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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Keeping Up EMS Skills -- the Fun way!
By Ginny Heth
Once again, Westhope Ambulance has been on the receiving end of the generosity of the Leona M. & Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust!
On Tuesday, April 8th, SIM-ND was in town to help with continuing education for all of the Westhope Ambulance squad members. The 44-foot simulation vehicle is fully equipped with a learning lab that replicates an ambulance in the back and an emergency room in the front with a control room between the two. SIM-ND educators use a standardized educational curriculum and human patient simulators to deliver quality training which would not be available in Westhope without this vehicle.
The state-of-the-art human patient simulators are life-like in that they breathe, talk, cry, and react to treatments. The simulators act as tools in delivering hands-on education. Learners are exposed to high-mortality, low frequency scenarios in a safe learning environment to better prepare them for emergent events.
Eight squad members were on hand to benefit from this training on Tuesday. The group was divided into two ‘squads’ and each headed out into the ‘ambulance’ to care for a mystery patient. Those attending the training were Ginny Heth, Barry Trottier, James Snodgrass, Mariela Kirk, Tanner Hellenbrand, Don Fraser and Steve Heth, all from Westhope and Vonda Schmidt from Mohall.
As we began, a facilitator read a scenario to us: A 60-something year old man was having difficulty breathing. He was known to have COPD and had fallen a few days earlier and hurt his leg.
We uncovered the very large man (They tell us the mannequin weighs around 250 pounds!) and began our treatment.......
After taking care of the man and pretending to transport him to the hospital, having decided that he probably had a blood clot in his lower leg and was in need of help for that and after giving him medications and treatment for his breathing problem while ‘enroute’, the scenario was ended. We then critiqued ourselves and with the help of our facilitators decided what we’d done well and what we could have done better. The next step was we ‘redo’ the entire scenario and make sure we covered all of our bases the next time, switching primary caregiver roles.
Included in the life-like scenario was calling in a report to the hospital and calling for more help if we felt we needed it. Dialing 9-1-1 on the telephone got us a real person to talk to (who was in the control room in the center of the truck) with real advice about what we should do if we asked questions -- much like calling the Emergency Room and asking the nurses or doctors when we are unsure of our next step in real life.
The other scenario that we had was a 9-year-old boy who had been riding his bicycle and was hit by a car. Again, we treated him as we would if he were a ‘real boy’, making sure that his neck and back were protected we splinted his broken bones and rushed him to the Emergency Room since he had a head injury, calling for a helicopter to get him there faster.
Having a chance to run through scenarios that could be way too real like these, is a great opportunity and one that we hope to be able to take advantage of again very soon.
Other scenarios that are available include trauma, burns, CHF, strokes, diabetic emergencies, gun shot wounds, heart attacks, substance abuse, amputations and head injuries for adults and many of the same for children plus poisoning, seizures, suicide attempt and drowning. There are also infant emergencies. Coming soon will be emergency births!
The SIM-ND scenarios are geared to help us practice things that we may or may not see on a regular basis. Those that we do not see often can become quite a challenge when they do arise, so this practice is crucial to the great care we are proud to give our patients.
This statewide educational program is administered by the University of North Dakota School of Medicine in partnership with the North Dakota Department of Health. The training is free to all interested ambulance services in North Dakota.

Meet Your Neighbors - Faith is the light that guides you through the darkness
By Marlena Chaboudy
For this week’s Meet Your Neighbor’s column, I’d like to introduce you to Delila Holtham.
Delila was born October 10th, 1949, in Neodasha, Kansas, to Gwenneth Lee and Herman Earl White.
While growing up, Delila’s father did a lot of odd jobs. He couldn’t read or write, having only a second grade education after quitting school to help take care of his baby brother. Later on in life, after Delila was old enough to teach him to read and write and pass his drivers test, he became a truck driver for 30 plus years for Swanson Speed, mainly hauling turkey feed. He later developed colon cancer but is still going strong at the age of 88 at his home in California.
Delila’s mother worked for years at the Modesto State Hospital in California and later became a CNA and worked at the local doctor’s office. She also was self employed for many years, making and decorating extravagant cakes out of the family home. When Delila was 12 years old, her mother developed ovarian cancer and passed away on Delila’s 13th birthday after having cancer surgery and her blood didn’t coagulate, but the doctor’s were able to bring her back and she lived many years cancer free only to later develop breast cancer, which she had battled for many years. Although later in life, Delila’s mother did pass away, but not from cancer. Delila’s mother passed away at the age of 76 years old from a heart attack after having a hip replaced.
