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Back of an ambulance training podParamedics at South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) have given life-saving treatment to an ambulance which was written off after a road traffic collision – by using it to create an innovative training pod.

The SCAS education team in Newbury had the body of the vehicle repaired to repurpose it as a training simulator and provide the opportunity for students to learn in the real thing.

It weighs 4.5 tonnes before the addition of kit and includes all the essentials – as well as a working tail lift and even a power line to flick on the blue lights and sirens to add to the experience.

It is the latest addition to the family of simulators at the SCAS Education and Enhanced Simulation Centre, a facility that includes six purpose-built training and environment rooms that recreate patients’ journeys from home, into to a mobile simulated ambulance and then at handover to a hospital’s emergency department resuscitation bay.

“What we really love about the introduction of this simulation pod is that its authenticity will give students a much more enhanced and lifelike insight into the workings of the vehicle and its kit,” said Darren Best, Senior Education Manager at SCAS.

Inside the ambulance training pod“The ambulance converted was unfortunately involved in a serious road traffic collision and was not fit to return to the road, so not only have we avoided losing a vehicle from the fleet, we are now in the fortunate position of using this one to train a new generation of staff.”

He added: “While there are many simulators around, many of these are purpose-built as opposed to developed from real vehicles and are therefore limited in their ability to provide a real-life training environment.

“We believe this is the first pod of its kind having been salvaged from the scrapheap and able to provide the most realistic experience of any simulator – so we are extremely pleased with the outcome.

“We’ve even had a label added to the side to say it is probably the best ambulance pod in the country – we think it is!”

Click here for a guided tour video with SCAS Education’s Karen Wootten.