Regional EMS Cadet Competition Utilizes Simulation For Recognition of Leading Students

South Orange Rescue Squad Cadets Bring Home Gold

Shouldnt all EMS programs utilize simulation for demonstration and training to new recruits on the lessons of first responding? Village Green NJ recently reported how last Saturday the South Orange Rescue Squad won the 5th Annual Bayshore EMS Cadet Competition in Keyport, New Jersey at the Keyport First Aid Squad. What a great way to utilize simulations to encourage healthcare professionals of tomorrow!

This event brought Emergency Medical Services cadet teams from New York and New Jersey together for a two day event that combines EMS skill competitions, educational experiences, training, and socializing with like-minded peers. Many volunteer ambulance squads across the state have cadet programs where teenagers train alongside adult members to provide emergency medical care to their community. Explained South Orange Rescue Squad President Troy Balog, “these cadet groups are valuable feeder programs to help critical volunteer shortages in squads.”

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He added, “we’ve had our cadet program for three years and many former cadets are now active adult members, including our current 1st Lieutenant! We are all volunteer, do not charge for our services and exist on donations, so people who give so much of their time are highly valued.” Competing against 35 other cadet teams, the South Orange Rescue Squad team won both first place in the “Advanced Team” category as well as the “Grand Champion” award for highest all around score. This is the first time the South Orange squad has entered the competition. “I wasn’t sure what to expect.” said team member EMT Cole Fitzsimmons, “we train a lot at South Orange so I felt that we were ready for it.”

Cadet teams could enter the “Basic” level competition or the “Advanced” level. Basic teams consisted of CPR or first aid trained cadets and were evaluated in stations consisting of Vital Sign, CPR, and bleeding control. The “Advanced” teams had to have at least two Emergency Medical Technicians and their three stations consisted of a simulated fall down to flights of stairs with two broken legs, a Heart Attack/Cardiac Arrest simulation, and a serious car accident where two critical patients were entrapped in the vehicle. “For the car accident station we had to work with the fire department to use the Jaws of Life to remove doors from the vehicle,” shared EMT team member Victor Rothstein. The victims in each of the scenarios were either role played by a volunteer with medical make-up or a high-tech simulator mannequin. Cadets were evaluated in each station by Paramedics, EMT Instructors, or Physicians who provided detailed feedback to the teens after each test.

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Zero Hour: First Responder Disaster Training ‘Serious Game’ Now Free

free ems disaster response training

Just received word that Zero Hour: America’s Medic Disaster Response Training Video game has been released free for download (PC only)!

About Zero Hour:

Released in May 2009, Zero Hour: America’s Medic is a first-person video game designed to train and exercise first responders to respond to mass casualty incidents such as earthquakes and terrorist attacks. Zero Hour was designed by George Washington University’s Office of Homeland Security and Virtual Heroes, Inc. on a grant from the Department of Homeland Security. Zero Hour is developed using Unreal Engine 3.

Zero Hour is intended for training and exercising of EMS response, but will also serve the EMS community as a recruiting tool. The scope of practice of the tools in the game are geared toward pre-hospital emergency medical service practitioners, especially paramedics.

Taking place in the fictional city of St. Lillo, the player begins each mission in an ambulance and receives calls from the EMS dispatcher. As the ambulance approaches the scene, the player sees the chaotic scene unfolding. The player chooses which equipment to bring and then acts in accordance with the unique requirements of the situation.

About Virtual Heroes From Their Website:

Virtual Heroes creates blended learning courseware by combining educationally sound and scientifically validated approaches in a robust, proven, production process. We create interactive learning architectures and content based on interoperable industry system standards.

We focus on delivering content in three formats:

  • Simulations for Learning: Representations of real life that accurately demonstrate a physical or simulated process or phenomenon.
  • Serious Games: Game technology used for other than purely entertainment purposes including education, training, strategic messaging, mission planning and rehearsal, marketing, scientific visualization etc.
  • Virtual Worlds: Computer-based, simulated 3D environments intended for many users to inhabit and interact with via avatars.

Our Advanced Learning Technologies leverage simulation and digital game-based learning paradigms to accelerate learning, increase user proficiency and reduce training costs. Powered by the award-winning Unreal Technology, our applications provide self-paced learning and instructor facilitated team training via our browser based GO platform and mobile devices.

Products Available:

  • Skins: Critical Thinking Assessment, Prevention and Treatment
  • HumanSim: Blast Prehospital Disaster Triage
  • HumanSim: Sedation & Airway
  • HumanSim: Zero Hour
  • HumanSim: Biotech
  • HumanSim: Combat Medic
  • Medical Team-based Training
  • Other military, space and anatomy games also available

Train with Zero Hour for Free here and learn more about Virtual Heroes and their many other simulation training games here!

Driving Simulators – The Real Deal

When I attended El Camino Fire Academy we had a couple of old engines we used for driving and pumping water in the “yard”.  Before cutting the new recruits loose on these massive vehicles, our instructors took us out to the local race track so we could learn how they handled.  We practiced S-turns, parking, reversing, and emergency stopping.

