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Upgraded medical mannequins enhance realistic, rugged training

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MARCOA Media
Story by SGT Arjenis Nunez on 09/16/2019
FORT STEWART, Ga. The U.S. Army Medical Board (USAMEDDBD) conducted a customer test of upgrades to two Medical Simulation Mannequins at the Fort Stewart Medical Simulation Training Center, Sept. 10-12, on Fort Stewart, Georgia.

Two types of mannequins have been fielded to 21 Army Medical Simulation Training Centers and 77 training support centers to enhance the war fighter's trauma intervention capability across the U.S. Army and to assess their functionality and usability in support of the medical mission.

"This evaluation helps our staff assess whether the simulation mannequins are operationally suitable and rugged enough to be handled by combat life savers, combat medic specialists, physician assistants, and more, while training for casualty trauma intervention," said Col. Roberto E. Marin, branch chief for material systems operational test and evaluation.

The Medical Simulation Mannequins are designed to replicate the entirety of an adult human in both male and newly added female forms.

The material developers for the mannequins acquired feedback that indicated older models had sensor issues and weren't rugged enough for the type of training Army medical professionals needed to prepare for real world situations, Marin said. He said there was also a need to have an anatomically correct female mannequin to prevent any hesitation on the battlefield when treating and evacuating female casualties.

"This is the first time we are testing the female mannequins," Marin said.

With FSGA as the chosen location to conduct the customer test, combat medics, combat life savers, physician's assistants, and two surgeons from 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, and 3rd Sustainment Brigade were selected to participate.

Four lanes were developed to assess care under fire, buddy-drag for 50 meters, tactical field care and tactical evacuation.

"This type of testing and evaluation will provide data through a report to the Program Executive Office Simulation, Training and Instrumentation Joint Project Manager to continue improving the simulation mannequins," said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Goldie Cooper, a U.S. Army Medical Department Board test officer.

"The end goal is to ensure we have the best training aids for our Army medical specialists across the board so that they can continue saving lives on the battlefield," Cooper said.

Communication, transparency, efficiency and cooperation were key elements to a successful testing, according to Master Sgt. Benjamin Coburn, USAMEDDBD non-commissioned officer in charge of the evaluation.

"When it came to the Soldiers being evaluated, I looked for engagement," Coburn said. "Were they actually placing their hands on the right things?"

He said he also looked for a sense of motivation from the Soldiers when it came to casualty rescue and trauma intervention.

The Army warfighter depends on Soldiers being fit to fight, and senior Army medical leaders continue to explore different ways to enhance lifesaving capabilities.

"As a member of the Army Medical Department, we have an obligation to save lives," said Maj. Gen. Patrick Sargent, commander of The Medical Center of Excellence, Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston. "We are working toward zero preventable deaths, but as leaders it is our responsibility to give Soldiers the necessary resources and training to execute the given mission."

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