The Action Training Systems Emergency Responder Blog

Fire Departments Receive Life Support Grant for Award Winning Training Programs from Action Training Systems

Posted by Elise Andreasen on Tue, June 17, 2014 @ 10:32AM

Seven Upper Kittitas County, Washington fire departments recently received fire training grants from Life Support to purchase interactive video training courses delivered in the all new online platform from Action Training Systems (ATS). These programs are a valuable instructor resource used to make training more accessible for their volunteers and make their classroom and hands on training more effective.

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Since its inception in August 1999, Life Support has worked diligently to raise funds to improve the Emergency Medical Services and Health Care of Upper Kittitas County and surrounding communities. Life Support, which began with five community members, has since grown to over 30 dedicated volunteers and is guided by an elite Board of Directors.

With budgets being cut, many departments and emergency response organizations are left with little or no money to purchase the quality training they desperately need. Life Support and ATS are teaming up to offer a convenient and affordable solution to provide that training.

With the new ATS Online, students are able to access interactive video courses from any PC or Mac with a decent internet connection, from any location, 24/7. Student activity and test scores are automatically recorded and the training records are accessible by instructors from any computer. Reports can be automatically emailed to key department personnel or anyone else needing access to training information.

ATS has produced over 200 training programs for emergency response professionals. Now they are all available online as interactive video training courses or streaming videos. ATS training courses are designed not to replace hands-on training, but as another tool for instructors to incorporate into their training programs to support and enhance essential education.

“Customers view Action Training Systems as a company that has their best interest in mind,” said George Avila, CEO and founder of Action Training Systems. “We know how important meaningful training is in the emergency response community and we will always strive to meet or exceed their needs.

Instructors worldwide, from South Korea to Saskatchewan, find the quality of ATS standards-based, competency-driven training programs to be superior. Now with access to these learning resources from anywhere, anytime, ATS Online and Life Support are transforming both the instructor’s and students’ learning experience in Upper Kittitas County. High quality video training is no longer confined to their classroom environment.

Life Support founder and President Cheri Marusa states the Upper Kittitas County fire departments are excited about the opportunity to train with this world class learning platform.

"Training is the backbone for all fire fighters. The Fire Chiefs of Upper Kittitas County have shared with me that they are very happy to have ATS for their volunteers," says Marusa. “With ATS programs, students have shown increased competency in course content. Comprehension is essential to keeping both our firefighters and their communities safe and we will do everything in our power to train our students with that goal in mind.”

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Tags: firefighter training, EMS training, EMT Training

Winners Announced in the ATS/NVFC $250K FireTraining Giveaway

Posted by Elise Andreasen on Tue, June 17, 2014 @ 08:44AM

Action Training Systems (ATS) and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have announced the 50 winners of the 2014 ATS/NVFC $250K Training Giveaway. The announcement comes during International Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week, which this year focuses on the importance of all personnel receiving adequate training with the theme of “Train Like You Fight.”

The 50 winning departments will each receive a one-year subscription for 20 learners and one administrator to the Essentials of Fire Fighting series via the ATS Online Learning Management System. This totals nearly $250,000 worth of online training. The series contains 33 interactive courses, streaming video, and PowerPoints to teach Firefighter I and II skills and prerequisite knowledge. Essentials of Fire Fighting teaches to the current NFPA 1001 standards and can be used as a training resource to simplify technical knowledge and reinforce training objectives. The department administrator can track the progress of up to 20 students through the program. All applicants also receive a 10% discount off of any ATS training program.

“We are pleased to partner with ATS to help these 50 volunteer departments get essential training that they otherwise were unable to afford for their personnel,” said NVFC Chairman Philip C. Stittleburg. “We received hundreds of applications, demonstrating the critical need for this type of program. We thank ATS for recognizing this need and making the commitment to help enhance the safety and efficiency of these departments through this training giveaway.”

