Medical Incident Leadership Training For Osage Nation Wildland Firefighters

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Tulsa, Ok. – November 4-8, 2019, the Osage Nation (ON) Wildland Fire Management Department attended forty hours of Medical Incident Technician Training for Wildland Firefighters (MIT) and eight hours of Medical Incident Leadership (MIL) class.

The Osage Nation Wildland Fire Management Director, Ross Walker, also serves as the Regional Coordinator for this Program (eastern-Oklahoma area). This specific MIT training lasts a week and includes interactive scenario-based training that teaches firefighters techniques to recognize patient severity, stabilize and transport patients using risk management principles. This includes how to stop CPR after thirty minutes, reduce simple dislocations, clean a wound, clear a spine, and manage anaphylaxis. According to the Program Manager, Michelle Moore, “the MIT class specifically addresses the environmental and risk management issues that we have in wildland fire. With teaching students to identify patient severity in a red-yellow-green-triage system, we also teach our students how to manage logistical transport in an unforgiving wilderness environment like a wildland fire.”

The program teaches between six and 12 courses per year specifically for wildland firefighters for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) all over the United States. Although the class is centered on teaching and developing medical skills, a majority of the classroom instruction includes leadership concepts, communication, adaptability, and assertiveness. These concepts are taught in a relevant nature to engaging in a medical incident.

In 2019, this training was updated to its current name and standards. The Department of the Interior officially endorsed the course. The intention of the BIA is to certify and maintain two MITs for every wildland fire module and crew in Indian Country.

According to Walker, the first group attended this course in May of 2017, which included Corbin Malone of his current crew. In May of 2018, Benny Miller and Louis Dailey became certified through this training. Walker commented on the training, “the reason it is important for our department to receive this training is that we spend roughly 75% of our time in the field working in a high-risk environment. A lot of times those areas are remote and far from hospitals and basic Emergency Medical Services (EMS). If a severe injury occurs, we need to be competent enough in our ability to stabilize and sustain the patient or recognize the symptoms the patient is suffering from until we can get the patient to a higher level of care. This is a skill that we have to know and we need to know, but we hope we never have to use.”

For more information about the Osage Nation Wildland Fire Management Department, please visit: https://www.osagenation-nsn.gov/what-we-do/wildland-fire-management

For more information about the MEDICAL INCIDENT LEADERSHIP TRAINING FOR WILDLAND FIREFIGHTERS, please visit: https://www.bia.gov/bia/ots/dfwfm/bwfm/safety/first-aid-project

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