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College’s ambulance simulator intended to improve training

ENMU-Roswell officials think the college’s ambulance simulator will be a great aid in preparing students as emergency medical technicians and paramedics. (Submitted Photo)

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Emergency medical services students at Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell have a new tool to help them learn the skills required for their certificates and degrees.

An ambulance simulator was installed on campus a week ago that enables prospective emergency medical technicians and paramedics to learn and practice while operating with the equipment and in the environment of an ambulance.

The college already had simulation manikins. Now those can be used in conjunction with the ambulance simulator.

“It is basically a fully loaded ambulance, but just the box, with no engine and no chassis. It functions just like an ambulance. It has lights. It has sirens. It has radios in it. It allows them to actually simulate patient care in the back of the truck,” said Jesse Davis, director of Emergency Medical Services programs at the college.

He said it also comes with the medical equipment standard on ambulances or in emergency rooms. Students’ scenarios also can be recorded so that instructors and students can review what went well and what did not.

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The equipment was made possible through the support of area legislators and the governor, as it was paid for by a $40,000 capital outlay allocation passed in 2020, according to Sean Powell, president of ENMU-Roswell.

While the full introduction of the simulator isn’t expected to occur until the fall, Davis said that paramedic students were able to do their final testing scenarios last week with the equipment.

“The realism made it so much better than trying to pretend like you were moving from one area to another without having an actual ambulance to be the prop,” he said.

He said the goal is to make students’ classroom training as realistic as possible so that they feel prepared when they are on the job.

He said the simulator will be used at all levels of instruction, from EMT Basic, to EMT Intermediate, to paramedic training. At ENMU-Roswell, students can earn certificates of employability or certificates of occupational training as EMTs or paramedics, or an associates of applied science as a paramedic.

Davis added that the ambulance simulator probably will be used in nursing and respiratory therapy courses as those students simulate caring for patients who are transferred from ambulances to care facilities.

Davis said the college trains about 80 EMT and paramedic students a year, and he believes ENMU-Roswell is one of the few programs in the state to offer an ambulance simulator, though they are becoming more prevalent as costs come down.

“It is something that is becoming a necessity for EMS training,” he said.

Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.