“I would like to personally congratulate the recipients of the 2014 ATS/NVFC Training Giveaway and also thank the NVFC for their support throughout this program,” said Action Training Systems President George A. Avila Jr. “I would also like to recognize the men and women of the volunteer fire service for their commitment and sacrifice to their respective communities. The volunteer fire service has a long history of contributing to the public safety of their communities across the country, and it is essential that each member has adequate training resources to ensure their safety and the safety of their community. ”

To be eligible, departments had to be all or mostly volunteer, serve a population of 25,000 or less, be legally organized within one of the 50 U.S. states, and demonstrate a true need for the training that they could not meet on their own. Over 500 departments applied for the giveaway. A total of 50 winning departments were selected, representing 48 states.

The recipients of the 2014 ATS Training Giveaway are as follows:

  • Alabama - Boldo Volunteer Fire and Rescue
  • Alabama - Dixons Mills Volunteer Fire Department
  • Alaska - Klawock Volunteer Fire Department
  • Arizona - Happy Jack Fire Services Inc.
  • Arkansas - Upper White Oak Lake Volunteer Fire Department
  • California - Ben Lomond Fire Protection District
  • Colorado - Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department
  • Connecticut - Harwinton Volunteer Fire Department
  • Florida - Liberty Fire District
  • Georgia - Gresston Volunteer Fire Department
  • Idaho - Bliss Fire District
  • Illinois - Dalzell Fire Protection District
  • Indiana - Clarksburg Volunteer Fire
  • Iowa - Farley Volunteer Fire Department
  • Kansas - Lincoln First Rural Fire
  • Kentucky - Oldtown Volunteer Fire Department
  • Louisiana - Washington Parish Fire District #9
  • Maine - Kenduskeag Volunteer Fire Department
  • Maryland - Leitersburg Volunteer Fire Company
  • Massachusetts - Oakham Fire Department
  • Michigan - Wildwood Fire Rescue
  • Minnesota - Shevlin Volunteer Fire Department
  • Mississippi - East Oktibbeha Volunteer Fire Department
  • Missouri - Kinsey Volunteer Fire Department
  • Missouri - Gorin Volunteer Fire Department
  • Montana - St. Labre Volunteer Fire Department
  • Nebraska - Randolph Volunteer Fire and Rescue
  • Nevada - Peavine Volunteer Fire Department
  • New Hampshire - South Hampton Fire Department
  • New Jersey - Keansburg Fire Department
  • New Mexico - Latir Volunteer Fire Department
  • New York - Hurleyville Fire Department
  • North Carolina - Sterlings Volunteer Fire Department
  • North Dakota - Stanley Fire Department
  • Ohio - Terrace Park Fire Department
  • Oklahoma - Delaware Volunteer Fire Department
  • Oregon - City of Antelope Fire Department
  • Pennsylvania - Heights Fire Company #1
  • Rhode Island - Harmony Fire District
  • South Carolina - Pimlico Rural Volunteer Fire Department
  • South Dakota - Tyndall Fire Department
  • Tennessee - Midtown Volunteer Fire Department
  • Texas - Bartlett Volunteer Fire Department
  • Utah - Orderville Fire Department
  • Vermont - Franklin Volunteer Fire Department
  • Virginia - Craigsville Volunteer Fire Company
  • Washington - Ruston Fire Department
  • West Virginia - New Haven and Community Volunteer Fire Department
  • Wisconsin - Silver Cliff Fire Department
  • Wyoming - Bar Nunn Volunteer Fire Department

About Action Training Systems
Action Training Systems is a multi-media production company with over 26 years of experience developing training programs for emergency responders. Its interactive programs are proven to significantly increase learner competency, and are all based on current national standards. With over 200 EMS training and firefighter training programs available, these programs are great tools for initial or recurrent training. Learn more and view a training demo at

About the NVFC
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is the leading nonprofit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services. The NVFC serves as the voice of the volunteer in the national arena and provides invaluable tools, resources, programs, and advocacy for first responders across the nation. Learn more at

Tags: Fire training, firefighter training, EMS training, NVFC

Action Training Systems congratulates one of their own on degree in Fire Science Administration.

Posted by Elise Andreasen on Mon, June 16, 2014 @ 02:10PM

Nicole Avila, daughter of George Avila (President/CEO Action Training Systems) has been on the fast track when it comes to accomplishing her goals. Her early graduation comes as no surprise as she has always set her standards above many others her age. Nicole knew she wanted a career in emergency services field since she was sixteen. Her passion was initially sparked while taking athletic medicine and anatomy courses her sophomore year of high school. Her enthusiasm drove her to apply to the running start program at her high school and to graduate at eighteen with her Associate of Arts degree.

