Realistic emergency training offered through Mobile Education Lab

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) - The first Mobile Education Lab (MEL) launched back in October of 2015 in Danville, but the official hands-on training is finally making its way around six different counties.

MEL can be taken to different locations for EMS training. EMS Educator Les Mennenga says his organization realized low-fidelity mannequins were not enough for their trainees. Educators and medical directors wanted to find a way to grow their EMS training and find a way to give firefighters, EMS and U of I students an opportunity to get hands-on training.

"High-fidelity simulation is very important for EMS education. We're used to talking across the table with low-fidelity mannequins that don't breathe, don't talk, they don't respond to any of our treatment," says Mennenga.

MEL took some time because they had to find funding to launch this mobile tool.

"The funding was from a donor - Julia Segler from the Second Foundation in Danville - and our second donor that helped with the station lab as well," said Mennenga.

About 10 to 20 people are able to be a part of the training and Mennenga says it is free and typically runs through student education classes.

"They will contact us and we will come out to the fire departments. EMTs have fees of their own but we don't have additional charges for that," says Mennenga.

Trainees say it was scary and nerve-racking at first. They're just not used to a mannequin that has a pulse, interacts and does human-like things.

"So you can have a very high blood pressure and you actually measure it accordingly instead of someone reading off of a piece of paper, " said Dustin Heiser.

A new training course will be coming to Iroquois County in the upcoming week. For more information visit https://www.osfhealthcare.org/heart-of-mary/about/ems/pro-ambulance/.

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