SIOUX CITY, IOWA (KCAU) – In an effort to make emergency medical service training more accessible, the University of Iowa brought one of its mobile simulation trucks to Siouxland.

The University of Iowa’s SIM-IA truck is using mannequins to simulate bike related injuries ahead of this year’s RAGBRAI.

“We’re doing training on some of the scenarios that they might see during an actual RAGBRAI medical emergency or trauma emergency that they would have on the RAGBRAI route,” SIM-IA Program Coordinator Brian Rechkemmer said

“They’re really valuable because this is where you build your confidence. You don’t have to worry as much about being nervous when you’re actually trying to save a real patient’s life. You’re able to develop the confidence in a safe environment where you can learn from it,” MercyOne Nurse Intern Kennedy Andersen said.

SIM-IA is a mobile training program that brings hands-on learning to all of Iowa.

“The nice thing about us coming to them is a lot of times, the local volunteer departments are all volunteers. So they work in town during the day and then they can come home at night and we can have the training right there for them,” Rechkemmer said.

“State EMS conference is held in Des Moines. And from Sioux City, that’s a 3 to 3 and a half hour drive. You go up around Lyon County, that’s 4 or 5 hours travel for those people. It saves time, it saves money for everybody. Not only the responders but also for the cities,” Sioux City Fire Rescue Training Officer Richard Andersen said.

Rechkemmer is aware that national staffing shortages also impact emergency management. All with the hope these mobile training sessions maintain and grow the workforce.

“EMS has taken a slight decline over the last couple of years, so we’re really hoping along with the EMS’s and essential service, along with this, to maybe help and rejuvenate some of our EMS personnel out there,” Rechkemmer said.

“Having this come to them hopefully will make it easier for them to get the training and they’re not having to spend their vacation time, their family time to go to conferences or out of town for training,” Andersen said.

The SIM-IA truck will stay in Sioux City for one more day before continuing along the RAGBRAI route to Ida Grove on Wednesday.