Nicole Graduation

Nicole said that the defining event was the summer before her senior year. She applied to attend Camp Blaze. This is a week-long camp held in different parts of the county and is designed to empower young women looking toward a career in the fire service. “It was really because of Camp Blaze that I developed a strong passion for wanting to be a firefighter. It was the first time I got to pull a hose line into a burning building, and I loved it,” said Nicole. “All the women who run that program are amazing, they give young women the opportunity to see that they have the strength and ability to do something like firefighting, and to be strong and confident leaders in whatever field we end up in.”

camp blaze

After attending Camp Blaze Nicole began applying to colleges that offered a fire science degree. Ultimately she decided that the University of New Haven (UNH) in Connecticut would be the best fit. She moved across the country and began her life as a college student in the fall of 2012. Having her prerequisites out of the way allowed her to start college as a junior and dive right into her fire science courses. She excelled in all her classes and stood out among her peers. “Nicole is one of those unique students that come through the university who possess a passion for public service, academic ability, and the confidence to make a real difference in emergency services,” said Peter J. Struble, Paramedicine Coordinator and one of Nicole’s favorite professors at UNH. “The fun part of teaching is when you can see tomorrow’s leaders begin to stand apart from the crowd. Nicole is one of those leaders and will be force for positive change in fire and emergency services.”

While enrolled in school, Nicole also looked for opportunities to be involved in the fire service community. She knew volunteering for a local department would give her hands on experience to the material she was studying. She applied to Allentown Volunteer Fire Association. In addition to a full load of fire courses at college, as a volunteer at Allentown she completed her initial Firefighter 1 & 2 courses at night and participated in hands on drills during weekends. “To many, this schedule might seem like a heavy load but Nicole just has a way of getting things done and never complaining,” said Elise Avila Andreasen, sister and marketing manager at Action Training Systems. “You could tell she was happy pursuing her passion. Her unwavering determination is an inspiration. We couldn’t be more proud of her success so far.”


While taking her Firefighter 1 & 2 training with Allentown Vol. Fire Dept., Nicole was excited to see that the department was using training programs produced by her family’s company. She had recognized early on that her family’s business was influential in her career choice but it wasn’t until that moment that she fully realized the impact and incredible resources she has had available to her. “Throughout much of her life, Nicole has been inspired by many close family friends that have had very successful careers in the fire service,” said George Avila. “Some of these, to name a few, B.C. Dennis Corbett, Puyallup Fire & Rescue, retired; B.C. Bruce Arvisu, Los Angeles County Fire, retired; and B.C. Mark Johnson, San Francisco Fire Department. Nicole possesses many of their exceptional leadership qualities that will ensure her a very successful career in the emergency response community for years to come. Needless to say, I am extremely proud of Nicole!”

Nicole finished her bachelor’s degree in Fire Science Administration and graduated this spring at the age of twenty. A huge accomplishment recognized by everyone who has witnessed her steadfast commitment to her goals. This is only the beginning of what appears to be a very promising future in the Emergency Services field. Most recently she has applied to the San Francisco Fire Department. “I want to work for a large city department because I am attracted to the excitement of a big department. I also feel it is a place where I can gain a lot of experience, and if and when I get the opportunity to move up in the department I’d have a larger platform to speak from to make a difference in the fire service as a whole,” said Nicole. Other future interests include becoming a training officer, Chief, working in disaster/emergency management or even attaining her Masters in Emergency Management.

“Training in fire and emergency services is rapidly changing from a top down structured environmentto one where our newest members have opportunities and an environment in which they can analyzeinformation, understand concepts, and reflect on what they learn to improve performance,” said PeterStruble. “The pressures for this change come from a new generation of highly educated, technologicallysavvy, and open minded fire and emergency personnel.”

All those who know Nicole believe she fits the mold when it comes to ensuring the emergency service training continues to move in the direction Struble has outlined. She is a forward thinking leader and we wish her much success in her journey.

