An armless, legless mannequin will become the latest tool to keep the members of the Prince Rupert Fire Department sharp when duty calls.
The $6,800 SmartMan dummy is the latest technology for CPR training. The life-like man was donated by the North Coast Health Improvement Society. The treasurer for the society, Don Cross, was at the fire department when the dummy arrived.
“We aim to improve health and wellness in the community. We are trying to help other places around town that are connected to the hospital,” Cross said.
The medical officer for the fire department, Dr. Allan Holmes of Iridia Medical, gave a tutorial on ways to utilize the SmartMan.
He asked this reporter to give it a shot. I stood over the dummy’s chest with my fingers interlaced, palms pressed down on its life-like chest and I had to pump to the beat of the Bee Gees Stayin’ Alive. As I pressed up and down everyone could see on the computer screen by the dummy whether or not my attempts at CPR were effective. A green bar flashed on the screen if I had the right pressure and speed, and a red bar would appear if I was too slow.
When Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Beckwith stepped up to the plate he had green bars across the screen.
“This is a tool that will give us the ability to ensure crews are doing high quality CPR,” Beckwith said. He explained that low dose high frequency CPR training is more effective than one lengthy course every two years.
Some of the features of the SmartMan include different settings to make the dummy 50 to 150-kilograms, visual feedback and a database that records all the training.
“With good quality CPR plus the use of a portable defibrillators it can increase survival by 75 per cent,” Dr. Holmes said.
The fire department plans on bringing the SmartMan to public events to demonstrate how it works, and maybe even inspire a few people to sharpen their own CPR skills.