New first aid training equipment impacting community

SPMRS equipment being used by Sun Peaks Fire Rescue. Photo supplied.

In under a year since its inception, the Sun Peaks Mountain Rescue Society (SPMRS) has raised enough funds to purchase over $3,400 worth of first aid training equipment that is already being used by community first responders

Among the recent purchases by SPMRS is a CPR doll with an advanced airway, an artificial hemorrhaging limb and six advanced CPR training dolls. Each tool allows for different lifesaving skills to be practised. An advanced life support paramedic in Alberta and previous Sun Peaks patroller, Riley Bennet, donated two spinal vacuum mattresses to the society. Valued at $2,000 each, the mattresses expedite transport of patients who have been immobilised due to spinal concerns.

Chris Mark, SPMRS president, explained the new training tools have already been used in a variety of settings.

“The equipment has already been used by Sun Peaks Fire Rescue (SPFR) for their Red Cross instructors course (and) for their public emergency medical responder course in May,” he said.

Some of the tools were also incorporated into summer bike patrol training, which included  Sun Peaks Health Centre clinic staff.

Already the new gear is having an impact on organizations such as the fire department, according to Captain Joss Advocaat, training officer for SPFR, who co-instructed one of the courses that used the props. He was enthusiastic about how the equipment can better train his department’s responders.

“(The aids) are very realistic and give better feedback to the student,” he said.

He added the airway doll and bleed trainer allow department members to simulate specific medical emergency scenarios that were previously too challenging to reconstruct in training.


The training aids are available for everyone in the community to use, Mark said, as they belong to the SPMRS charity, not Sun Peaks Resort or the municipality.

The public can get hands-on with the equipment on July 15 st the Sun Peaks Market Day when SPMRS is hosting an instructional CPR demonstration on the Upper Plaza Stage at 11 a.m. Everyone is welcome to join and practise new skills on the CPR dolls. Participants will not become certified in CPR but the session and the new equipment  will allow them to familiarize themselves with simple life saving techniques.

“Public education was a long term goal of ours and it’s nice to see after eight months we are already starting to implement that.”

Moving forward, Mark said the society is looking to obtain an automated external defibrillator (AED) training device. SPMRS also hopes to raise enough funds over the summer for a LUCAS machine, a device that performs mechanical chest compressions during CPR. In a remote community where access to definitive care is nearly always delayed, this kind of tool could “improve survivability substantially” in cases of cardiac arrest, said Mark.

The second annual Fire Truck Pull, to be held on August 25, is one of the fundraising events for SPMRS this summer. If you are interested in donating to the LUCAS project or have any questions contact Mark at spmountainrescue@gmail.com.

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