Tags: firefighter training, EMS training, emergency responder Training, Fire Simulator

Get Innovative EMS Training from Action Training Systems

Posted by Elise Andreasen on Tue, April 29, 2014 @ 10:50AM

Action Training Systems is far from the new kid on the block when it comes to developing courses for the emergency responder. Blending more than 25 years of experience with quality video content while keeping a focus on current national standards, our EMS Training programs have been approved by CECBEMS, the Continuing Education Coordinating Board for Emergency Medical Services.

EMS Training

In a fast-paced world where time is always of the essence, Action Training Systems is a fast-track solution to a career in emergency services. Our interactive online courses combine technology with proven training methods that are designed for the next generation of emergency service leaders. With hours of training, the courses don’t cut corners on the essential knowledge needed to stay safe and treat patients safely on the job.

If you’re still having doubts about a video-based program, consider this:

- Action Training provides the most comprehensive, up-to-date skills-based training as part of our EMS training series. Curriculum includes both EMR (first responder) and EMT level training, and teaches according to the most current, nationally recognized pre-hospital emergency medical guidelines.

- All of our training objectives were developed in accordance with National EMS Education Standards and skills from the National Registry of EMTs.

- All content and course oversight is provided by a program committee of qualified EMS educators, pre-hospital care providers and medical professionals.

Remember, all Action Training Systems EMS online courses are approved for 1 hour of continuing education credit for emergency medical responders and EMTs. If you have questions, contact us today to speak to an account manager about your EMS training goals.

Tags: Fire training, Fire training, firefighter training, firefighter training, EMS training, first responder training, ems tra, EMT Training

Using Statistics as a Tool

Posted by Elise Andreasen on Wed, October 02, 2013 @ 08:05AM

Fire Officer Training

Every day, firefighters risk their lives to save people from fires, serious accidents and other perils. But in the heat of the moment, their own safety is often the last thing on their minds, and they often fail to recognize the dangers in routine habits and daily life at the fire station. As the supervising fire officer on the front lines, protecting your team’s health and safety must be the first thing on your mind. “Watching their backs” is your most important responsibility.

In its Fire Officer I series, Action Training Systems identifies statistics as a key tool to prevent potential injury and death.

As a fire officer at the unit level, you will be leading your team into many dangerous situations. If you know and can recognize what has caused fire service injuries and fatalities in the past, you will be better able to protect your team from harm in the present.

Online Fire Training

Statistical data and current trends can offer insight into how injuries happen and what you can do to prevent them. This important information can also help you identify fire training needs and recognize hazardous situations. 


They include:Several organizations closely track firefighter injuries and deaths and provide a wealth of data online.


Fire service trade magazines and websites also report news about special hazards to firefighters.

Your own department is also a good resource for statistics and current trends, especially as they relate to your area. By studying what has happened locally, you may recognize patterns that can help you anticipate and plan ahead.

Fire TrainingFor instance, your jurisdiction may have a highly developed downtown area, and you may notice that your department has performed several elevator rescues in recent years. This information may motivate you to update your team’s elevator rescue training and review the elevator surveys of the buildings within your jurisdiction.

Proactively studying statistics on how fire service injuries and fatalities occur should be a part of your routine. It is your job to research this important information and to then translate it into a solid, effective plan of action.

Remember, they’re not “statistics” when it happens to one of your firefighters.


Tags: firefighter training, EMS training, emergency responder Training, Fire Officer

10 Tips for Fire & EMS Instructors to Engage Students

Posted by Elise Andreasen on Fri, June 28, 2013 @ 11:33AM

Classroom Fire Training & EMS Training Tips

Make learning easier by using some of these tips. Even if you are able to get your students’ attention in the classroom, you want them to retain the information you provide and use it in hands-on training and out in the field.

1. Learner Preparation

Preparing the learner ahead of time has been proven to significantly increase learning readiness, assimilation, thinking and recall time. For example, give your students access to ATS Online courses relating to the course material you plan to cover in your classroom training session the next day.

2. Repetition

Habits, beliefs, values and self-image are all learned through repetition. Repeat key points throughout your presentation. Look for creative ways to revisit the same point; - simply saying the same thing over and over again can be frustrating for students.

3. Inside Scoop

Once you’ve got their immediate attention, give learners the inside scoop on something. Relate your topic of the day to a scenario that has happened close to home.

