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Mecklenburg EMS Introduces Most-Advanced Situational Training in America for Emergency Medical Personnel
Date:9/20/2007

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Medic, the Mecklenburg EMS Agency, has fully implemented the first-of-its-kind Emergency Medical Education and Simulation Center, which will offer the most-advanced and challenging situational and clinical training in America for emergency medical services personnel.

Using interactive robotic "patients" on soundstages capable of duplicating virtually any scene and situation, trainees face evolving scenarios controlled by instructors, removing the predictability of the traditional classroom. From the symptoms of the lifelike robotic patients - controlled entirely by computer - to the sets, audio and video backdrops of the soundstages, the constantly changing conditions require trainees to react just as they would on actual calls.

To put the experiences to optimal use, each session is videotaped by multiple cameras operated from a control center, allowing participants to immediately review and critique their performance with instructors.

"You really are creating a prototype," said Dr. Jeff Runge, Chief Medical Officer and Assistant U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security as he toured the center last week. "Having paramedics experience these kinds of scenarios in training instead of it taking years of experience in the field is incredible."

Ready for Real Thing

An indoor soundstage recreates any number of possible scenarios inside a building. Several sets were donated by Warner Bros. Television, with the help of Time Warner Cable's Charlotte Division. The center's living room set is from the show, "Joey," which starred Matt LeBlanc and was the only spin-off from the longtime hit, "Friends." A portion of the indoor soundstage also mimics a real hospital emergency department, allowing paramedics and EMT's to practice the transition of patients from their care to a hospital's.

A larger soundstage will recreate outdoor environments, such as highway accident scenes; and industrial conditions, such as a factory during an industrial accident. A full-size, functioning ambulance has been converted to a motion simulator to recreate trips of different lengths over varying terrain - all without traveling an inch. The simulator allows trainees to experience treating patients with all the typical bumps, stops and starts of a real ambulance ride.

The Future of EMS Training

The Education and Simulation Center's Human Cadaver Laboratory - a facility traditionally limited to medical schools - gives paramedics and EMT's the unique opportunity to enrich their knowledge of anatomy and physiology.

Medic also has completed construction of a state-of-the-art, university- style lecture theater, including multimedia and audio-visual recording equipment to support dynamic and interactive lecture presentations. These presentations further develop the medic's knowledge and skill base, supporting enhanced skill competency in caring for critically ill and injured patients.

Medic envisions the Emergency Medical Education and Simulation Center becoming the premier situational training facility for emergency medical personnel in America, and the model for future training of paramedics, EMT's and first responders in the face of new and expanding challenges.


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SOURCE Mecklenburg EMS Agency
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