You might see a large recreational vehicle from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics on the road in Iowa this summer. It’s not full of hospital staff heading to a campground.
The director of the U-I Hospitals EMS Learning Resources Center, Christopher Metsgar, says the RV has been set up for business.
“It’s a 42-foot Winnebago that has been converted on the inside to be a simulated ambulance as well as a small classroom area,” Metsgar says. He says it can provide valuable training to first-responders and others.
“This vehicle can be used for initial as well as continuing education of EMS and healthcare providers across the state. We have some simulators we put in the vehicle and can place them in different scenarios and simulations and ensure they provide appropriate care to our mannequins,” Metsgar explains “This allows for critique and feedback real-life scenario or situation when they were practicing healthcare.”
He says they drive the mobile lab to one of the big summer events to get some real life training. “We take the first year residents out to RAGBRAI and we set up in the midpoint town every day and provide first aid care for the riders and anyone in those communities who may need healthcare halfway through the route,” Metsgar says. “Last year we saw a little over 400 patients and it gives our residents a chance to see one, large event medicine, and it also provides some general first aid.”
The mobile lab was recently upgraded, which include a new wrap on the outside to draw attention to it. Metsgar says they hope people will take notice and might consider becoming a certified EMS provider. “There are currently numerous open positions for EMS providers and paramedics across Iowa, as well as nationally,” according to Metsgar.
You can find our more about the mobile training lab or about becoming an Emergency Medical Services provider at:www.uihealthcare.org/emslrc