One Smart Dummy - Fire, Rescue Personnel Take Part In High-Tech Emergency Training

Mills County rescue personnel train with the SimMan dummy at the Glenwood Fire Station.

Mills County’s area fire and rescue squads received some state-of-the-art, hands on training last week at the Glenwood fire station.

Representatives from the county’s seven fire and rescue squads participated in a daylong training in emergency care procedures on an advanced patient simulator mannequin that can display neurological and physiological symptoms.

Glenwood Volunteer Fire Department Chief Matt Gray called the training mannequin a “smart dummy,” with a host of applicable training possibilities in a controlled environment that has real world applications.

“I think a lot of the symptoms it can simulate and have us respond to and assess those conditions and the treatments options gives a real life training you can’t really get,” he said. “Sure, you can have someone lay there and say their conditions but this can be programmed for that and its reactive to symptoms and the treatment they apply."

The SimMan, as the training “dummy” is marketed, is a product of Laerdal Medical, a world-leading provider of training, education and medical simulators and software. The device can simulate anything from an overdose to a cardiac arrest to COVID-19 symptoms, complete with a sinus rhythm, a heaving chest, eyes that can dilate and lips that can turn blue for cyanosis. It is also equipped for a host of medical procedures such as an arterial line, a tracheotomy, a defibrillator and blood pressure and it’s responsive to over 145 drugs via it’s software connected by a monitor.

The mannequin was purchased at a cost of $40,000 through a grant obtained by the Mills County Emergency Services from the Jack Lewis Public Safety Fund and money matched by the Mills County Board of Supervisors.

The representatives from the seven departments spent the day last Tuesday learning the ins and outs of the device’s software and its training capabilities. Patricia Sedgewick, who flew in from Laerdal’s California offices, led the training.

John Stacey, rescue squad chief in Silver City and assistant chief at Oak Township, said the training is proving an invaluable tool.

“The help it can provide is endless,” Stacey said. “You can’t transfer the typical classroom training to the field. You can’t do it without hands on stuff like this.”

Once training is complete those who attended will then help train each of their stations on the SimMan and its accompanying software.


The Opinion-Tribune

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