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UT Simulation Center assists with military exercises

During the first two weeks in June, The University of Toledo Jacobs Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center will join the United States Air Force in conducting live virtual constructive exercises for emergency responders.

Guardian Angels, formerly known as pararescue jumpers, will be thrust into real-life emergency scenarios to treat the CAE Healthcare patient simulators, which can breathe, bleed and also react to treatment.

Ben Stobbe, administrative director and business manager of the UT Simulation Center, will be onsite in Arizona and New Mexico to lead the UT team. The University’s simulation experts will be supporting the medical focus — specifically triage, transfer of care and medical competencies — of the training exercises.

The consortium also will be testing “distributed training,” which means running the patient simulators from a distance. Jeremy Awbrey and Jeff Schneiderman, both clinical simulation education and research associates, will be involved with that at the UT center.

As a first step, the team will test the capability of running the patient simulators (located in Arizona and New Mexico) from the center in Toledo.

“We want to show that it is possible to train from a distance. This is called ‘distributed training,’” said Suzanne Torroni-Roberts, director of business development for the UT Simulation Center. “In doing so, we plan to alternate between running the patient simulators onsite in Arizona and New Mexico and running the patient simulators from The University of Toledo as well as San Antonio. This has the potential to help the military training become more time- and cost-efficient.”

The Wright Patterson Air Force Base 711th Human Performance Wing, based in Dayton, Ohio, is leading these military exercises. The UT Simulation Center has an educational partnership with Wright Patterson; the two frequently work together on innovative projects.

The first exercises will be in Tucson, Ariz., Monday through Wednesday, June 1-3. The second exercise will be in Playas, N.M., Sunday through Thursday, June 7-11.

As an example of a scenario, the Guardian Angels might respond to the aftermath of a roadside bomb explosion where U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency agents are injured. The Guardian Angels will work to secure the scene, remove the victims, care for the casualties, and transport them to medical facilities.

“The patient simulators are so life-like that the Guardian Angels can get a feel for a real emergency,” Stobbe said. “The simulators react to treatment unlike a basic mannequin or a real person acting like they are injured and suffering.”

Stobbe hopes this exercise will further solidify the important role that the UT center and patient simulators play in military exercises.

“Use of this level of patient simulator with the expertise in the UT Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center is groundbreaking when it comes to training and helping the military get experience that is as close to reality as possible,” he said.

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