By MCC Athena Blain, NCG 2
HM Marcus Steward, NMCB 11 conducts an airway obstruction check on Caesar, a life-sized mannequin, on NCBC Gulfport, Miss., March 6. Steward was one of seven medical personnel under NCG 2 who received introductory training on the mannequin’s capabilities. Caesar is an innovative new technology that will be available to Gulfport Seabees by the end of this summer. Photos by MCC(SW/AW/EXW) Athena Blain
Seabees from Naval Construction Group (NCG) 2’s medical department, Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC) Gulfport, Miss., recently participated in an innovative new training that is changing the way the Naval Construction Force conducts first aid training – all with the help of a new friend named Caesar.
Caesar is a life-sized mannequin that simulates actual battlefield injuries, such as hemorrhaging, airway blockage and tension pneumothorax.
“With live tissue training going away, the simulation aids are the next best training aids,” said HMCS James Burnett, leading chief petty officer, NCG 2 Medical.
With the help of a computer program, Caesar responds the way an injured person would in a battlefield environment. He screams, yells, gurgles and has audible breathing. He also responds to whatever treatment is given.
“[He] actually bleeds and breathes. You can do [intravenous therapy] and gauge pupillary responses,” said Burnett.
Another new benefit of the Caesar technology is the real-time response to treatment.
HM Terrance Simpson, NMCB 1, performs a needle decompression for a simulated sucking chest wound scenario on the new Caesar-model mannequin, NCBC Gulfport, Miss., March 6. NCG 2’s medical department headed a class on NCBC Gulfport, introducing the new technology to battalion corpsmen. The mannequin will be available for training in all Gulfport Battalions by the end of summer.
“If it takes 15 minutes for the patient to respond to the medication given, it’ll take that long for Caesar’s vital signs to show improvement,” said Burnett. “Of course, an instructor can speed up the response if needed.
That isn’t the only control the instructor has over a scenario. The mannequin records each action as it is being conducted so instructors can review just how long it took the student to place a proper tourniquet or how long he or she conducted rescue breathing. Instructors also control the types and flow of each bleeding wound, as well as program in additional complications throughout the scenario. For example, they can program the mannequin to stop breathing three minutes into the situation or make the mannequin go into shock, said Burnett.
Three personnel from NCG 2’s medical department, as well as corpsmen from Naval Construction Battalions (NMCBs) 1 and 11, received the introductory Caesar class on March 5 and 6. Adam Reading, a representative from the company that makes Caesar, illustrated the proper setup, usage and maintenance of the new technology.
CAE representative Adam Reading provides training on the Caesar-model mannequin on NCBC Gulfport, Miss., March 6. CAE is working in conjunction with NCG 2’s medical department to train battalion Seabees in a new combat lifesaving course for all NECC personnel.
The program is part of a Navy Expeditionary Combat Command push to bring more realistic combat casualty training to Sailors. NCG 2 has six Caesar mannequins, priced at $50,000 each. The current plan is to provide one to each battalion in Gulfport, and keep the other three in reserve at NCG 2. With this initial training, NCG 2’s medical department plans to introduce the new technology to the rest of the battalions by the end of summer to replace the current Combat Lifesavers Course.
The current course uses human actors to simulate the wounded patient, so often students learn their equipment and procedures theoretically. With Caesar, students can apply their life-saving techniques as they would in a real-life situation.
“You can tell someone that they should hear a whooshing of air with a needle decompression, but with these mannequins the students will actually experience it,” said Burnett. “That type of realistic training will go a long way in instilling confidence in corpsmen and Seabees; they’ll know the treatments they learn actually work. It really takes the notional away, and creates a realistic scenario where intervention matters.”
NCG 2 organizes, mans, trains and equips the East Coast Naval Construction Force to provide commanders with expeditionary engineering forces capable of general engineering and construction and limited combat engineering across the full range of military operations.