training begins for first-year students during their first week at WMed as part of the medical school’s curriculum. The course equips students to respond when someone is ill or injured and provides them with instruction on basic procedures, including taking vital signs, CPR, bandaging and wound care and splinting, among other things.
The course is a fast-paced way for students to get hands-on training at the outset of medical school so they have the knowledge to perform basic patient assessments, manage simple medical emergencies, and provide basic cardiac life support.
WMed students who have completed MFR training have later used their skills during several real-life emergencies. For example, in 2022, WMed student Mason Gonzales used his MFR training to help a man who was experiencing a cardiac event on their flight to Florida. In another instance, WMed alumnus Nate VanderVeen, a member of the MD Class of 2020, provided medical assistance to a man who became unresponsive at a wedding after he choked on a piece of food.
WMed students have also been called on to use their MFR skills to provide medical coverage at Waldo Stadium during Western Michigan University football games.