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MEDIA CONTACT: Gisele Galoustian
561-297-2676 or 561-985-4615,

FAU’s Simulation Center to Train Broward and Palm Beach Medical Reserve Corps Members to Respond to a Major Hurricane Event

BOCA RATON, FL (June 16, 2011) — As hurricane season kicks into full force, Florida Atlantic University’s Simulation Center in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine is preparing to train members of Broward and Palm Beach counties’ Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) to respond in the event of a major hurricane in South Florida. The MRC training will take place at FAU on Saturday, June 18 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at 3848 FAU Boulevard, Suite 310, Boca Raton.

During a catastrophic event, such as a category 3 or 4 hurricane, hospitals can be deluged with various medical emergencies. Furthermore, major emergencies can overwhelm the capabilities of first responders, particularly during the first 12 to 72 hours. MRC volunteers, who include medical and public health professionals, provide an important "surge" capacity during this critical period. They also can augment medical staff shortages at local medical and emergency facilities. Communities often need medically trained individuals and others to fill in the gaps in their emergency response plans and to improve their response capabilities overall. During the 2005 hurricane season, MRC members provided support for American Red Cross health services, mental health and shelter operations.

The Simulation Center at FAU is designed to simulate emergency conditions in an effort to provide advanced training to healthcare professionals during an emergency situation. The center applies state-of-the-art human mannequin technology to train and certify healthcare providers in the identification, isolation and treatment of both natural and terrorist events to improve patient care. Simulations involve integration of multiple simulated patients, which together create a realistic replication of these events.

“Using life-like computer controlled mannequins, we will be creating four separate scenarios for training the MRC participants at our center,” said Mark Goldstein, executive director of the Simulation Center. “Participants will respond to a patient falling through a ceiling, a patient experiencing a heart attack, a patient suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and patient who is panicked and distressed.”

During these scenarios, MRC participants will also be required to perform advanced CPR and use an automated external defibrillator (AED). The scenarios will duplicate real events and facilitate analysis of the chain of patient safety and treatment procedures, while creating the illusion of real-life drama under disaster circumstances.

Simulated patient care training is an idea that was adapted from the airline industry, which has successfully used flight simulators for more than 50 years to train pilots. The use of realistic high fidelity interactive patient simulators was pioneered in anesthesia in the mid-1980s. Today, simulation is playing an increasingly important role in medicine. Medical simulation technology allows for realistic clinical scenarios using life-sized computerized patient mannequins that are able to respond to a variety of clinical interventions and pharmacologic events in real-time. Since simulations are staged, participants are able to make mistakes and learn from their errors without any risk to patients. They are then able to transfer this knowledge to real-life situations.


Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. In commemoration of its origin, FAU is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2011. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering & Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit

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