TRAINING TIME: SIM-NE Coordinator and Trainer Tyler Bonnicksen (left) points out the various features on the training simulation’s practice model to Waverly Fire and Rescue members Ryan Mueller and Nathan Vidlax. This $80,000 medical mannequin features a touch-sensitive pulse, dilating eyes when examined and even a heartbeat. (Staff Photo by Clayton Karloff)

WAVERLY – The Waverly Fire and Rescue Department familiarized themselves with new training measures and methods last week, with the aid of the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Regional Coordinator and Lead Trainer Mike Miers said the program is called the Simulation in Motion-Nebraska (SIM-NE).

He said SIM-NE’s main goal is to allow medical operatives in smaller communities to take part in simulations for events they might not run into very often over the course of their careers in their locations.

The system is a free mobile education system, bringing state-of-the-art equipment and training to community fire departments across Nebraska that may not have the opportunities to attend such training.

“This is our first time in Waverly,” Miers said.

The department requested UNMC to visit on March 25 to train firefighters and EMTs.

Miers said there are only 16 simulation in motion units actively in use across the United States and Nebraska is lucky enough to have four of them.

The two scenarios run during the training included an adult male suffering from bleeding and then going into shock due to a long leg laceration and a child with a head injury.

The adult male scenario, overseen by fellow coordinator Tyler Bonnicksen, utilized a life-size medical mannequin fondly referred to as Medi-Man.

Medi-Man is equipped with $80,000 worth of medical software. He can blink, talk, mimic the chest movements for breathing, has a heartbeat and has touch-activated pulses. His pupils even dilate when examined by a light.

“He’ll cry, bleed and vomit,” said Bonnicksen as he showed the tools of their simulation.

Miers said the child simulation is not as advanced as Medi-Man, but can still give fire and rescue members trouble as they train. “Chucky” as the simulation coordinators called him, is also a life-size medical mannequin, costing about $46,000 in total.

Miers said the program was officially started about three years ago, but only went on the road two years ago.

“We recently had our 250th visit for the program.” Miers said.

The SIM-NE program is funded entirely by the University of Nebraska Medical Center in the hopes of spreading new practices and training methods to better prepare fire and rescue operatives for the unexpected.

Waverly Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Jared Rains said he and the other members of the department were excited to take part in the training.

“It really provides great training,” Rains said.

Rains said the mobile education center was a great means to train. The training takes place in a recreation of an emergency room inside the mobile training center, with all the expected tools available for use.

He said 18 fire and rescue members took part in the program, learning what they could to help apply to their real-life situations should it become necessary.

“It’s a great set-up for interactive, hands-on training,” Rains said.

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