EMS unveils Canada’s first mobile air ambulance simulator

June 1, 2017

EDMONTON – Canada’s first mobile flight simulation trailer will be integrated into Alberta Health Services Emergency Medical Services (AHS EMS) air ambulance training later this year.

The flight simulation trailer includes the fuselage of a King Air 200 aircraft that’s on hydraulics to simulate take-off and landing. The simulator enhances existing training and provides trainees with high-fidelity, hands-on learning with placement of supplies and equipment, and delivering patient care within an air ambulance aircraft. 

“We’re committed to ensuring all Albertans have access to high-quality air ambulance care,” says EMS Chief Paramedic Darren Sandbeck. “Simulation training enables learners to practise and master individual and team skills. Rehearsal is one of the best methods of learning, and it’s a benefit to our patients to have well-rehearsed teams delivering care.” 

The flight simulation trailer is based at Edmonton International Airport and will travel across Alberta to train EMS air ambulance paramedics, as well as partners in ground ambulance, hospital-based teams, post-secondary institutions, and other healthcare professionals.

There are 10 air ambulance bases and about 225 AHS air ambulance paramedics across the province.

A fully-equipped King Air 200, which replicates Alberta’s fixed-wing air ambulances, was donated by Lakeland College and the simulator’s design was developed by the Learning and Development team of AHS EMS through collaboration with AHS air ambulance and AHS partners.

“There weren’t any other examples of mobile simulation units that use an actual aircraft fuselage, so it was up to our team to determine how to make it work,” says Brent Thorkelson, EMS Staff Development Officer and project lead. “Fitting an aircraft with simulation equipment into a trailer and making it mobile was a unique process. The success of this project can be attributed to the talent of the dedicated people who put our imagination into reality.”

The $739,000 project was funded by a Government of Alberta grant, and donations include a new, fully-functional LifePort bed, an Alere EPOC blood analysis system and video laryngoscope parts from Karl Storz Endoscopy.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.

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For media inquiries, contact:

Shelly Willsey
AHS Communications