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Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

We have compiled a list here of the most frequently asked questions - if you can't find an answer here, just call us on 01490 413282 or visit our contact page to get in touch.


Please note: Since leaving the European Union, certain products supplied from the continent, including Fireware and Eccotarps, will be subject to additional shipping and customs charges. These start at £90.

Please contact our Head Office on 01490 413 282 for an up-to-date quote before ordering.

Who are Ruth Lee Ltd?

Ruth Lee Ltd is Europe's leading manufacturer of rescue training manikins. Based in the UK (North Wales), we sell our manikins world-wide through a network of dedicated distributors. 

We have been manufacturing equipment for the British emergency services for over 50 years and are committed to creating the best quality products for creating realistic training. 

How much are your training manikins?

That depends on which manikin you want and where you are in the world - your local representative will be able to give you a price inclusive of local taxes and freight costs.

If you are based in the UK, please call us on 01490 413 282 to discuss your requirement, or alternatively, if you are not based in the UK, find your local stockist by visiting our Distributor page.

How are the manikins made?

All the different models are made in exactly the same way, with an inner-body weighted with aggregate to human proportions, held inside the outer carcass. The aggregate is distributed around the body in weighted packets in such a way that slumping of the weight is prevented, allowing the dummy to maintain its form during and after use.

Metal ballast is also sometimes used in order to achieve certain weights. Almost all manikins will also have a metal zipper as part of their construction. Please call us if the exclusion of metal is important to you. 

What materials are used in the construction of the manikins?

The three main manikin categories, Fire House(FH), Water Rescue (WR) and Duty Range  (DR), all use different materials.

The DR manikins (our most popular models) are constructed in waterproof Polyester: conforms to BS EN ISO 6330), OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 and ISO 17050-1. This material is tough, safe to handle and easy to clean, the also use Nylon and polyurethane foam.

The FH models are made using Nomex.

The WR manikins use P.V.C, Nylon mesh and non-absorbent foam.

All manikins apart from the FH models are reinforced using high-density polypropylene webbing.

There may be slight variations in the materials used for model in our range, but you can find out the full information on the page dedicated to each manikin. If you need more information, please call us on 01490 413 282.

Metal ballast is also sometimes used in order to achieve certain weights. Almost all manikins will also have a metal zipper as part of their construction. Please call us if the exclusion of metal is important to you.

Why do you use stone aggregate?

The aggregate provides the weight for all the different models; it has no sharp edges, provides enough flexibility and drains well.

Can you make heavier manikins?

Obesity is a growing issue and we have therefore developed a range of Bariatric Manikins at 90 kg, 180 kg and 260 kg. These manikins have been designed with anatomically correct weight distribution and our lighter-weight 90 kg manikin is the perfect choice where you want to work with less weight without forfeiting the bulk for your training.

We could potentially accommodate requests for heavier weights within other manikins in our range. However, anything not from our current range would certainly be more expensive and would not have the weight screen printed on the warning label on the head. Please contact us on 01490 413 282 with your specific requirements. 

How do Ruth Lee manikins compare with the likes of Simulaid’s Rescue Randy?

Ruth Lee training dummies are a different product from Simulaids Rescue Randy, they act more like an unconcious casualty and are more suited to most training scenarios. The Simulaids products are ideal where a more visually realistic or rigid casualty is required eg RTC training.

Why are your manikins better than the cheap sand/rag filled alternatives on the market?

For many reasons. They have been designed with many years' of research and testing, are weighted to be anatomically correct, are hard-wearing and durable...all whilst still being value for money. There is really no comparison to a sand/rag filled alternative. 

For the full benefits of each manikin, visit their relevant page on our website. 

Who uses your manikins?

100% of the UK Fire Services use Ruth Lee Manikins

They are also widely used by the other emergency services such as Police, Ambulance (including HART Teams) and paramedics, not just in the UK, but also worldwide.

Ruth Lee Ltd also has contracts to supply The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) including the British Navy, The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), international and local airports worldwide, Air Ambulance Services, hospitals and prison services all use our rescue manikins; they are also used widely across industry.

Where can they be used?

It never ceases to amaze us where the manikins are used, from the obvious use within the emergency services were they can be used in situations too hazardous or uncomfortable for human volunteers, to murder victims for television companies. These products are perfect for simulating rescues from height, confined spaces, static and fast flowing water or extrication from vehicles and collapsed buildings.

Is there a warranty period?

Although it is impossible for Ruth Lee Ltd to provide a warranty for these products simply because of the circumstances in which they are used, the Company will always replace any product that is defective due to faulty materials or workmanship within one year of purchase.

How do I look after my manikin?

Some manikins have specific care instructions (such as the Pool Rescue manikin) and you should refer to these, or contact us for further information.

Our products are extremely robust, but care should always be taken when using them around sharp or jagged objects.

The manikins should always be hung up (using the webbing loop on the back) if they get wet.

