HELENA — The state unveiled a new high-tech tool Monday that officials hope will save people’s lives someday.

Three mobile simulation training trucks have been provided to the state through a $4.6 million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

“It’s not every day that the state of Montana is the recipient of such an amazing gift,” Sheila Hogan, director of the Department of Public Health and Human Services said during ceremonies in front of the state Capitol.

The long blue trucks are equipped with high-tech equipment that will be used to train emergency responders and rural hospitals statewide, officials said.

Gov. Steve Bullock said the trucks were more than a charitable contribution from the Helmsley trust, it was a commitment to the state.

He said emergency responders and medical workers are asked to do incredible sacrifice.

He said these trucks will help in times where rural departments have to decide between paying for training or paying for gasoline for emergency vehicles.

The Simulation in Motion Montana grant brings life-saving tools and training via mobile. The three identical trucks also include a suite of high-definition patient manikins used to simulate a wide range of medical emergencies.

The main goal is to provide education and training to rural emergency medical services and hospitals for training on advanced trauma and cardiac life supports. Officials said the new equipment will also be available to others such as universities who have a need for simulation education.

 “This matters to hospitals in Circle, this matters to hospitals in Jordan and this matters to hospital in Fort Benton,” said Steve McNeece, chief executive officer of Anaconda Hospital.
The grant pays for initial purchase of trucks, valued at $500,000 each, the $250,000 suite of manikins, and program operations for three years.
Walter Panzirer, a trustee of the Helmsley Charitable Trust, said he was excited to add a fourth state to the Simulation in Motion line-up.
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