By Ron VandenBoom
It's not often that Havre's Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) have to perform lifesaving procedures on infants, but if they do, they will now be better prepared thanks to Havre Soroptimists.
A baby mannequin, purchased recently at a cost of $1,174, will serve to help train Havre's EMT personnel and community members who take EMT classes.
The mannequin is capable of imitating a variety of heart conditions that an instructor can select from a simulator. The signals are then send from the mannequin to the EMT's defibrillator where the trainee is then forced to diagnose the type of abnormality the mannequin is experiencing and select the proper treatment.
The simulator can imitate up to 16 different heart conditions ranging from a normal heartbeat to ventricular fibrillation, fireman Jack Trethewey explained to crowd of about 10 Soroptimists during their regular meeting Tuesday.
The mannequin can also be used to train students in the proper insertion of an inter-tracheal invasion device.
Trethewey went on to explain that when a person stops breathing the device allows them to get a better seal into the lungs.
"The tube goes right into the trachea instead of trying to seal it with a mask over the face and the mouth," he said, adding that it's a better way to get air into the victim.
"This is the first time we've had the capability of practicing on infants," Trethewey said. "Infants, being smaller, gives us a lot less room to operate."
The mannequin is also capable of allowing trainees to practice inserting IVs, Trethewey said.
Havre currently has 10 EMTs at the intermediate level of training and six who are at the basic level, Capt. Bob Keller told the Soroptimists.
The EMT rankings consist of three levels with the highest being paramedic.
The mannequin also comes complete with additional parts that can be attached for more complex training if and when Havre's intermediates eventually reach the paramedic skill level.
Ramona Lohse, president of the Havre Soroptimists Club, said the club asked the fire department personnel what they would like to have and then made a determination last spring based on what they felt would be the most valuable to the community.
"We say, what comes from the community goes back to the community,'" Lohse said.
Other devices purchased by the Soroptimists for the fire department include a glucose monitor and a ear thermometer.