Wiltshire Air Ambulance is encouraging supporters to take part in a special online donation challenge – starting on 27 November – to enable it to buy improved manikins for its paramedics to use for training.

The manikins that Wiltshire Air Ambulance wants to buy are called SIMBODIES® and are extremely realistic. They have the look and feel of real skin and are weighted accurately, with natural range of motion in the joints and limbs.

The charity’s ground operations manager Richard Miller, who is also a critical care paramedic, said: “Our paramedics undertake regular training in order to continue delivering the highest standards of care to patients who are critically ill or injured.

“At our new airbase at Semington we have an immersive simulation room where we can train using different scenarios.

“The existing manikins we use are standard resuscitation manikins, which don’t provide realistic representations of patients with life-threatening conditions. The SIMBODIES® manikins are true to life manikins and we would be able to perform invasive and complex procedures, such as airway management.”

“Having the SIMBODIES® manikins would improve the quality of training for our paramedics and ultimately this will help us to continue saving lives.”

The total cost of the SIMBODIES®that Wiltshire Air Ambulance wants to buy is £24,000 and this will purchase three manikins (baby, toddler and adult sizes), as well as a trauma moulage starter kit. The kit includes specialist sleeves that can be placed on the manikins to create lifelike injuries such as wounds, burns and fractures.

The charity already has £12,000 pledged, including £6,000 from its Big Give charity champion Candis, £2,000 from Mitsubishi Motors in the UK, £1,000 from Bechtle Direct Ltd in Chippenham, plus a private donation.

The charity now has the opportunity to raise another £6,000 in the public Big Give Christmas Challenge, which would then be match funded to £12,000, achieving the necessary funding total to purchase the SIMBODIES® and trauma kit.

The Big Give Christmas Challenge runs from 12noon on Tuesday 27 November to 12noon on Tuesday 4 December. Importantly, only donations made via the dedicated online link – https://bit.ly/2JEYS1r– will count!

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