First Responders to purchase ‘METIman’
Months of fundraising and grant writing by the Fort Frances High School First Responders has been successful, with the group nearly ready to purchase “METIman,” a $60,000 technologically-advanced simulator mannequin, to use for a variety of training purposes.
Program co-ordinator and local paramedic John Beaton indicated the funds almost are all in place, with just one more cheque left to come in.
More detailed training will be done in Sarasota, Fla., with travel and accommodation being sponsored by First Aid Concepts.
“METIman will give a significant enhancement to show realism for the P.A.R.T.Y. program and the high school medical responders,” noted Beaton, adding it also will provide a realistic learning environment for local youth.
Jia Wu and Lyle Dolph, two of the First Responders who helped make the purchase possible, said METIman will be an excellent addition to the training process for the students.
“It is much more realistic and as life-like as you can get without using an actual person for scenarios, which you can’t do,” Dolph explained.
“Having METIman will allow the First Responders to be much more confident when they arrive at a scene,” added Wu, noting their role is to access a situation to determine what action should be taken.
The pair have been on the scene to assess everything from chemical burns and drug overdoses to lacerations, bone
trauma, and seizures at the high school.
But while they were trained to deal with these situations, most of their education has come from textbooks rather than hands-on experience, such as the kind METIman will offer.
“It’s completely different when you get on the scene and are dealing with a real person,” stressed Wu, saying the equipment they currently use to train with is outdated and cannot provide the level of realism needed to properly prepare for different scenarios.
Beaton said METIman will provide the student responders with better equipment than the paramedics have to train with.
“And it is really unique because we are the only school in Ontario that has a First Responders program—and now we’ll have METIman, too,” he added.
CAE brought METIman to Fort Frances earlier this year for a demonstration and Beaton, along with Wu and Dolph, had a chance to check it out.
“It was such an inspiration to see METIman,” Wu enthused. “It made all the hard work worth it, just seeing all the possibilities we could do with it.”
Wu and Dolph made presentations to businesses and service clubs across the district to gather to funds to purchase METIman—even though they won’t have an opportunity to use the simulator since both have graduated and are heading to university this fall.
“It’s a good feeling knowing we are leaving it in good hands,” said Wu, adding he’s hopeful the new mannequin will bring more awareness and exposure to the group since a lot of people don’t know who the First Responders are.
Students interested in getting involved in the program should listen for announcements at the school regarding registration.
Beaton said it is an excellent program for students interested in pursuing medicine, such as Wu, or for those who just want to help others, like Dolph.
“It’s just about doing a positive thing,” Dolph reasoned. “And these things not only happen at the school, but also in the real world, so you are trained for everything.
“We’d just like to thank everyone who helped us—the support was amazing,” he added.
Donations were provided by the Community Policing Committee Rainy River District, Emo Lions Club, Fort Frances Chiefs Secretariat, Royal Canadian Legion Br. #29 (Fort Frances), the Royal Canadian Legion Ladies Auxiliary Br. #29, and the local Kiwanis Club.
Funding also was received from the Moffat Family Fund, Ontario Healthy Communities Fund, Rainy River District Safe Communities, Rainy River District School Board, the Royal Bank Foundation, and TD Canada Trust.