MO college hopes driving simulator reduces crashes - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

MO college hopes driving simulator reduces crashes

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) -

According to the National Highways Traffic Safety Administration, every year more than 100 people are killed in accidents involving fire trucks, ambulances and police cars.

It is accidents like these an area college wants its students to be able to avoid.

That's why Three Rivers College in Poplar Bluff is using a new tool.

"No two calls are ever going to be the same,” said Tami Cunningham, the EMS coordinator at Three Rivers College.

Rain or shine, night or day, an emergency responder must be able to make split second decisions.

The three-screen driving simulator is designed to teach future paramedics, police officers and firefighters just that.

Cunningham feels comfortable teaching her students how to save someone's life, but she said this training is invaluable for her students.

"So that gives them the idea what they are going to experience when they get to the real world,” she said.

"We have structure fires, medical calls, we will have traffic collisions where the ambulance and the fire truck and police officer have to respond," said Robert Raheb, the FAAC, Inc. instructor.

While it sounds and feels like the real thing, it's a good thing it's only practice.

Cunningham believes learning these techniques before responding to a real-life emergency could help save a life.

"You have three lives on board: yours, your patient and your partner and at the end of the day I want my students to go home safely,” said Cunningham.

Grant money helped pay for the $100,000 device. Students will be able to use it beginning in 2016.

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