Ruth Lee Ltd always recommends the use of the protective overalls or other protective clothing.

Not only do the overalls protect the carcass of the manikins during use, but they can be machine washed to keep the dummy clean; whilst this may not be important to Fire Services, it is certainly important when they are used in hospitals or schools etc. Should the carcass get dirty, it can simply be scrubbed clean with warm water and a mild detergent.

Our Manikin Equipment Note / Care Instructions can be found here 

Do you have a risk assessment prepared for the manikins?

Yes we have a rescue training dummy risk assessment and an equipment note covering the whole dummy range.

Can we buy replacement overalls and boots?

Yes, these items can be replaced relatively cheaply. You can buy them online in our manikin accessories section

What accessories are available for the manikins?

A range of accessories are available for Ruth Lee rescue manikins: Kevlar lined leg protectors, thermal tabards and heat packs, injury armbands and weighted vests in both 10 and 20Kg weights.

Can the manikins be dropped from a height e.g. from a second story window?

Yes, these manikins will survive an accidental fall from a second floor window, but Ruth Lee Ltd would not recommend that anyone purposely do this. The manikins will of course survive a fall from height onto a recognised safety product designed for that purpose.

Can you drive over a manikin in a vehicle?

Yes, we have driven over a number of manikins in a 4wd vehicle during testing and they suffered no damage at all.

In one training exercise they were even driven over by an industrial tracked digger without sustaining damage - see the gallery on this page for photos!

Can the loop on the back be used to lift or lower the manikin?

Yes, the high density webbing loop on the back is an integral part of the manikin and will easily support the weight of the heaviest models when lifting or lowering.

Are the heat packs used in the thermal vests re-usable, can I use my own supplier for them?

The heat packs supplied with the thermal vests are not reusable, replacement heat packs can be ordered from us although any proprietary heat packs will do.

Do you have N.A.T.O stock numbers for the manikins?

Yes, we can provide N.S.N numbers for a number of our manikins.

Each manikin page on the website has a table at the bottom which details the NATO stock number (where available) for the manikin.

Do you make a carry bag for the manikins?

Yes we now produce an excellent manikin carrying bag, they make moving the dummies far easier for two people.

How do I dry the Water Rescue Manikins?

Because the Water Rescue manikins are made from a tough Nylon mesh, water will very easily drain from the carcass; holes are also drilled in the Wellington boots to aid the process.

As with all the manikins, we recommend that they are hung up to dry using the webbing loop on the back of the carcass.

What temperature will the Fire House manikins withstand?

The Fire House Manikin will easily withstand temperatures of around 160°C at floor level (400°C at the ceiling!) for many hours and our designed for general training in and around fire houses and hot fire cell training. The new manikins are far more robust than the previous FR models and are considerably cheaper. They will of course deteriorate if placed to close to naked flames or used in excessive temperatures, just as any fire kit would!

What temperature will the general purpose manikins withstand?

General duty manikins can be used in most circumstances but they should not be exposed to temperatures in excess of 100°C; neither should they be placed in close proximity to heat sources or naked flame.

Can the Water Rescue dummies be used for diving exercises?

We have a full range of water rescue manikins, all designed for specific purposes and training exercises.

The best manikin for use in Diving Exercises is the Body Recovery Manikin. This manikin is a variant of the popular Water Rescue manikin - but instead of floating, it sinks. By balancing the buoyancy against the ballast the manikin weighs 50kg on land but only 10kg under water.

The body recovery models are visible to sonar devices - the gallery image was taken using a Cmax CM2 Side Scan and Konsberg Sector Scan Sona.

Do the manikins contain any metal?

As the manikins are made in a factory which also uses metal shot, we cannot guarantee that a manikin does not contain metal. If this is very important for your intended use, please contact us on 01490 413 282.

Please also bear in mind that most models will include a metal zipper somewhere in their construction. 

We strongly advise that manikins which do, or may potentially, contain metal, should NOT be placed into an MRI scanner or similar magnetic equipment as this could be dangerous to the user and may damage the equipment.

Where is Ruth Lee Ltd - What is your Address?

Currently, Ruth Lee Ltd runs from two sites, both situated in Denbighshire, North Wales.

The Head Office address is : Lambert House, Glyndyfrdwy, Corwen, Denbighshire, Wales, LL21 9HW

The Factory address is : Ruth Lee Ltd, London Road, Corwen, Denbighshire, Wales, LL21 0RZ


If you are making a delivery, please call the office to confirm which location on 01490 413 282 

Are you affliliated with any professional bodies?

Yes, we are keen to build partnerships with professional bodies serving the sectors we work in.

For lifeguards, we are linked to the RLSS UK as an official Water Safety Partner and within the care sector, we are members of NASHiCS, the National Association for Safety and Health in Care Services. 

Aligning with experts in these industries allows us to develop our understanding of the sector and create manikins for their training requirements. 




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Ruth Lee - Queen's Award for Enterprise - International Trade 2020
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