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Robby Smith discusses the high-fidelity mannequin with Dr. Fred Thompson, left, and Dr. Pradeep Patel.

Above, SPCC EMS Coordinator Robby Smith discusses the new high-fidelity mannequin with Dr. Fred Thompson, left, and Dr. Pradeep Patel during a meeting of the Wadesboro Rotary Club on Jan. 6. Below, Smith can control the mannequin from this laptop screen.

Robby Smith's laptop screen

January 6, 2011
High-fidelity mannequin seems almost human
LILESVILLE ? He can cry, sweat, bleed, blink his eyes, foam at the mouth, vomit, moan and groan. The new high-fidelity mannequin being used in South Piedmont Community College?s Advanced Life Support classes can also pee, which South Piedmont Community College EMS Coordinator Robby Smith said is, for some reason, what most people want to know. 
He also feels real to the touch and makes lifelike breath sounds and abdomen sounds.
It?s almost like he?s alive. And, ?He dies many times a day,? Smith said in response to a question during a meeting of the Wadesboro Rotary Club on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011, at the Welika Lake Fish Camp.
The mannequin made its debut in class this week and Thursday was its first public appearance.
Smith showed the Rotarians how with a laptop computer, he can control the mannequin even when he?s not in the room. The mannequin is equipped with a laptop computer and wireless router of its own. Smith explained how he controlled the mannequin from his office in the middle of the massive Building A on the Old Charlotte Highway Campus in Monroe, while students were working with the mannequin in a classroom in the far reaches of the building.
With his laptop, Smith can tell what medication the mannequin was given, how much and how fast. He can make it have a seizure, or an obstruction in its airways. He can tell if a student is doing CPR correctly.
Gaston Community College is the only other community college in North Carolina that uses a high-fidelity mannequin like this ? which costs $65,000 to $70,000 each ? for EMT classes. They are more likely to be found in nursing classes.
But, Smith said, it?s important for the people who often see victims first to have practice with mannequins like these. It?s really not a bad thing if the mannequin does ?die? several times a day. ?(A student) can kill the mannequin and we can talk about it,? he said. ?If he kills a real person, we can?t sit down and talk about it.?
The mannequin is one of two high-fidelity mannequins owned by the college; the other one is an older generation of technology. SPCC also has three medium-fidelity mannequins that are also lifelike, but less so than the high-fidelity ones.