4. Personal Experience

Support the point you're making with first-hand experience. This not only enhances your credibility with the audience, but also proves your knowledge of the subject.

5. Questioning Techniques

Your audience will remember less than 30 percent of the sentences they hear during your presentation, but they will remember more than 85 percent of the questions you ask. By asking questions, you deepen the learner’s understanding and conviction. The best questions are ones that get your students thinking, shock them to attention or get their agreement. Check out ATS Interactive training courses or ATS question files to help with question ideas relating to specific Fire & EMS subject matter.

6. Startling Statistics

Numbers and statistics can lose your audience quicker than anything else. By using numbers carefully you can not only prove your point, but also surprise your class. Present only the numbers and statistics that are necessary to make your point. Where possible, round to the nearest whole number. Graphs and charts should be simple. Detailed calculations should be provided on a handout.

7. Analogies & Metaphors

The more complex your subject, the more important it is to use analogies and metaphors. Know your audience! Using a complex analogy to support complex material can be frustrating. Your words matter. If you are presenting something complex, simplify it with a metaphor.

8. Be Brief & Finish Early

People once had the attention span to sit and listen for much longer stretches than we do today. Now that we can get information more quickly, that amount of time is rapidly decreasing. Limit your subject content to approximately 20 minutes. If you plan to train for longer, break up the segments and compliment your audience by finishing up 5 minutes early.

9. Humor

Humor can be one of the most effective attention-getting techniques when used naturally and appropriately. Humor keeps the audience alert and awake. Laughter triggers the release of adrenaline and increases long-term retention of information. Humor makes audiences more relaxed, responsive and creative.

10. Each One Teach One

Learners are people with whole lives. They will relate to you on an emotional level if you care for them as individuals. They will also appreciate the opportunity to relate to each other. Give them time to talk with one another about what they are learning and experiencing.

Tags: Fire training, firefighter training, EMS training, emergency responder Training

Why is Fire & EMS Training so HOT?

Posted by Elise Andreasen on Tue, May 28, 2013 @ 01:24PM

Firefighter Training OnlineOnline learning is HOT and for a very good reason. Many departments and organizations around the world are turning to online training/learning as a way to decrease costs and improve the learners performance. Also, unlike a one-time classroom session, the online learning course is available to be accessed anywhere and can be reviewed a number of times to enhance the learners comprehension.

Many fire departments and EMS organizations are turning to online learning as a means to supplement their classroom training. Now, it is very important you understand that online training is not meant to replace hands on training, but simply be used as a tool to train students in addition to hands on and classroom learning. You can easily have your students login in from home and review or study material before coming to your weekly training night or before drills, so that the material to be covered is already fresh in their mind.

ATS online learning Supports your department/organization’s training goals

Improved training costs – Producing learning content is time consuming whether it’s online or not. With ATS Online learning, our course content is based on national standards and designed to follow training manuals by IFSTA/FPP and Brady/Pearson Publishing. With ATS Online, each time a course is accessed your return on investment improves because you are not limited by a classroom environment which means savings through decreased travel, reduced materials and improved (and more efficient) performance.

Increased productivity - Since ATS online is not bound by geography or time you can have control over when you want your students to take courses…during down time at the station or on their own at home . In addition, with the state of the current economy, we are continually being asked to do more with less. So ATS online is a great way to give students the tools and skills necessary to enhance their performance.

Standardization - Although you are an excellent training officer/course facilitator, there is no guarantee that the course material will be presented the same across all sessions. ATS online allows you to create a process where learning is standardized across sessions. With ATS online there will be consistency in delivery and content.

ATS online supports learner development

Improved retention - The combination of our high quality media and instructional design produces a very rich learning experience. With our interactive courses, quizzes and tests are available to help your learners retain the course content and better prepare them for hands on training and real world scenarios.

Real-time access - Live learning doesn’t allow for much flexibility. ATS online eliminates this because courses can be accessed anywhere, anytime on any computer or mobile device such as an ipad or smartphone.

Personalized Learning - ATS online allows you the freedom to customize your emergency response training to meet your goals for the day, week or year. You can purchase access to specific courses for a select number of learners based on your personal department/organizational need. This allow you control that you would not have in a classroom learning environment.

