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Promoting proper casualty care in RTC training

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Ruth Lee manikins can be an immensely useful tool for your training, especially for more difficult or hazardous situations where you would not want to ask a live volunteer to act as the casualty. This includes dangerous Road Traffic Collision (RTC) or vehicle extrication scenarios such as where a vehicle is on its roof, or part way down an embankment, or maybe where one vehicle is partially crushed beneath an overturned lorry.

At Ruth Lee we have worked with the Fire & Rescue Services for more than 30 years and listening to your feedback, we have created a range of manikins suited to different training scenarios. One common request was for a manikin that would sit more upright in a vehicle for extrication training and after some development, the Duty Plus manikin was created.

The Duty Plus manikin is constructed with a plastic spine to help prevent ‘head flopping’, closed cell foam in the back and polyethylene strips which run to the waist/hip area allowing flexibility and a more ‘upright’ position - perfect for sitting in vehicles. As with all our dummies, the Duty Plus has anatomically correct weight distribution to give the ‘feel’ of a real body.

Rescue and casualty care

Of course, when faced with a dangerous RTC, your first thoughts must be on how you can extract casualties quickly and safely. But as we all know, the after-care delivered by crews can be just as important as the extrication.

Several despairing Training Managers in crews across the UK have contacted us for suggestions on how they can encourage their teams to behave a little bit more ‘sympathetically’ towards their manikins. We have heard stories where once they are out of the vehicle, they are simply dumped on the floor in a heap, or even dragged out of the way by a leg. This hardly represents appropriate casualty care!

We hope that the more upright posture of this particular manikin will encourage teams to train more realistically, handling the manikin as they would a live person and ultimately making sure high standards of care are always followed.

As another way to promote empathy and aftercare, we would encourage you to consider how you can create a more ‘human-like’ appearance. At Ruth Lee, we also provide face masks, wigs and even shoutboxes, where you can play pre-recorded or ‘live’ messages. Your teams might treat their manikin much more kindly if a voice was speaking to them throughout.

Choosing the right man(ikin) for the job

As well as our new Duty Plus manikin, we have full range which is well suited to vehicle extrication training and in particular, our Multi-Trauma manikin is an excellent tool for promoting proper casualty care. With this manikin you can simulate impalement, and a partial or total loss of limb to present a real medical emergency.

With co-responding becoming a bigger part of your work, you might also consider our Full Bodied Airway Management manikins. These robust manikins can be partially trapped underneath an overturned vehicle, allowing your team to practice life-saving skills in confined spaces. Surely this is more realistic and consequently more beneficial training than CPR done on a torso in a warm, bright classroom?

Our Water-fillable Bariatric Suit is also a great tool for vehicle extrication training. This lets you turn any adult Ruth Lee manikin into a bariatric using water - but means you can position him in difficult access locations (such as the high cab of a lorry) before adding the weight. 

Our team would be pleased to speak to you about your specific training and also to hear your suggestions for new manikins in the future. Call us today on 01490 413 282 or email our National Sales Manager Stuart Cheetham stuart@ruthlee.co.uk

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