According to Medelita, the story is told, that in the late 1880's, the ody of a young woman was found in the Seine River of Paris. There was no signs of violence and many suspected suicide. Though theories have run rampant over the past century, her true identity even to this day has never been proven.
A Parisian mortician created a death mask from the cast of the woman's face. The mask, known as L'Inconnue de la Seine (The Unknown Woman of the Seine), was widely reproduced and became a morbid treasure among art collectors.
In 1958, Peter Safar, an Austrian physician, and Asmund Laerdal, a Norwegian toy maker, created the first CPR mannequin. Theory has it that L'Inconnue de la Seine was hanging on the wall of Laerdal's parents' house, and while working on the mannequin, he was bewitched by her face. And therefore, the face of The Unknown Woman of the Seine became the face of the first CPR mannequin, Rescue Anne.
Over the years, and as physicians and scientists have made more medical and scientific advances, we have taken and expanded the uses and possibilities for Rescue Anne, ultimately leading to Rescue Randy.
First responders deal with very extreme medical incidents every day. Every incident is unique, not one is the exact same as another. Some days are routine and some days, we come across something that we have never seen before, something that's a once in a lifetime occurrence. And in order to help treat and save the victims from these events, our first responders need to constantly and consistently train and make sure that they are up to date on medical practices and procedures. However, we as first responders cannot simply ask for volunteers when we want to realistically practice saving someone from a smoke filled building, or when we want to simulate a car accident with a victim, etc. We cannot simply ask people to volunteer for us to be victims because that would be very unsafe. So what do we use to realistically simulate these emergency incidents? We use Randy. Rescue Randy that is. Rescue Randy is a very life-like dummy that we can use for medical and rescue training operations, so that when the day comes when someone is in that same situation and need our help, we know exactly how to help them.
Randy is a very durable dummy made from vinyl construction. He has articulated joints that help to simulate realistic flexibility. His weight is distributed according to a human weight distribution chart, allowing for realistic weight distribution. Randy can sit, lie, or flex into any position needed for our training purposes and scenarios. On average, Rescue Randy's are about 145 lbs and is about 6 foot tall. There are different types of Rescue Randys. There are mannequins designed for training in CPR, there are rescue mannequins designed for water rescue, mannequins designed to demonstrate choking victims, mannequins that simulate trauma victims, and advanced mannequins that allow for medical training.
The department that I train with has a rescue mannequin and an advanced mannequin. They are super helpful to train on, because they are extremely realistic. Other than the fact that they don't move or talk and they're made from plastic, it really does simulate the effect that you are working with an actual person. We use Rescue Randy to train for our rescue operations. Someone will go hide Randy in our training building and we'll fill the building up with smoke. We then will practice our search and rescue tactics, as if the there was an actual fire that was causing the building to be full of smoke and we have to search the place to make sure that no one is in the building. Once we find Randy, we then have to simulate how we would get him out of the building safely, as if he was a real person. Other times, we will put Randy in a wrecked car that has been donated to us, and we practice our extrication skills and techniques in order to provide better access so that we are then able to obtain Randy from the car as if he was an actual victim and get him to a safe environment where we are then able to assess him.
The advanced mannequin is really cool, and here why. Where with the other dummies whose arm and leg joints only move, with the advanced mannequin, you are able to move the head allowing you to adjust the head and neck to simulate building a better airway. The head is called a Deluxe Airway Management Head. Another aspect of the head is that there is a simulated airway, holes in the nose and mouth, allowing us to use our airway and intubation tools to simulate actually creating an airway in a person. That simulated airway then connects all the way down to where the lungs would be in a person, so when you practicing giving the victim breaths through a BVM (a bag valve mask), you can physically see the chest rising and falling letting you know that you are successfully giving breaths to the victim. The advanced mannequin also allows for ALS practices such as places to practice intubation and IV injections. The advanced mannequin allows for you to take an actual blood pressure and carotid pulse of the victim. It's basically simulating being a living person.
These mannequins are not cheap. They can be hundreds of dollars to even a thousand dollars. But you get what you pay for. They are an extreme assest to any department, and I would definitely recommend the Rescue Randy mannequins to first responder departments. They help to keep our training safe and realistic by providing a life-like victim for our practice use, because using actual people as victims is not safe. They are extremely helpful and aid in practicing life saving techniques so that you will be better prepared to perform them on actual victims when that day comes.