State-of-the-art manikins help train Marines to save lives
CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa — Their pupils can dilate. They can replicate abnormal breathing patterns. They can bleed and even go into shock.
They can also help save lives.
That’s a lot to ask of a manikin, but the staff of the newly opened III Marine Expeditionary Force Casualty Simulation Center is confident in its state-of-the-art gear.
“They are wireless, tetherless manikins that can simulate any battle injury that we give it,” instructor Petty Officer 1st Class Jeremy Dunlap said during the final day of a recent combat life-saving course for Marines.
The SimMan 3G manikins cost $65,000 each. They are the main teaching tool at the center, which opened in September. Classes with the manikins began in February, officials said.
The center is the first in the Navy and Marine Corps to use the SimMan 3G manikins for training, officials said. The Army also uses them.
“If you give a guy in the field a [medical scenario] card, they look at you like a deer in the headlights,” said Mark Kane, an instructor who retired from the Navy after serving 25 years as a corpsman. “With this, you get a realistic training experience. This thing does it all.”
While the students are working, instructors can change the manikins’ vital signs, making the students think on their feet, Kane and Dunlap said.
“We teach the Marines the three major war wounds — [blood loss], chest injuries and airway management,” Dunlap said, explaining that a corpsman is not always available. “The course is designed to build confidence in the Marines before they have to stick their buddy.”
“The training is very realistic,” said Sgt. Jasper Ryan, who has undergone the training and will deploy soon. “It will definitely save lives on the battlefield.”