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Disaster Recovery And Training Unit To Roll Across State

Custom trailer fitted with mobile satellite, triage/classroom and ambulance simulator to training healthcare providers and serve as triage during disasters.
Disaster Recovery And Training Unit To Roll Across State

Disaster Recovery and Emergency Training Simulator Unit

For more information please contact Paula Bowles, 405.743.5108, or


To meet the needs for emergency preparedness and health provider training throughout Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education in partnership with Kiamichi Technology Center has created the Disaster Recovery and Emergency Training Simulator Unit. The unit will be operational by Jan. 1, 2012.

Funds from Tobacco Cessation Grant at the Oklahoma State Department of Health and lottery proceeds for technology awarded to Kiamichi Technology Center through the ODCTE were used to develop a 40 by 8-foot trailer fitted with a mobile satellite, triage/classroom area and an ambulance simulator.

This unit is used for training emergency medical personnel and other healthcare providers as well as onsite triage during Oklahoma man-made and natural disasters. The unit also provides mobile satellite communications that allow simultaneous distance training at multiple sites/campuses.

"A shortage of healthcare workers is a major concern on state and national levels," said Phil Berkenbile, state director of CareerTech. "A serious lack of clinical training opportunities contribute to limited enrollment in education and training.

"This initiative addresses recommendations by the Governor's Council on Workforce and Economic Development's Healthcare Industry Workforce report. The report urged development of solutions to limited clinical experience and maximization of flexible educational methods such as simulated and virtual clinical learning labs," said Berkenbile. "Advancing skills of healthcare workers also will assist in recruitment and retention."

This custom trailer is equipped with six high fidelity, adult and pediatric human simulators and capacity for 15 students. Satellite communications is available for distance education and cameras are strategically placed for recording students' performance, said J.R. Polzien, program specialist, Health Careers Education.

"Clinical simulation validates both basic and complex skills through a variety of scenarios by replicating common and uncommon patient management. Students participate in zero risk settings to practice critical thinking skills, build confidence and competence while promoting safety for both the provider and patient," said Polzien.

The unit also features lifesaving equipment including a heart monitor, c-collars, backboards and live oxygen administration to assist communities in preparing for and responding to disasters. This mobile unit also can double as a triage unit.

Continuing education for all levels of healthcare and emergency care providers, including EMS, paid and volunteer fire departments, hospitals and related industries, also can be offered through this unit. "We can provide specialized continuing education and refresher programs for EMS and fire department, especially rural volunteer departments and responders will not have to leave their communities for training," said Polzien.

Polzien said the unit also will be able to assist communities, medical facilities and nursing homes in emergency evacuations.

For more information about the unit visit or contact Polzien at


Posted 11-21-11

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