New Simulator Helps Train Ambulance Paramedics

Posted: 12/26/2012

Simulator Purchase Made Possible by Brookings Health System Foundation

Paramedic Tom Papiernik (left) and Ambulance Director Gordon Dekkenga use the new training simulator to determine access for a central line, an infusion tube that is routed to a large vein near the heart. Funded by Brookings Health System Foundation, the new simulator will help paramedics better serve patients with central lines.A new training simulator for central lines will help Brookings Health System paramedic staff prepare for taking care of patients with a central line in an emergency situation.

A central line, also called a central venous catheter, is an infusion tube inserted into a large vein in the chest or arm which travels to a large vein near the heart.

“Central lines are used for a variety of long term treatment options to avoid multiple IV insertions for critically ill patients,” said Ambulance Director Gordon Dekkenga. “Uses include administering chemotherapy and other medications, repeated administration of blood or blood products, kidney dialysis, and nutrition by IV access.

“Often times our paramedics are called to assist patients with central lines. These patients may be difficult to start a normal IV on. By training our paramedics on how to use an existing central line, we can better serve these patients during emergency situations.”

The new training simulator was made possible by funds from Brookings Health System Foundation. The simulator allows paramedics to practice accessing a variety of central lines, to connect IVs to the different central lines, and to administer medication or blood through the central line.

In the future central line skills will become a mandatory competency for all Brookings Health System paramedics to maintain and will be incorporated into paramedics’ monthly training program.

Brookings Health System’s Ambulance Service provides emergency 911 Advanced Life Support (ALS) services for the City of Brookings, much of Brookings county and the communities of Aurora, SD; Bruce, SD; Bushnell, SD; Sinai, SD; and Volga, SD. The ambulance service also assists area ambulance services from Arlington, SD; Clear Lake, SD; Elkton, SD; Estelline, SD; White, SD; and Lake Preston, SD when requested. For more information on Brookings Health System’s Ambulance Service, please visit

Brookings Health System Foundation works to cultivate philanthropic gifts to support charity health care for those less fortunate; health and wellness education; facility, equipment, and technology upgrades; and other needs as they arise at Brookings Health System. For more information about Brookings Health System Foundation or how you may contribute, please contact Foundation Officer Barb Anderson at (605) 696-8855 or

About Brookings Health System

Brookings Health System, located in Brookings, South Dakota, includes a 49-bed hospital, the 79-bed Brookview Manor nursing home, and Brookhaven Estates apartments. It is a non-profit, city-owned facility that offers the community a full range of inpatient, outpatient, and extended care services. The emergency room is staffed 24 hours a day and provides around the clock medical-nursing care for patient needs ranging from minor injuries to life threatening crises. For more information about the services offered at Brookings Health System, please call (605) 696-9000 or visit us on the Web at