Simulated ambulance helps students at WSU prepare to treat patients

Posted at 9:44 PM, Jun 21, 2014

OGDEN, Utah – Weber State University has one of the nation’s oldest programs for training emergency medical responders, and now it has cutting edge technology as well.

The school now has a realistic simulator built to resemble an ambulance.

“The dimensions are exactly that of a traditional ambulance,” said Bill Robertson, who is an assistant professor of emergency care at WSU. “It even has compressed air, so they can attach the patient to oxygen as needed.”

Robertson said the plastic patient is high tech.

He said: “The clinicians can check for a blood pressure on the mannequin, they don’t have to just ask: ‘What's the blood pressure?' They can listen to lung sounds.”

Robertson said instructors can even use a wireless system to change the vital signs the mannequin is exhibiting to represent a patient’s condition improving or worsening as care is rendered.

Zachary Hatch is a firefighter and paramedic for West Valley City, and he said the simulator is impressive.

“It's as lifelike as it gets,” he said. “This is exactly what you’re going to do on the street.”

Robertson said the simulator includes cameras, so students’ efforts can be reviewed later. He said their goal is to prepare students for the real thing.

“We try to make the situations as intense as possible so that it puts them in an environment where they can make mistakes without actually hurting somebody,” he said.