The Western Institute of Emergency Education’s newly installed ambulance simulators will be used for area nurses and emergency crews to upgrade their training in their Vermilion office.
With another in Sherwood Park, they are the only two of their kind in Canada.
These simulators are approximately $65,000 per unit, a $50,000 piece of equipment shipped all the way from Texas plus stock, stretcher, a monitor, cameras, and television.
Advanced Care Paramedic and Owner, Shane Croke, said NAIT has a similar set up but with a different layout.
He has been a paramedic for 22 years and valued the instruction he was given so he wanted to create an opportunity for others to be better prepared by sharing his experiences, and making the industry stronger.
“The biggest thing is to provide a realistic experience,” said Croke.
“If we can recreate the environment, the more prepared it makes people to face real life situations. A lot of the students are entry level practitioners and have never been in an ambulance before, and now with this new environment they are actually performing the entire task.”
The WIEE offers medical first aid and safety training including babysitting, CPR, H2S and fall prevention, and courses for Emergency Medical Responders.
Public Relations representative, Shannon Leonard said the ambulance simulator is fully loaded with lighting, a stretcher, IV’s, catheters, oxygen, and a suction unit.
Regularly, two students would be attending while the others watch and cameras are linked to a feedback system so they can see where to improve.
The WIEE is also home to ALEX, an interactive programmable simulation mannequin equip with cameras, sounds, movement and speech.
A Virtual Reality simulator can also allow them to see people with potential injuries.
Additionally they have six adult and six child mannequins that offer feedback, and Leonard said with things advancing in the medical field, that the WIEE is already more advanced than most places.
“When people were training in traditional situations they would stump, but now they will gain muscle memory and know where to reach for things,” said Croke.
“Students will be able to see that applying oxygen, taking blood pressure, or starting an IV takes time and they can feel the pressure they would need to apply.”
During the pandemic, the WIEE is currently keeping class capacity to eight, and students could potentially be in the ambulance simulator by themselves performing all of the functions without any close contact or touching.