Edison's Driving Simulator

Oct 16, 2007

Lee County Emergency Medical Services EMS has installed a Doron Driving Simulation System at the EMS simulation lab at Edison College's Lee Campus to provide a high quality standardized training program for new and experienced emergency vehicle drivers. Lee County EMS and Edison College representatives will begin hands-on training with the simulator October 16 at the Edison College Public Safety Institute, Building B Gresham Hall . Lee County EMS received a matching grant from the Florida Bureau of Emergency Medical Service for the purchase of an ambulance driving simulator.

The simulator replicates the driving compartment of a typical ambulance and includes approximately 150 road scenarios and driving hazards from heavy traffic and street signals to road hazards and treacherous weather systems. Two 65" high resolution rear projection monitors display forward views and two 42" latest technology plasma wide-screen displays provide realistic side views. Two modern, remote controlled mirror views complete the realistic visual display. Simulator training has resulted in reported lower collision rates and improved safety. A reaction monitoring system allows instructors to compare and measure students' driver reaction skills against nationally accepted standards.

Captain Art Garcia, Quality Supervisor and lead Emergency Vehicle Operations Instructor for Lee County EMS said the simulator will provide many training enhancements. "Lee County EMS remains committed to the safety of its employees, residents and visitors. The driving simulator complements the programs and procedures that we have in place to ensure a safe and efficient drive to and from the hospital," said Garcia. "The simulator will allow us to refine our emergency vehicle operations training for the specific needs of an individual and enhance our new employee orientation program by providing simulated driving experience before actually getting into a vehicle. It will also allow paramedic and EMT emergency medical technician students an opportunity to get early exposure to the principles of driving an emergency vehicle," he said.

This new training system will provide state of the art driving simulation, offering practical applications of ambulance operations to EMT and paramedic students early in the curriculum, and ultimately increase safety on the road," said Jeff Ziomek, Edison College's EMS Program Coordinator.

As part of the Lee County EMS orientation process, employees participate and must demonstrate proficiency in the techniques taught during a three-day course using curriculum from the National Academy for Professional Driving. Employees drive an ambulance on a closed-road course to determine their proficiency in the techniques which include steering, pitch control, apexing corners, avoiding cones, and overall smoothness. The new simulator will allow EMS to provide more one-on-one training for individuals with specific requirements. In addition, the simulator provides the opportunity to playback and review the simulated experience.

Edison College trains EMS providers for the Southwest Florida region, authorized by the State of Florida to provide EMT and parametic training to the region. Approximately 150 paramedics and 250 EMTs are trained at Edison annually. Lee County EMS currently employs 232 paramedics and EMTs and responded to more than 70,000 emergency calls for service in 2006.

For more information, contact Jeff Ziomek at 239 489-9108.