By Kathy Walsh

DENVER (CBS4) – First responders, doctors, nurses and more can now better prepare for emergencies involving premature infants to adolescents with the help of The Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children Mobile Training Center.

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It is a two-room simulation lab inside a 39-foot RV that will travel across four states, teaching valuable skills in critical situations.

According to RMHC, the center is a first-of-its-kind.

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The hospital reports there are other smaller, simulation vehicles and other simulation labs in a fixed facility, but none of them have all of these features in one training center:

  • 2 Simulation Rooms – Ambulance bay simulation capable of transferring patient to ER/Hospital/NICU room
  • Four high-fidelity pediatric manikins, including a preemie manikin
  • Live broadcast/record capability
  • Mobile
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RMHC says their research has shown that they are the first hospital in the country to custom build a pediatric mobile training center with all of the above capabilities.

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CBS4 was able to see a demonstration of a training session. A scenario was given to a trio of first responders:

“Max, all of a sudden, dropped when he was playing on the playground.”

Five-year-old “Max the high-tech manikin” was struggling to breathe.

With very little information, it was up to the crew to help. The mock emergency was played out in what looks like an actual ambulance. The work of taking vitals and starting a breathing tube was hands-on training for the real thing.

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The fake ambulance is inside a huge RV. It’s the hospital’s $650,000 investment in treating sick kids.

“It’s very helpful,” said Jackson Williams, a paramedic with Northglenn Ambulance.

“Max” is joined by three other manikins including 16-year-old, Ryan, 1-year-old, Hope and 25-week-premature infant, Chloe.

The RV includes a mock hospital room that can be an ER or NICU.

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“Practice, practice, practice,” said Dr. Reginald Washington, Chief Medical Officer at RMHC.

“Our hope is that the quality of care we provide for patients will be better, safer and more effective through the use of this technique,” said Washington.

The training center will travel across Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and Kansas. There are video cameras to broadcast sessions on the internet.

The mobile center is also planning to train school nurses in dealing with allergic reactions, diabetes, choking and more. It will also offer CPR, babysitting and other programs to the community.

The dummies may be lying down on the job, but they are working hard helping make humans.

Kathy Walsh is CBS4’s Weekend Anchor and Health Specialist. She has been with CBS4 since 1984. She is always open to story ideas. Follow Kathy on Twitter @WalshCBS4.

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