Midwestern University Offers Glendale Firefighters Unique Opportunity to Practice Lifesaving Emergency Techniques

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January 31, 2023 | Glendale, AZ

Glendale Fire + Body Donation Program

Midwestern University is partnering with Glendale Fire Department Firefighters to help them practice critical emergency procedures that they will eventually use on patients in the field, via a collaboration with the University’s Body Donation Program.

Over the course of four sessions, Glendale Firefighters will receive training and hands-on practice in procedures such as emergency intubation, placement of chest tubes, intraosseous vascular access to establish IVs, cricothyrotomy (a procedure to establish an airway on a patient in extreme distress), and other extremely important lifesaving techniques used in the field every day. Since all Glendale Firefighters are required to qualify as EMTs, and approximately half of them are also paramedics, the entire 254-member department will have the opportunity to participate. The Firefighters will practice these techniques using donors from the Midwestern Body Donation Program under the guidance of University faculty, staff, and healthcare students from the Emergency Medicine Club, giving the participants a chance to perfect their skills using actual human anatomy before employing the techniques in the field.

“It is always beneficial to work with future doctors and medical providers,” says Glendale Fire Department Deputy Chief Mark Hubler. “It gives both parties a different perspective on how our treatment affects the hospital providers, and vice versa, and sets the stage for future interactions and discussions regarding optimal prehospital patient care. This opportunity to perfect our skills on human donor bodies instead of mannequins is highly appreciated and is a great example of what can happen when agencies build relationships and work together for the benefit of the community we serve.”

The cadaver training sessions mark the newest in a series of collaborations between the Glendale Fire Department and Midwestern University, which include ride-along programs for Midwestern medical and physician assistant students, a Crisis Response Unit stationed at the University’s Glendale Campus, and more.

“We are excited to begin this partnership between Midwestern University and the Glendale Fire Department,” says Sandra Inouye, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Midwestern University College of Graduate Studies, and Director of the Midwestern University Body Donation Program and Anatomical Laboratories. “We feel that this educational program practicing life-saving procedures on donors from the Body Donation Program is mutually beneficial for our students, the Glendale Fire Department, and the Glendale community.”

The Midwestern University Body Donation Program, established in 2016, provides donors to assist medical students in learning human anatomy. Because students work with actual human bodies rather than simulators or models, they can observe, manipulate, and experience anatomy in a hands-on environment, practicing crucial surgical techniques and procedures with real tissue, musculoskeletal systems, and organs prior to employing those techniques on live patients. Donors are generously provided by themselves and/or their families with the express intent of furthering healthcare education, and upon completion of anatomical studies, cremated remains are returned to the families in express accordance with their wishes.