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Ambulance simulator unveiled at Collège Boréal in Sudbury

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A new, full-scale ambulance simulator is providing an entirely immersive experience in a controlled environment at Collège Boréal’s Sudbury campus.

Prof. Luc Perreault said the simulator, the first-of-its-kind for Ontario, gives students an advantage.

“In both the driving component as well as the patient care component in the back of the ambulance,” Perreault said.

“We're the first one in Ontario to get this type of simulator and we're the third one in Canada.”

Equipped with programmable panoramic screens and a rear cabin mounted on hydraulic jacks, the simulator provides students with hands-on experience like no other.

“For me to be able to practise that patient care and practise the driving in a controlled environment where it's OK to make mistakes and it's OK to learn,” student Matthew Bergeron said about what he likes about the simulator.

“We're very fortunate here to have that.”

Acquiring the simulator was funded by the province through a $580,000 grant, while creating the training area cost Boréal around $100,000.

Perreault said employers were asking him a few years ago about how driver training could be improved for new paramedics to make things safer once they were on the job.

“Therefore, we started exploring what's out there,” he said.

“The student gets to drive in an emergency situation, as well as perform patient care in an emergency situation, which is something we (couldn’t do before). So it also provides (more) safety for the public, for the students and for the future patients.”

Perreault said it won’t just be Boreal students using the technology. The hope is to partner with paramedic services across the north to help those currently working in the profession to maintain their skills.

He said there is no better time to enter the profession with things like the Learn and Stay grant available to students, as well as the large number of jobs available after graduation.

Officials with the college said there are still a few spots open for the paramedic program for those interested in applying to start in September.

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