High-tech training for EMS crews

Reporter: Amy Oshier Writer: Matias Abril
Published: Updated:

In an emergency, we expect our first responders to be prepared for anything, but that comes with practice, which is exactly what Collier EMS is getting at Naples Community Hospital.

Training in NCH’s new state of the art simulation center helps crews prepare for the unexpected.

“Yes, this high intensity, low frequency occurrences, high intensity meaning catastrophic results if you don’t figure out what’s going on and low frequency meaning, I may not see one of these my whole career,” said Dr. Robert Tober, medical director, Collier EMS.

Tober is medical director for Collier’s EMS. Working on ultra-life-like models gives crews a hands-on experience they wouldn’t get anywhere else in Southwest Florida.

“It gives them a chance to practice something like opening up somebody’s neck to create an airway, sort of like a tracheostomy,” Tober said.

EMS captain Matthew Allen works as both a trainer and a first-responder in the field.

The mannequins he works on are surprisingly realistic.

“The mannequins talk, they sweat, they speak,” Allen said, “so these are situations that our crews can encounter, and we want to make sure that if they do encounter those situations that they’re very, very well prepared.”

The more realistic the better. A training room provides a three-sided experience, projecting images on the background to immerse people in a scenario.

OPS Manager Hope Goodwin runs programs in the simulation center for med students, first responders, doctors and surgeons.

“We can basically replicate any scenario, whether it’s simulated in the hospital environment or clinic or an operating room,” Goodwin said. “Ultimately, it will improve patient outcomes and improve the safety of the patients that we serve.”

Collier EMS holds quarterly training sessions at the sim center. It is the largest and most comprehensive site of its kind between Tampa and Miami.

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