The US-based Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS) presented CareFlight (NSW), part of the CareFlight Group Ltd, with its 2013 Excellence in Community Service award during a reception on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. in April.
AAMS president Rick Sherlock said it was the first time an aeromedical service outside the US had received the prestigious recognition, adding: “CareFlight's MediSim outreach has set an example to aeromedical services across the world of leadership in increasing the capability of trauma treatment by local rural community rescue services on a national basis.”
Drawing on the outreach trauma training that helicopter services in Canada and the US have developed over the past decade in teaching their local rescue services how to better treat trauma patients, the CareFlight MediSim programme has taken its mobile training directly to rural, regional and remote communities right across Australia. This contrasts to the US experience where programmes usually run courses in only the main regions in which they provide the local emergency helicopter. That, combined with the number of courses and the vast distance covered by CareFlight educators to assist rural and remote rescue teams, was what impressed the international judges.
“This project blew me away,” one judge said. “It’s a great community service for those who might otherwise not have access to this training. It has tremendous capacity to save lives and impact on the quality of life for many.”
CareFlight MediSim provides simulation-based trauma care training to rescue volunteers using its experienced doctors, nurses and paramedics at no cost to the participants. The MediSim team recently completed their first training sessions at Uluru in Central Australia and at Kakadu national park for representatives including national park rangers, fire-rescue officers, clinic nurses, local doctors and remote workers. By the end of 2013, more than 1,000 volunteers will have attended the aeromedical charity's MediSim training in New South Wales, Victoria, the Northern Territory, Tasmania, Western and South Australia.