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Cape fire personnel tape training video

By Staff | Jul 12, 2011

When the Cape Coral Fire Department responded to a 911 call Tuesday morning about a personal injury, it was not a typical service call.
A handful of paramedics from the department were participating in the taping of a training video for “Medic Monthly,” a series produced by Kaplan. With lights on and cameras rolling, the Cape group worked on a woman who had gotten a piece of wood impaled in her eye while doing yard work.
The topic for the training video was eye injuries.
Dr. Steven Katz, the host of “Medic Monthly,” said the videos cover the “bread and butter” topics for EMS personnel. He and his wife, Nicole, came up with the series eight years ago, when he was working as a paramedic.
“There was a lack of quality case-based training,” he said.
Kaplan bought out the product three years ago.
The videos, available online or on DVD, allow fire personnel to train on the basics on their own schedule. Each video involves a re-enactment of a real-life scenario and goes over the teaching points associated with that topic.
It also helps departments from having to gather a group to train.
Katz said the video with the Cape personnel is the 58th video in the “Medic Monthly” series. He and his wife, who is the producer, do about eight a year.
“This video will be seen by thousands of fire departments across the U.S. and Canada,” he said, adding that most agencies are proud of what they do and jump at a chance to be in one of the videos. “They all want to be in it.”
Departments that use the product are typically chosen to participate.
Katz said it takes a couple of months to complete one video.
According to Division Chief Jim Heikkila, Cape fire has been using the “Medic Monthly” series to train with for about five years. When the department was asked about six weeks ago if it wanted to be in a video, it seized the chance.
“It was an opportunity for us,” he said.
At the start of the video, Heikkila got to do an introduction and talk about the city of Cape Coral, and the Cape Coral Fire Department and its services.
“It came down to just getting our name out there,” he said.
The Cape did not get paid for participating in the video, but it also did not cost the department anything. It only had to provide three paramedics for the shoot and an empty house recently purchased by a staffer’s relative.
Heikkila said the videos serve as good refreshers and go toward the total number of educational credits that firefighters have to acquire each year.
“It’s good because it meets our state requirement,” he said.
Firefighter Joachim Schwaerzli was one of the paramedics filmed.
“I thought it was going to be pretty interesting,” he said of the shoot.
“It’s kind of fun, but it’s a lot different,” Schwaerzli added. “They break down every little thing.”
He explained that in a real scenario things go quickly, but for the video, he and the other paramedics had to slow the process down and redo things.
When everything is put together though, it resembles a real incident.
“It seems to flow like a normal call,” Schwaerzli said.
A first-timer on the silver screen, he said the hard part was direction.
“Just paying attention to what they want me to do when they want me to do it,” Schwaerzli said.
The video is expected to be available next year.