Fire Driving Simulator

While it was a great way to learn the handling of the Engine, instructors were limited to the various learning situations they could create with cones in the parking lot and the small size of the drill yard.  One thing we definitely would not have opportunity to practice during our 10-week course was advanced emergency driving on public city streets.  What we needed, was a computer simulator to learn the ropes of emergency response driving.

Enter the EMS WORLD EXPO, which I attended about a month ago here in Las Vegas.  It was a fantastic expo with a huge number of learning courses and a great showcase of industry products & services.  While walking the showroom floor, I was thrilled to come across two companies with advanced computer emergency driving simulators – “FAAC” and “Simulation Technology”.  Welcome to the future of driving education!


FAAC driving simulators

I first sat down with Robert Raheb to check out FAAC’s LE-1500 law enforcement series driving simulator.  With 5 massive flatscreens the entire simulator surrounded the field of view of the learner.  While the graphics were not “state-of-the-art” battlefield 3 quality, the representation of the driving environment was indeed life-like.  Robert provided a run-down of the features FAAC simulators utilized:

  • Accurate replication of driving compartment
  • Crown Vic or Charger real dash layouts
  • Realistic handling/steering fidelity
  • Immersive and dynamic environment
  • Geometrically correct virtual world perspective.

With a push of a button on his iPhone, Robert could provide an external perspective to my vehicle demonstrating how instructors could change angles to better communicate situational awareness.  With another button, Robert changed the weather of our scenario from bright and sunny to dark and rainy – explaining that now the tires would skid if I punched it too hard. Of course, FAAC has a whole line of models for your specific emergency training AND municipal needs.

FAAC has a complete range of driving simulators from military, fire/ems, police, public transit, airport driving and more.

Make sure to check out Robert’s white paper entitled “Creating Return on Investment: How One EMS Department Used Simulation to Reduce Liability and Create Systemic Change in its EVOC Program“.  In the paper, Robert suggests that “by introducing students to the unique hazards associated with operating an emergency vehicle in a variety of situations, the program was able to provide real-life experience in a controlled environment that is repeatable, recordable, and immediately available for playback, critique, and instruction”. Learn more about FAAC.

Simulation Technology

Simulation Driving Company

Next I met with Darren Basch from Simulation Technology, a newer company that also had a complete line of driving simulators for emergency and municipal needs.  I was really impressed by their full fire engine cab demo model that was lifted and complete with pump controls, which brought back memories of fire academy.  I was surprised to learn the entire five-screen system was run off just one high-level PC!

Simulation Technology Drive Simulator

Darren put me through a drive course before letting me loose on a Fire response call.  While on the test course, Darren could quickly change the vehicle I was test-driving without needing to reload the entire system – so we could quickly compare skill needs between different vehicles.  When I was put into the response call, motorcycles would cross my engine out of nowhere, trucks would complicate my path-finding and rain would make my field-of-view harder to see. Interestingly, on-screen mirrors reflected what was behind the engine which allowed me to constantly check my physical surroundings as best I could.

Driving Simulator from SimTech

Driving Simulators from Simulation Technology included these unique features:

  • Custom cabs to drive the same cabs you drive every day.
  • Real vehicle dynamics that enable advanced skills training.
  • Actual integration of Manufacturer’s physics data, providing accurate vehicle dynamics.
  • 230 degree field-of-view perspective.
  • Single PC system

Simulation Technology also provides custom Mobile classroom trailers that can house various simulators so your classroom can move to anywhere you need it!  Learn more about Simulation Technology.

The Future

Just like in healthcare simulation with manikins and high-fidelity environments, advanced technology allows for an additional step in the traditional training model: see one, simulate one, do one, and teach one.  It was a lot of fun to sit down with both FAAC and Simulation Technology and learn about the future of driving simulation.

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Rescue Safety Products offers Ambulance Simulator Lab

One of our Medical Directors here in Las Vegas forwarded me a link to Rescue Safety Products “Ambulance Simulator”.  What a neat way to bring training indoors where your other equipment, sim labs and classrooms are located.

Ambulance Sim Lab

“Rescue Safety Products, Inc. of McKinney, Texas, provides Emergency Medical Services with advanced training products. One way is with our Ambulance Simulator. It can be assembled inside any existing classroom that is to be used as the EMS Skills Lab. It is designed so that all members of the class can observe their classmates perform EMS protocols and be evaluated by their instructor.”

Check RSP’s website for more information!

Where to Purchase Trauma Wounds & Moulage

Hi Simmers! How realistic are YOUR trauma-based simulations? Realistic as this image below?

Tactical Medicine Simulated Wounds

A recent request came to me asking for more inforation about where to purchase Trauma wounds & moulage for simulation scenarios! So here’s a list of places I know about, but please feel free to email me and let me know about other resources that I can add to this list!

** Update (1/12/12): Doug Underwood from CAE-METI wrote in to remind me about their moulage kit called “METI-FX“.

Got another great resource or website? Email Lance so he can add it here!

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