One Chicago Day kicked off with an introduction and welcome to the training academy. After a safety briefing, we broke into three smaller groups navigating through Chicago Med, Chicago P.D., and Chicago Fire installations.
The goal of the day was to get step by step hands-on training from cast members. The actors demonstrated the various procedures used in bringing their respective rescues to screen.
My group started with a training session led by Chicago Med’s Brian Tee (Dr. Choi), Nick Gehlfuss (Halstead), and a few medical advisors from the show.
We ran a trauma code, and Nick Gehlfuss led the Intubation portion where together we used a tool called a laryngoscope to assist with the insertion of the plastic tube. Nick warmed me of damaging certain parts of the body with the laryngoscope. Once the tool was properly inserted, the plastic tube was sent down the throat of a dummy, allowing an opening in the airway to provide oxygen, medicine, anesthesia, etc.
Other participants ran vitals, monitored the SATS, and checked for a pulse. We were able to successfully “save the life” of the patient.
Next, we continued on to the Chicago Fire installation where we were expected to rescue a victim from a burning house. Joe Minoso, Miranda Rae Mayo, and David Eigenberg led this demonstration as several participants geared up with a zero visibility mask.
I volunteered to be a door breacher, in which I used a sledgehammer as a battering ram to open the door. Others were instructed to keep the ax part of the tool against their forearms while sweeping in the “inflamed” room. This served as a guide to refrain from harming the victim once found. Though we were advised to set the tool aside once we located the victim, many forgot to discard and tried to aid the victim while carrying an ax. Others also forgot to keep their hands against the perimeter as a way to guide in/out the unit.
The difficult part was not being familiar with the layout of the victims’ home and of course zero ability to see through the protection masks. We quickly learned that communication is key!
Next was the crime scene investigation. Marina Squerciati and LaRoyce Hawkins assisted with this portion of the demo.
The scenario was shots fired in a home invasion. Upon arriving at the crime scene, the door appeared to be kicked in with a stain of blood on the outside of it.
I volunteered to be a forensic investigator of trace evidence—any fluids, DNA, blood, hair, saliva, fingernails, fingerprints, etc.
Once we retrieved the evidence from the site, we transferred samples into the appropriate envelope, labeling the location of where we found the evidence. We received assistance from tech advisors from the show and retired homicide detectives in the world of organized crime.
The demonstration ended with a few photo ops and a keepsake certificate, noting the completion of the training!
We had the chance to work with the cast to not only understand some of the practices they encounter while filming, but also to get a small glimpse of the risk actual doctors, firefighters, and police officers take when setting out to save a life.
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