IU Health, Fishers firefighters team up


IU Health Emergency Medicine doctors and nurses worked with Fishers Fire Department personnel during a recent three-day emergency medical services training. 

According to an announcement from IU Health, the medical staff helped firefighters train for real-world medical emergencies using simulations, fake patients and even some fake blood, with the goal of helping firefighters feel ready to provide on-the-scene emergency medical care to get patients to the hospital safely.  

“It benefits patients, because we are partners in this,” stated Natalie Zipper, manager of clinical operations for IU Health Saxony’s emergency department. “The more that we can do to get to know each other and know roles and responsibilities, the more seamless things are when we work together to save a patient.” 

Fishers Fire Department spent months planning the scenarios, which included an emergency medical call during a fire, a crewmember getting wounded while responding to a call, multiple gunshot emergencies and more. During the scenarios, nurses and doctors from IU Health Saxony and North hospitals provided medical feedback to the firefighters and volunteered to act as patients and bystanders.   

The partnership between IU Health and the Fishers Fire Department creates a transition of care from the time first responders arrive on the scene through the patient’s time at the hospital, according to the announcement. 

“If we can take the work that we do and transition it into that ER, that hospital, and provide a good, working team relationship, I think the outcome for the patient is destined to be much, much better,” stated Jeff Stephenson, a lieutenant with the Fishers Fire Department.