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EMS Lab provides realistic training with working ambulance & hospital ER setting

5/6/2011 12:00 AM

The construction of a state-of-the-art training laboratory for Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics has expanded TEEX's capacity for hands-on scenarios and realistic practical skills training in emergency medicine.

The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Lab, constructed by Quad-Tex Construction on the grounds of the Brayton Fire Training Field, provides a realistic environment for the EMT students, said Mike Schuler, EMT-Paramedic and EMS Program Training Manager with TEEX Emergency Services Training Institute.

The 1,473-square-foot EMS Lab covers the typical office and household settings where EMS personnel would assist patients when responding to a call. There is also a hospital Emergency Room examination area with two beds, and everything from a crash cart to oxygen.

But one of the most unique aspects of the EMS Lab is the working ambulance unit built right into the building. The engine compartment and cab have been removed, but the back portion of the ambulance is fully operational, including emergency lights, oxygen, IV and all medical supplies that would be available to ambulance personnel.

This allows students to practice the skills of loading a patient on a gurney, assessing and treating the patient in the back of the ambulance and then transporting the patient from the ambulance to the Emergency Room, Schuler said. "They get to practice the entire process, and in realistic conditions, since they have some tight spaces to maneuver, such as would be found in many mobile homes. It adds an element of realism that will prepare them for the National Registry Exam and for actual work situations." He added that they use mannequins or moulaged volunteer victims as patients during the training.

"The EMS Lab is a great addition to our program and provides a tremendous training opportunity for our students," Schuler added. "We can run multiple scenarios, and each room is equipped with a camera that provides a live feed to the EMS Program office and records the exercise. This is an additional learning tool, because we can then play back the scenario for immediate feedback and critique."

The TEEX EMS Program has trained more than 5,000 EMTs and Paramedics since it started in 2003. The EMS Lab was a project approved and funded by CEO Gary Sera to provide a more realistic training environment and to more effectively compete with other EMS educational programs.

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Kathy Fraser

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