Explosions, role players, ammunition: it sounds like the set of a Hollywood movie – and for the people who participated in Strategic Operation’s live shooting training Sunday it wasn’t far off.
Part of Stu Segal Productions, they’ve been recreating close quarters combat and emergency response situations for nearly 14 years.
“We apply all the movie making techniques to make live training extremely realistic,” Kit Lavell, Executive Vice President of Strategic Operations told NBC 7.
They even had medical special effects, which included a human worn surgical simulator that allows people to mimic making incisions into a real person – without actually cutting them open.
Sunday’s training was for the Society for Simulation in Healthcare’s annual international meeting taking place at the convention center.
A preconference activity, the attendees trained to deal with multiple casualties at once while distracted by explosions, panicked civilians and armed suspects.
“Here at Strategic Ops I think the advantage is that we can take it to a bigger notch, higher than what we can do in a hospital setting or in a simulation center. This gives us more of that Hollywood capability, which is just amazing,” Dr. Roxane Gardner of Boston who attended the training explained.
The simulation took participants all the way from the injury site to the operating room testing their focus, fear management and skill in every situation.
“When you do recreate that you get all that energy, that tension, that anxiety, that fear that comes up, and if you’re a healthcare professional you have to know how to deal with that and really be able to stick to the task,” Gardner added.
Participants not only included doctors and nurses but also paramedics, EMTS, police officers, and other law enforcement agencies.
“It very exciting to see all these people work together in a way they would normally not work together,” Lavell said.
“These are key players both with the SWAT team out of Carlsbad, SWAT team with the Sheriff’s Department, special response team through CHP as well as military police,” Jim McNamara of the California Highway Patrol Border Division explained of the law enforcement presence at Sunday’s training. “We’re working in partnership to share tactics and ideologies and to learn from recent events and plan for the future.”
Pamela Andreatta, professor of medical and surgical education at the University of Central Florida explained during the Boston Marathon bombing everyone ran away from the situation except those who had this kind of training.
“You would never expect a concert pianist to not practice before their performance," Andreatta said. "Being able to execute those types of simulated environments that allows that rehearsal is really essential to the end user being able to perform in the actual environment.”