Wednesday, July 8, 2020


According to statistics from ‘Statista’, in 2018 there were around 273.6 million cars on the roads in the U.S. It’s no surprise then that there are 17250 accidents that occur on the roads every day. Some are low-impact bumps, but others are more serious, requiring the Fire and Rescue Service to free those trapped inside. In fact, The Department for Transport reported 33,654 road deaths in 2018..

When there has been a serious collision, extricating injured and trapped people can be extremely difficult. Often, vehicles need to be stabilized before teams can even start to think about getting someone out safely, and of course, the safety of both the injured person, and the crew rescuing them is paramount. It goes without saying that training can help teams to construct effective plans for a variety of difficult scenarios and at Ruth Lee we have a range of manikins which will provide different extrication challenges for your team.


If you need a versatile, durable manikin, which will sit upright in a vehicle, can be fitted with a neck brace and will 'act' as a conscious casualty, the NEW Duty Plus manikin is the ideal choice. This manikin is constructed with a plastic spine to help prevent ‘head flopping’, closed cell foam in the back and polyethylene strips which run to the waist/hip area allowing flexibility and a more ‘upright’ position - perfect for sitting in vehicles. Anatomically correct weight distribution to give the ‘feel’ of a conscious casualty, perfect for encouraging correct patient care.



What would you do if you were called out to an obese casualty, trapped inside the cab of a Semi? Our new Water-fillable Bariatric suit lets you turn a Ruth Lee Duty manikin into a bariatric. The beauty of this product is that you can position the manikin in place before adding the weight, letting your trainer create more challenging extrication scenarios.




You attend a serious MVA and the driver has been impaled by an object which has penetrated his window-screen. You can now train your team to prepare for this scenario using the Ruth Lee Multi-Trauma Manikin! With a chest cavity to let you impale the manikin, and detachable limbs to simulate a full or partial loss of limb, this versatile manikin will let you create a very challenging rescue scenario.




Airway Management Skills are often practiced in a warm classroom - how would your team react completing these skills in a real emergency - Such as underneath an over-turned vehicle? Our Full-Bodied Airway Management Manikin is tough and can be trapped by the arms or legs, allowing you to prepare life-saving strategies for this scenario.


Tuesday, July 7, 2020


No one wants to think about it – but how would your team cope if the worst happened and there was a fire in your Care Home?   It’s likely you would have a large number of residents who are infirm, even incapacitated and in need of assistance to evacuate, some may even be bed-ridden.   In the wake of the Grenfell (UK)  tragedy, buildings which house a large number of residents are coming under closer scrutiny with regards to emergency planning – for good reason.


One of the best things you can do to ensure the safety of your residents and staff is to create a detailed and robust emergency evacuation plan. But even the best plan In the world will be ineffective unless your team feel confident they can carry it out.   In a true emergency people can become anxious and flustered, leading to mistakes both in terms of what to do, but also ‘how’ to do it! For example, they may try and lift someone badly, causing injury to themselves or the resident they are helping.


You should ensure that your staff are able to lift or assist residents safely and efficiently (either manually or by using lifting and transfer equipment) to make sure your home would be evacuated quickly, with no injury to residents or staff. A UK HSE report on the Health and Care Industry in 2014/15 indicated that each year there are 86,000 self-reported non-fatal workplace injuries, with 27% of these involving lifting and handling.  Regular staff training is key to avoiding injury and using training manikins can be very beneficial.  At Ruth Lee, we can provide a range of training manikins which are perfectly suited to Care Home training.

Although traditionally, staff would practice skills on each other, using a manikin means there is significantly less risk of injury (i.e. a dummy won’t get hurt if you drop him!). Another benefit is that the whole team takes part (no volunteer required) – and because we have a range of different manikins, from a 20kg Patient Handling manikin, right the way up to a 260kg bariatric or obese manikin, you can make sure your team are trained to help people of all shapes and sizes! We also provide Full Bodied CPR or Airway Management Manikins to let your teams perfect their life-saving skills. 


If you want to create a training scenario which will be remembered for years to come (for all the right reasons) and truly test your team’s ability to react quickly and rationally in a ‘fire’ situation, you might also consider Fire Simulation.

