JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - It's something you hope never happens to you. Policemen, firemen and paramedics rush to your side because you are the victim of an accident. And you're not alright. Imagine your relief when help arrives. But now the clock is ticking, and first responders' work has just begun.
"We have a rule that's called a 'Golden Hour,'" said West Jackson County Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bruce Cox. "By the time we get the call, get on scene, extricate the person and get them on the ambulance to the hospital, we need less than an hour."
The West Jackson County Volunteer Fire Department, along with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, participated in an accident simulation Sunday. The simulation, staged by Acadian Ambulance, featured a one-car accident off Dismuke Avenue in the St. Martin area.
Acadian officials videotaped the response and will use the footage as an educational video, showing the challenges first responders face in that critical first hour after an accident.
"It shows the hospital what EMS goes though, and it answers their question of why EMS brings patients in the way we do," Acadian paramedic Ryan Jett said.
He also played the role of the victim in Sunday's exercise.
"A lot of people in the facilities that receive the patients, they don't see any of that stuff," said Mike Martin, Acadian's Field Training Supervisor. "Sometimes when a medic calls in to say there's been a pretty bad accident; It could take 30-45 minutes to get a person out of a vehicle."
In this case, that involved stabilizing Jett, who donned paint and makeup bruising to suggest massive injuries, including major head trauma and internal bleeding. He also pulled out his IVs, and went into simulated seizures. The West Jackson County Fire Department cut the victim out of the car that held Jett, which was lodged in a ditch.
"This was actually a difficult situation, with the car being in the ditch and everything else, where on usual practices, the car's sitting on level ground," Cox said. "This is about a ten as far as realistic is concerned."
They hope this simulation will not only sharpen their skills, but show people what happens in those critical moments after an accident.
"It will give them a better idea of how we get patients out of vehicles and what kind of tools we have," Martin said. "And why, sometimes, it does take a long time to get somebody to a facility if they're in a wreck."
The simulation continued inside the ambulance and inside a medical helicopter. It ended when the helicopter landed at Ocean Springs Hospital.