When you ask the Port Hardy Hospital Auxiliary Society (PHHAS) to dummy up — they do.
A mannequin — dubbed Jose — used for EMS training was just the latest gift from the ladies of the society to the hardworking Port Hardy paramedics.
“Jose is a rescue, or training, mannequin,” explained paramedic unit chief, Alex Mattes.
“He has nasal airways which means we can practice CPR compressions and intravenous therapy.”
Jose also came with a third arm, that had to be specially ordered, that help paramedics when they have to use syringes.
Paramedics will, when hooking up an IV, look for “flash,” or blood when they draw on the syringe to tell them they hit a vein and the needle is in good position.
“The (third) arm does flash,” said Mattes, who noted that kind of realism is vital to proper training to deliver needed, emergency medical care.
“It’s great,” he said.
The cost of Jose and the third arm is about $2,000, but the PHHAS donation didn’t stop there.
“They gave us 15 pairs of (Gortex) rain jackets, rain vests and rain pants,” said Mattes, who noted to wear the rain gear is a bit of an honour because the local crew are the only paramedics in the province, other than Vancouver’s EMS bike squad, that received the official okie dokie to wear the rain pants.
“I know rain gear may sound a little selfish, but by keeping the paramedics dry, it allows us to better work on a patient,” said Mattes.
“It sounds like this is benefitting EMS and it is, but it’s also benefitting the people of Port Hardy because it allows us to keep our training in-house and gives us better tools and equipment to serve the public.”
The president of the PHHAS said her organization has a long history of helping out in the North Island.
“We’ve been supporting the hospital and multi-level care since it opened,” said Sylvia Frankforth, who noted donations have made their way to the hospital and local firefighters.
The PHHAS was vital in luring the first GP to Port Hardy in the early 1960s, she said.
“We even bought him a house to live in,” Frankforth said.
The lion’s share of money to fund the projects comes from the Port Hardy Auxiliary gift shop.
“In the past, we held dances and raised money in different ways,” Frankforth said.
“Of course we have our big Christmas sale in November and for the last three years have held it at the Thunderbird Mall.”
In all, the PHHAS has earned, and then donated, close to $2 million, Frankforth said.
“They’re a fantastic resource,” Mattes said.
“Could we survive without them? Yes. Would we want to? No.”