Ongoing access to courses/resources - If you take a class in the real world and need a refresher, you better hope that you took good notes. Otherwise, you’re out of luck. That’s not the case with ATS online. Ideally, you continue to have access to the online content and resources to brush up on what you learned and have the opportunity to share information as well.

A few questions to ask yourself: What are your goals for your emergency response training? What type of training are you currently using? Are you completely satisfied with your current fire training or EMS training program? Is it efficient, without sacficing the quality of content and learner comprehension?

Tags: Fire training, firefighter training, EMS training, Industrial training, emergency responder Training, first responder training

Action Training Systems Wins 2 Aurora Awards for Training Programs

Posted by Elise Andreasen on Mon, March 11, 2013 @ 02:24PM

We are proud to announce that we have recently been awarded Aurora awards for our new Infection Control & Prevention Series as well as our Vehicle Extrication series. 

The Aurora Awards is an international competition designed to recognize excellence in the film and video industries. It specifically targets products, programs and commercials that would not normally have the opportunity to compete on a national level, by focusing on non-national commercials, regional or special interest entertainment and corporate sponsored film and video. Entries have come from across the US, and abroad (such as Russia, Denmark, Hong Kong, Germany, Australia and Mexico).

Action Training Systems’ 3-title Infection Control & Prevention series provides a systematic understanding of bloodborne, airborne, and other diseases of concern to emergency responders. These programs demonstrate how to minimize or prevent the spread of diseases through proper precautions and infection control practices and how to mitigate an exposure to communicable diseases. As a series, it provides a comprehensive framework to help instructors fulfill initial and annual infectious diseases training requirements.

The Vehicle Extrication series includes 10 training programs that teach to the current National Fire Protection Association standards, including NFPA 1001: Standard for Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications, NFPA 1006: Standard for Technical Rescuer Professional Qualifications and NFPA 1670: Standard on Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue Incidents. The programs cover step-by-step extrication evolutions, basic operational procedures and knowledge of tools and techniques used to complete an efficient and effective extrication.

For information on these and others titles by Action Training Systems, please visit our website at or call 800-755-1440 ext 3

Aurora Award resized 600

Tags: Fire training, firefighter training, EMS training, vehicle extrication training, emergency responder Training, first responder training

Discouraged because your 2011 AFG training request was denied?

Posted by Elise Andreasen on Wed, April 11, 2012 @ 01:27PM

Are you discouraged because your 2011 AFG training request was denied?

Don’t give up! Grant funding for training projects is not dead.

Many fire departments are frustrated that they were not awarded a training grant for 2011 and may not apply for training this year, or not apply at all.  If your department has a training, equipment or apparatus need, we urge you to keep trying!  

Action Training Systems has some tips to help you successfully ask for training in 2012.

1)Make sure your training request matches the grant priorities.

The 2011 AFG Program Guidance for training states: “In implementing the fire service’s recommendations concerning AFG, DHS has determined that the most benefit is derived from training that is instructor-led and hands-on and that leads to a nationally sanctioned or State certification. Therefore, applications focused on national or State certification training, including train-the-trainer initiatives, will receive a higher competitive rating.”

Nearly every successful AFG funded training project demonstrated in the request that the program outlined was instructor led, incorporated evaluation and testing, and led to student certification upon completion.

To be successful, you must outline your entire training program, not just training materials you need to carry out that program.

You must show how your certified instructor will use the requested training materials as part of a program that includes getting students in the classroom seats and delivering quality hands-on training leading to certification.  

The AFG reviewers like to see that you have a training plan, not a wish list.  You must indicate how trainees will be evaluated and tested in your program to demonstrate their competency.

Action Training Systems offers several instructional aids that are necessary to meet the goals of developing effective emergency responder training.  These include instructional DVDs and CBTs to complement instructor led Firefighter I/II, Driver Operator, HAZMAT Awareness, HAZMAT Operations and EMS course delivery; PowerPoint programs for all levels of firefighter and emergency responder training; a full line of IFSTA manuals and student workbooks necessary for effective delivery; Brady/Pearson EMS books and, a comprehensive test-generating program for student applications and evaluations.

Successful AFG awards, especially those for training, require planning thought and preparation. 

