Focused, prepared and ready to save a life, that is exactly what these medical students from all over the nation are.
Connor Ludovissy, a fourth year medical student at the University of Pikeville Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine, told WOAY in an interview, “I think it’s important to be prepared for any situation life might throw at you. They certainly need more people prepared for situations like this.” That situation being, rope rescue. “They are learning how to access, package and extricate patients from a wilderness vertical scenario” said, Tracey Corbin, Director of Education for Jan-Care Ambulance.
The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine and Ohio Valley Medical Center have partnered together for the fifth year to host a Wilderness Medicine Rotation for medical students and students in their residency. Doctor Lisa Hrutkay said, “We are down in the New River Gorge for two weeks. We have a rigorous lecture schedule that covers a broad range of wilderness medicine topics. Everything from, high altitude medicine, to diving injuries, to hypothermia, snake bites, I mean the whole gambits of wilderness medicine topics.”
This skill set is not only crucial to know in the medical center, but also for anyone in the state of West Virginia or states that are similar. “In a remote access area, you have to be able to stabilize, package and extricate the patient with vertical means. This is a rotation for them to be able to work in the rural areas and in our area, you have to be able to do this because of the tourism and most of the patients that present like this, it’s a special skill set” Coribin said. And situations, just like this one do occur often. “With the tourism, the way it is right now. We have done four of these rescues this year and were only in August so, often” Corbin added.
These important skills, the students worked on at Tuesday’s rotation, will be utilized at the state fire and ems competition this weekend.