Excerpts from the Dailyherald.com:

The Mundelein Fire Department acquired a MegaCode Kelly machine that lets emergency personnel practice administering intravenous drugs and defibrillating hearts on a life-size subject, among other tasks. It even can be programmed to emit artificial breathing and bowel sounds, cough or wheeze. The mannequin cost about $13,000. Funding came from charitable donations and other sources.

The department got the mannequin last year, but training didn’t begin until about eight weeks ago because supplies needed for simulations, such as expired medication bottles and empty intravenous medication bags, had to be gathered. 

Firefighters demonstrated how they use the mannequin before Monday’s village board meeting. 

Every member of the department will be trained on MegaCode Kelly. They want to expand its use to include other challenging medical emergencies, such as diabetic and allergic crises. They hope to purchase a pediatric version of the mannequin. The mannequin is an element of a greater departmental plan to better address cardiac emergencies.

 The American Heart Association says more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside a hospital setting annually in the U.S.

As part of the effort, the department is implementing a team-treatment method called the pit crew model where each member of a response team has a specific role, such as administering drugs or performing chest compressions.

Deputy Fire Chief Darren Brents created the response method years ago while he was with the Palatine Fire Department, after the cardiac-related death of a family member. Northwest Community Hospital  now teaches the method to the paramedics in its system, and departments across the country also use it.