New training dummy will help save lives
July 27, 2017

By Bill Wilson
The Cleburne News

Cleburne County Emergency Medical Service paramedic Christy Williams is pleased to have the help of Jerry to help serve the rural county. “Jerry” is the name given a medical training dummy on which Williams and other EMS employees have been honing their lifesaving skills for four months.

Williams said Jerry is an invaluable training aid due to the realism featured in its construction.

“This is as close to a being able to practice on a real person. This allows us to hone in all our skills,” Williams said.

Williams said some of the training techniques made possible in Jerry’s construction include:

— IV insertions

— IO insertions, in which a hole is drilled into bone to get medicine in quickly

— Airway functions

— Ability to hook up to a cardiac monitor and run advanced cardiac life support algorithms

— Check for abnormal heart rhythms

— Pulse and blood pressure

— Realistic verbal reactions

Williams also said that Jerry’s tongue swells so trainees can get experience dealing with patients with hard airways.

The Cleburne County Emergency Medical Service bought Jerry with leftover money from a grant it received last year.

That grant, $132,600 through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, was used to buy cardiac monitors and chest compression systems, according to Cleburne County EMS director Tracy Lambert.

Lambert said that there was $22,000 left, so they bought the dummy in March for $15,000. Jerry resides at the EMS office on a table connected to a number of medical devices.

 Another piece of equipment the EMS purchased with the grant is a McGrath laryngoscope, which is inserted into a patient’s mouth to visualize the trachea to properly insert a breathing tube during emergencies. It has a video camera, light and a screen to aid in treatment.

The laryngoscope training has already been useful. Last week Williams treated a patient who had a heart attack, and she used what she learned training with the laryngoscope on Jerry.

Lambert said he wants the best for his paramedics because Cleburne County is a rural area with no hospital. It can take up to 30-45 minutes just to reach patients in some parts of the county, she said. Williams said the closest hospitals are in Anniston, Carrollton, Ga., and Tallapoosa, Ga.

“We want to make sure that these guys have the best equipment that we can possibly get, the best training assistance that we can possibly get to give the people of this county a better chance for survival,” Lambert said.