Federation Square will become a disaster site on Friday,(September 4) as teams of student paramedics from across Australia and New Zealand treat mock victims made up with realistic blood, burns and broken bones.
The ‘disaster’ is part of Student Paramedics Australasia’s annual conference that draws some 300 students from Australia and New Zealand for the largest student paramedic meet in the world.
Dr Peter Hartley, VU Deputy Dean of the College of Health and Biomedicine said simulation activities help students gain real-life experience and confidence.
“The students will need to use all the skills and knowledge they’ve learned at university, with the aim of doing the greatest good for the greatest number, while following international standards for mass casualty management,” Dr Hartley said.
Three-member teams will score points for their treatment and communication skills as they assess, triage and resuscitate ‘patients’ for cash prizes and titles in what is referred to as ‘the Olympics of Paramedics’. Winners of the contest can go on to compete internationally.
The weekend-long conference will include guest speakers, workshops and opportunities to network with ambulance service staff from around the world. Dr Hartley said the conference activities help students prepare for the intense pressures of paramedic work that they will face after graduation.
“Australia’s paramedic graduates are considered some of the highest trained and best prepared in the world, with the London Ambulance Service in the United Kingdom among several overseas organisations actively recruiting Australia’s paramedic graduates to fill shortages in their own workforce,” Dr Hartley said.
Victoria University, the major sponsor of the conference and one of the state’s leading paramedics training organisations, will also provide its special effects make-up students to help stage the event.
Media teams have also been invited to witness the mock exercise scheduled at Federation Square, Flinders Street, Melbourne (across from St Paul’s church).