Louisburg Fire Chief Gerald Rittinghouse talks with the pilot of Life Star 3 medical helicopter at a training exercise Tuesday, May 5, in Louisburg that also involved American Medical Response, a Linn County ambulance service in Pleasanton.

Motorists who saw a medical helicopter land in Louisburg on Tuesday, May 5, don’t have to worry about someone suffering from an emergency, city officials said.

The Louisburg Fire Department, a team from American Medical Response, a Linn County ambulance service in Pleasanton, and the Life Star 3 crew performed a timed trial training run with the Life Star medical helicopter. The exercise created a stir among curious residents.

Louisburg Fire Chief Gerald Rittinghouse said the training provides the three agencies an opportunity to practice in the event of an actual emergency, according to a city news release.

In the training exercise, the Linn County crew rushed a pediatric trauma “victim” by ground ambulance to Louisburg to transfer to the Life Star 3 air ambulance.

Louisburg firefighters secured Sutherland Drive just off Amity Street for the helicopter to land. The ground ambulance arrived a few minutes later, and that crew transported the imaginary victim to the helicopter.

The helicopter finished the training by rushing the victim — in this case a pillow — to the Children’s Mercy downtown campus in Kansas City, Mo., according to the news release.

Rittinghouse said transporting a victim in a coordinated effort like the one on display Tuesday can shave as much as 30 minutes or more in getting a patient to a hospital. That golden hour can be critical in giving patients a chance of surviving their injury or medical condition, he said.

The training also benefits the emergency responders.

“Being a volunteer fire department, any time we can do planning and preparation for an event that involves other agencies allows not just one person to be in command but allows other people to learn roles and responsibilities,” Rittinghouse said in the release. “This helps when you aren’t sure what volunteers might respond to such a call, and allows everyone to see the roles and what happens.”

News Editor Doug Carder can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or doug.carder@miconews.com.

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