For the first three years of her life, Delila’s family moved around and picked orchard fruit for farmers in Kansas, Texas, and Arkansas, and ended their trek in Modesto, California.
Delila claims that it was during the ages of ten and thirteen that her life was the most interesting and was a huge impact on her life.
It was then, at the age of ten, that Delila’s parents leased the Hillcrest Lodge. The Hillcrest Lodge was a very large place, much like a mansion of sorts. As Delila described it to me you could tell she remembers it as if she could still picture herself standing in the midst of it all. “It had 9 bedrooms, 3 kitchens, a library, maids quarters, 5 bathrooms, a sunroom, a dining room with a table that seated 20 people, an orange orchard, 2 double garages, a fish pond, and on the back side of the property there was a barbecue built into the side of the hill that was large enough to cook half a cow!” reminisced Delila of one of her fondest childhood memories. “There was even a walk in closet that was full of clothing from the 1900’s to the 1920’s and a water storage tank that was later turned into a fall out shelter.” All of this was set upon a large hill in Simi Valley, California. Across the valley, on top of one of the other hills was Rocketdyne, where they tested rocket engines.
The hill that the home sat upon was too steep for Delila’s school bus to travel up so Delila and her Aunt Kathy would make the daily trek down the hill to meet the school bus, and back up it after the school day was over. Always stopping in the orchard to pick and eat some of the oranges.
Half way down the hill was “Santini’s Shack”. An old run down shack that was the home of a man that seemingly had no money and lived like a bum. As time went on, Delila and her family befriended the old man who lived there and upon his death, after living his life like a bum, it was discovered that he had millions of dollars hidden around his shack, mostly the currency was tucked amongst the pages of old magazines.
Delila’s family was very active within their church and had made many friends. After the passing of old Santini, Dr. Jones (the doctor her mother worked for) and Harry Sherwillow from church, bought the land that the shack was on and they both built houses there. Delila enjoys fond memories of swimming in Harry Sherwillow’s pool on Sunday’s after the home was built.
The large home Delila’s family leased was turned into a guest house/rest home and there were many interesting people that lived there that Delila got close to. Delila shared a few of those special souls in her life with me. “Miss Leyland was the most interesting person I ever met. She was in her 90’s when she came to live with us in this large house we leased and used the downstairs as a rest home. She was from England. I was 10 years old when I met her. Her real mother died and her father remarried a woman who hated children and when her father took business trips, she and her sister were not allowed downstairs. So at the age of 14, and her sister being 16, left home and never spoke to her father again. She and her sister worked hard on their own for years to save enough money to come to the United States. When they felt they had enough money to survive, they went and bought tickets for a ship. When they were waiting to board the ship, a rich man asked them if they would sell their tickets. The amount was so great that they couldn’t refuse, it ended up being that the tickets they sold were for the Titanic!! “Miss Leyland died in her sleep in our rest home in Simi Valley at the age of around 93. God rest her soul. I can tell you that she was deeply loved by my family and me. I loved everyone there at the home, but I never knew as much about our other guests, although there was Jan, she used to be a ballerina and had a stroke, she never spoke to us, but every Sunday I would do her nails for her, Oh how she loved that!” shared Delila.
Delila’s Uncle Charlie was a coal miner during his lifetime. He developed a black lung from the inhalation of all the coal dust over the years. One memory that stands out most about her Uncle Charlie is that he could play the fiddle, and it always could surely make her cry. Since Delila’s 13th birthday had been so tragic with her mother passing away and being revived... a birthday party was held for her several weeks later, and because it was almost Halloween, it became a costume party! The whole school, about 50 kids, attended her birthday party and had a treasure hunt. Her Uncle Charlie came out and said “I don’t know which one you are, but this song is for you!” and when he was done, she ran up and hugged him with tears streaming down her face, washing away all of the costume makeup.
Delila’s family was introduced into the age of color television in such a humorous fashion. With living in Simi Valley, a large number of actors and actresses could be found living their lives just like normal people. And her family had met several famous people living there. “My mom worked for the only doctor in Simi Valley at the time... Mind you, before I tell you the rest of the story... We still had a black and white television, my dad being color blind, felt that a color T.V. was not necessary!


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