STANFORD — Emergency responders and health care workers from across Kentucky visited Lincoln County over the weekend for the second annual Rural Healthcare Training Weekend.
The event provided 15 continuing education classes for medical responders, hospital staff and others in the healthcare field. It also featured a lunch with healthcare vendor booths and an educational mock trial.
Stanford EMS Director Ashley Powell said the training weekend grew by more than 40 percent over its premiere year in 2012, attracting 177 participants from as far away as Paducah.
The event, which was hosted at Lincoln County High School, grew out of a county-wide training event officials began in Lincoln County four years ago, Powell said.
The mock trial was put on in the high school auditorium Sunday afternoon and featured local prosecutor Carol Hill and attorney Jonathan Baker arguing their case before a mock judge, played by local attorney Paul Long.
Long, who has been practicing law for 32 years, said the purpose of the mock trial was to illustrate how vitally important it is for EMS and medical personnel to document everything they do on the job.
The trial presented the fake case of Sally Jones, who was suing "Smith County EMS" and "Smith County Hospital" for negligence in allowing her husband to die from a diabetic condition after he was in a car wreck.
Baker and Hill questioned and cross-examined multiple witnesses, including a paramedic who attended to Jones' wife on the scene and a nurse who treated him in the emergency room.
Members of the audience were selected as jury members and had to deliberate for 17 minutes after the case was presented before they returned with a verdict finding both the EMS service and hospital negligent.
Baker and Hill said even though the jury could decide for themselves the outcome, the case was set up so the EMS service and hospital would lose.
Baker, who has been across the table from Hill on real court cases but never gone to trial against her, said he hopes attendees came away with valuable lessons from the trial and perhaps got some entertainment value out of it, too.
"It gives people something more interesting to do than just sit and listen to lectures all day," he said.
Rural Healthcare Weekend attendees also had the chance to try out their emergency healthcare skills on a simulation dummy nicknamed "Meti-Man."
Ryan Pratt, regional educator for the event's co-sponsor Air Evan Life Team, said his simulation dummy, which is hooked up to a computer and an air compressor, can breathe and even has its own pulse. Trainees can perform IVs on the dummy's arm, shock it back to life and learn how to treat various different medical issues.
"He's basically a $150,000 simulator," Pratt said. "It helps people learn the basics instead of performing on a real person."