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“…It simply takes your training program and brings it to the next level.”

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Creating the most realistic manikins for your training has always been our goal – from the very first manikin created by Ruth herself when a friend and firefighter bought her what was essentially a sack filled with sand with the plea to repair it for his training!

Since then, we have worked with rescue and training professionals worldwide to create a range which is as diverse as your training requirements – especially within the fire service. From fitness training and vehicle extrication to technical rescue, rope access and even water rescue, we have got you covered!

Phil McCully, Captain of Training, Safety Division at Newton Fire Department in Massachusetts, USA spoke to us about the benefits he has found since switching to Ruth Lee manikins in his team’s training.

Why we switched to Ruth Lee manikins

When I was transferred to the training division I was in charge of our “Active Shooter” training program and we found that the manikins that we were using for that training were impractical, bulky and had too many pinch points that were hurting our crews and not allowing for practical lifting and moving techniques. I always look at what others are doing in our industry, and I found Ruth Lee while looking at British firefighters via Instagram, and immediately brought it to my chief.

At the time, there weren’t too many people near Boston, Massachusetts using the Ruth Lee manikins. We purchased one in 2019, then a second one shortly after. We were the first in our area using this type of manikin, and it has taken off with many area fire departments making similar purchases.

They were able to accomplish several things for us.  First, they gave us a realistic “dead weight” of an unconscious person. By using the manikin, we can prevent accidental injury to both the rescuer and the rescued, the manikin has yet to complain if we accidentally drop them!

They are the perfect weight to challenge our members, allowing us to prefect our techniques and focus on the practical application of movements. Finally, the biggest advantage that we found was the lack of pinch points. Members were able to move the manikin freely and we were able to eliminate our injuries from lifting or moving the manikin.


Impressed by their durability and versatility.

Since they have been purchased, not a week goes by that we haven’t utilized the manikins. We started using them so often we had to purchase a second one. We leave them next to our training props at our main fire station.

We have several firefighters who also like to use the manikin for firefighter fitness training. They take the manikin and dress them in firefighter gear and drag them or carry them as part of their fitness regime in the station. Once again, the manikin is the perfect weight to master lifts and drags without putting someone at risk of injury.

 We constantly get compliments from other departments about our “new” manikins. They were the single-handed best purchase in our division and have brought our training to the next level.


Follow or find out more about Newton Fire Department on Twitter and Instagram

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