Vanguard Air Care Opens High-Tech Medical Simulation Lab at Richardson International Airport

Vanguard Air Care author

Published August 10, 2021 05:05:12am

Winnipeg, Manitoba – Vanguard Air Care officially opened its state-of-the-art High Fidelity Simulation Lab today at its primary base at Winnipeg’s Richardson International Airport.

Vanguard Air Care_Sim Lab

The new lab enables Vanguard Air Care to provide staff with the highest level of medical emergency training possible, in preparation for all types of emergency air ambulance scenarios in Manitoba.

The high-fidelity simulation lab features a robotic mannikin named Hal©, which is capable of simulating an array of medical emergency and distress scenarios with a high degree of precision and realism. It breathes, has a pulse, and its heartbeat, respiratory rate and other vital signs can be monitored in real-time. The level of realism provided by the technology makes it feel like you’re working on a real, living person.

“It enables our flight medics and nurses to deliver higher levels of emergency expertise because now they can train for complex emergencies in a life-like environment which would be impossible in a real-life scenario,” says director of Vanguard Air Care services Ross Bale.

The simulator environment is designed to resemble a remote nursing station, where the company’s King Air 200 aircraft routinely flies to when servicing Manitoba through its four bases in Winnipeg, Thompson, Norway House, and Island Lake. Air Ambulance Professionals typically spend a longer time transporting patients than urban paramedics, therefore there is more time for things to potentially go wrong, sometimes in the air and special training is essential.

“In our environment, you can’t pull over to the next hospital and you can’t call for an extra EMS ground support unit to come and assist you, because you’re in the air,” explains Bale.

“And if something happens and the patient’s condition changes, it’s up to the team to make appropriate decisions, utilize critical thinking skills, and provide those life-saving skills and approaches to assure the best outcomes for the patient,” he says.

Clinical operations manager Jeff Bedosky runs the training program for the high-fidelity simulation lab and is excited at what it will do for the company’s in-house training program. He puts Vanguard Air Care team members through regular training and education sharing sessions using the new simulation lab technology.

“The more we can expose our staff to some of the rarer types of emergency scenarios they don’t come across as often, they become more confident, more comfortable when those events do occur. When we can apply our increased knowledge and our skills with these types of patients, then we can expect better outcomes,” says Bedosky.

Vanguard Air Care also hopes the new High Fidelity Simulation lab will become a valuable recruiting tool for its goal of attracting qualified medical providers such as nurses and paramedics to its team.

“The majority of our medical staff tend to come work here because they’ve felt restricted in their current practice,” says Bale. He credits the private sector nature of Vanguard Air Care for its ability to innovate quickly and stay on top of new advances in medicine and science, while taking care of staff needs. Vanguard Air Care is a division of Fast Air.

“The medics and nurses we hire typically come for the challenge, for the experience and to say: I’ve done that. It’s an exciting place to work and it challenges you as a medical professional. The simulation lab shows that we are committed to investing back into the company and the Manitoba community.”


About Vanguard Air Care

Since 2003 Vanguard Air Care has been a trusted provider in air transport medicine while providing 24-hour service for North America, with a focus on Manitoba. This includes locations in Norway House, Thompson, Island Lake and Winnipeg.

A division of Fast Air, Vanguard Air Care’s highly trained medical staff care for patients with ease and compassion around the clock. The flight dispatch centre provides timely arrivals of dedicated King Air 200’s and medical teams. The specially trained aircrew ensure smooth, safe and efficient patient transfers.

We provide urgent medical evacuations, non-emergent and scheduled air ambulance services.


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Photo Credits: Tim Phelan


Media Contact:

Ross Bale, Director of Air Ambulance Services
Phone: 204-833-2242