Action Training Systems has over 24 years of experience in developing courses for emergency responders.  Action Training Systems has a key understanding of the industry, the adult learner and of instructional design, placing our programs at a superior advantage over other training products in the market.

Action Training Systems has aided thousands of fire departments worldwide in meeting their training needs.  Contact our expert technical staff at 1-800-755-1440 for your training support needs. 

Tags: Fire training, firefighter training, EMS training, emergency responder Training, first responder training, AFG Grants Info

Adventures in Moulage

Posted by Elise Andreasen on Mon, March 19, 2012 @ 04:27PM

Adventures in Moulage

Our mission at ATS has always been to provide the best training experience for emergency responders. Sometimes this also allows us the opportunity to add a little drama and realism through the use of moulage.

MoulageATS Cameraman Sjon Johnson, self-taught moulage artist applies a thermal burn to actor Evan.

Moulage, a French word meaning “mold” or “model,” is most commonly used to simulate injuries or deformities for EMS and other emergency response training.  Many fire department and EMS agencies will use moulage to set the scene for assessing and managing trauma.  Our first EMS series, Emergency Medical Responder, gave ATS a crash course in the art of moulage. Here are a few highlights from our adventures in moulage.

Here’s Carly, our” bleeding and shock” patient getting ready for makeup (this scene was used in both programs,  Bleeding and Shock).  With the help of our moulage artist, (Mary Ridings), we turned this healthy, normal teenager into a dripping, bloody mess. Here’s her “before” picture. You can see the tube Mary hid up Carly’s sleeve so we could have some flowing blood for the scene as well.

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Mary built up the laceration edges layer by layer to create the illusion of an open slash wound, and our actress, Carly received an additional layer of white makeup on her face to create the appearance of a patient in shock from blood loss.  For this scenario we were implying that Carly had snagged and ripped open her arm, when jumping down from a tree.

IMG 8511Here’s Carly’s “after” shot. We’ve never seen someone so cheerful while covered in fake blood.

Here you can see how we simulated the bleeding as we filmed the scene. As our responders, Scott, and June with Bainbridge Island Ambulance Association worked to manage Carly’s bleeding.   You can see Mary just off camera squeezing a bottle with a tube hidden in Carly’s sleeve.

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Our next opportunity for moulage work was with Clallam County Fire District 3 in Sequim, Washington.  This was for a thermal burn injury, where we implied a burshfire flashback from gasoline.  For this shoot we brought  moulage artist, and RN Linda Adye-Whitish  to apply the second- and third- degree burns wounds to our victim, and actor, Dennis.

IMG 9919In this scene, we needed to illustrate how to care for a thermal burn. Capturing the characteristics of second-and third-degree burns takes a lot of finesse. Aside from the redness, we wanted to show peeling, charred skin as well.

describe the imageHere’s how it looked in the final scene. Notice the peeling and the redness? This kind of burn is intensely painful, but Dennis didn’t have to feel a thing. Thanks again to our responders, Troy, Greg & Michael for their participation that day.

Gig Harbor Shoot Aug 22, 2011 067 resized 600

For our last look at our adventures in moulage, our friends at Pierce County Fire District 5 in Gig Harbor, Washington helped us set up this  scene for a rollover/ejection from a vehicle.  This was used for our Trauma Patient Assessment program, as well as  Scene Safety & Management.

The responders positioned a vehicle on its side, on their training grounds to simulate a rollover.   Our actor was placed on the ground a few feet away.   

Gig Harbor Shoot Aug 22, 2011 015 resized 600Here’s our actor, William Michael Paul, in the makeup chair before the shoot. For this scenario our in-house moulage artist and cameraman, Sjon Johnson created the illusion of injury. Sjon spent many hours ahead of time,  researching, molding and prefabricating silicon wounds for William’s face.

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Here’s William’s “after” picture. He definitely looks like he lost a fight.

Thanks again to our responders, Andy, Ryan and Alex, for a job well done.

Gig Harbor Shoot Aug 22, 2011 074 resized 600

By the way, no actors were harmed in the making of this series, but there was plenty of time spent in the makeup chair and laying on the ground.

Does your organization use moulage for EMS training? Tell us how you train with moulage and share your pictures on our Facebook!


Tags: firefighter training, EMS training