Disaster

ReaLifeSim Uncovers New Market in Post Disaster Rubble

ReaLifeSim’s innovative hybrid IV/blood draw trainer was used recently by Disaster Medical Solutions, LLC, (DMS) who presented a course to firefighters, paramedics and other clinical personnel from around Florida, nine other states, as well as Japan, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates.

The Medical Team Specialist course, certified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is part of a series of training opportunities offered in support of the National Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Response System under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security. The course was conducted on the campus of the Florida State Fire College (FSFC) in Ocala.

A variety of buildings, collapsed structures, vehicles and assorted rubble occupy a good portion of the Florida State Fire College’s 37-acre fire-rescue-technical training facility in Ocala, FL.

A variety of buildings, collapsed structures, vehicles and assorted rubble occupy a good portion of the Florida State Fire College’s 37-acre fire-rescue-technical training facility in Ocala, FL.

The four-day course focuses on the challenges of delivering immediate medical care in an urban search and rescue environment. Whether caused by natural events such as fires, floods and hurricanes or man-made disasters such as explosions, vehicle crashes or terrorist incidents, these sites often remain unstable and dangerous, for victims and first responders alike, for some time after the causative event.

“This program exposes the student to the injury types consistent with structural collapse incidents,” explained Joe Hernandez, CEO and course coordinator of Disaster Medical Solutions.

“A heavy focus is placed on providing care in a confined space,” Hernandez added.

We, at ReaLifeSim, are excited to have our IV trainers used to help create the most realistic training environment possible for such an important function.

The wearable simulation device, designed to enhance the training of nurses and other clinical specialists, was used to add another level of realism to the scenarios by requiring students to successfully start an IV on a live person often in dark and confined spaces.

Reaching, assessing and treating injured victims in confined spaces adds significantly to the realism and effectiveness of the training.

Reaching, assessing and treating injured victims in confined spaces adds significantly to the realism and effectiveness of the training.

Tyler Steele, 32, a veteran paramedic from the Rogers, Arkansas Fire Department, confirmed the challenges of working in uncomfortable situations and confined spaces. To cope requires you to “focus on your breathing and fall back on your training and teachings,” Steele said.

Rescue workers assess a “victim’s” condition and extraction options from a simulated building collapse.

Rescue workers assess a “victim’s” condition and extraction options from a simulated building collapse.

Instructor Matt Haywood, a 50-year old paramedic from Palm Beach County, FL, who served as a simulated patient, complimented the ReaLifeSim IV trainer, citing its flexibility and function, as adding significant realism when compared with manikins.

The ReaLifeSim wearable IV trainers were used to add another level of realism to the scenarios by requiring students to successfully start an IV on a live person often in dark and confined spaces.

The ReaLifeSim wearable IV trainers were used to add another level of realism to the scenarios by requiring students to successfully start an IV on a live person often in dark and confined spaces.

DMS lead instructor, Vincent Johnson, 48, a rescue paramedic from the New York City Fire Department, confirmed the importance of the multi-sensory overload within the various scenarios to create the very real distractions students will find in real-life rescue situations.

The presence of loud noises, heat, wind, rain, tight spaces and the absence of light all contribute to the difficulty of maintaining focus on the critical tasks at hand. The key to success, according to Johnson, is to “work slowly and methodically,” through each task.

When evaluating a team’s performance, Johnson looks for “clear communications and demonstrating respect for other members of the team.”

It is gratifying to be providing an affordable product that improves clinical training creating competent, confident paramedics and leading to better patient outcomes.

Clear communication between rescue workers, who are often members of different organizations or even from different countries, is critical to delivering safe and effective care, treatment and evacuation.

Clear communication between rescue workers, who are often members of different organizations or even from different countries, is critical to delivering safe and effective care, treatment and evacuation.

September - A time to Focus on YOUR Emergency Preparedness

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Okay, the government has declared September to be “Emergency Preparedness Month.” But, we all know being prepared for emergencies is, and should be, a 24/7, 365 days a year activity.

Now, this doesn’t mean every day you need to be stocking up on supplies, running family fire drills or practicing putting on a life vest. It does mean taking time to think through what you would do in the event of a variety of emergency situations, whether they are events which effect the public at large, your community in particular or you and your family personally and taking appropriate steps to prepare for them.

When I say “prepare,” I mean in advance, before the emergency arrives.

While different types of emergency situations may require different types of preparation, there is one step that takes precedence – information gathering.

The first type of information is personal:

  • Include the identification of yourself and every member of your immediate family including full name, age, birthdate, home address, phone number(s), email address(es), relationship and work address for starters.
  • Include family members who live away from you whether across town or across the country. You should also include identifying information for any pets, including description, ID tags and if they have an embedded chip with digital contact numbers. A photo of each could be very helpful as well.
  • You can make a hard copy for storage in your personal record file and keep it on a thumb drive or other digital media including your smartphone.
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Additional critical Information:

  • The location and non-emergency phone numbers for the closest police station, fire department, hospital or emergency care clinic and ambulance service as well as the nearest shelter or Red Cross facility.
  • Your bank account numbers, insurance policies and company contact numbers for auto, home, property along with credit card numbers and contact information.
  • Lastly, consider making a list of basic health information for yourself and family members including chronic medical conditions, mobility challenges, medications and allergies.
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Visit federal, state and local emergency management websites for information templates to help you gather and organize your information. www.ready.gov

Having this information gathered, organized and available can make a big difference in managing most any type of emergency situation you might face. In addition, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from having taken this important step in preparation.

We’ll have other preparation tips and resources throughout the month, so check back soon.