We know what usually happens in a fire drill – people take their time, grab a coat, ‘down their brew’ – how would they react if smoke was coming down the corridor. Would they behave rationally and safely? Would they rush to help residents and cause injury to themselves or someone in need of help? Fire simulation lets you test and improve your team’s reactions.

Monday, July 6, 2020


Over the years, Emergency Services and Civil Defense teams around the world have greatly improved the skills of their teams to make sure they have the specialist skills required to perform technical rescues such as working at height and confined spaces.

We know that a ‘trial-by-error' approach won’t cut it – your team needs to be confident that they have technical rescue skills which are well embedded through effective and regular training.



Did you know that statistically, falls from height account for the highest proportion of workplace fatalities in the UK? Even if employers ensure that staff are well trained in using fall arrest equipment, there is also a significant risk of suspension related injuries and consequent fatality and therefore it is imperative that plans are in place to quickly and efficiently rescue the casualty.

The Work at Height Safety Association provide expert advice on the potential risk to casualties who are left suspended, especially those who are unconscious. Specifically, that the longer a casualty is suspended without moving, the greater the chances are of serious consequences developing. Suspension Trauma is a very real risk, which is potentially fatal and training to ensure that workers are quickly rescued is absolutely imperative. 

Therefore, rescuers must be skilled in extricating a casualty from a suspension quickly to make sure that this risk is minimized and training is the best way of achieving this goal. 


While you may already know and love our standard duty manikin, we have worked with experts in the field of technical rescue to develop manikins to suit specific training scenarios including working at height.

Available in a range of weights, 30, 50 and 70Kg, the Working at Height Manikins are designed to be anatomically correct with regards to weighted proportions and due to additional features, will sit comfortably in a rescue harness without slumping, making it the ideal choice for working at height rescue training.



Another technical rescue skill which is increasingly in focus is confined space extrication. It is a very specialist skill and depending on the environment of the extrication, potentially hazardous for the rescuer and casualty.

Previously, training for confirmed spaces could be tricky – getting your manikin into the narrow space could be as much of a challenge as extricating it in training! This is why we designed the Confined Space Manikin, which splits into several components to be constructed once the manikin is in position. None of the individual parts weigh more than 25kg meaning that it is easy to carry the individual pieces into the confined space.

In October 2019, we worked with Eight2O Water Alliance to set up a training scenario for their teams. Working in collaboration with South Central Ambulance Service HART Team and specialist technical rescue crews from Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue, a fantastic technical rescue exercise was developed, which was praised by all. 

 The Ruth Lee Ltd range of technical rescue manikins is well worth investigating if you are looking for a more challenging training scenario for your team. Our expert team are able to talk you though the different manikins to make sure that you choose the right man(ikin) for the job.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020


If you manage a property which houses a large number of residents, many of which have complex needs in terms of their mobility, you will no doubt have considered how best you might evacuate everyone safely in the event of an emergency.

PEEPS (Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans) should be written for any resident who is unable to safely walk unaided, and these must be tailored to the individual’s needs. Each PEEP should give detailed information on this person’s movements during an evacuation and importantly, all members of staff should be aware of these instructions and be confident in their ability to carry them out to the letter.

For example, is the individual able to walk unaided or will they need a lot of support? Complex mobility or neurological needs should to be considered and you might decide that horizontal evacuation is preferred for these residents, at the initial stages of an evacuation at least.

Likewise, if someone is found unconscious, there should be a different procedure in place which is understood by all staff in case on an emergency situation.



Depending on the style and size of your residence, you may need to consider both vertical and horizontal evacuation procedures.

Vertical Evacuation (using a stairway) is usually the preferred method of exiting a building in an emergency. Simply put, this refers to using the stairs to get everyone who is usually housed above the ground floor out of the building quickly.  However, generally speaking this method is for those who are able to evacuate a building with minimal assistance. Ideally, you should house those with mobility needs on the ground floor, where possible.

However, in some larger premises, the evacuation procedures and plans are designed to allow for horizontal evacuation, where people who are not in imminent danger can delay starting their evacuation.

This means that fire escape routes do not become congested and a danger in themselves.

Horizontal, phased evacuation is the method of moving people away from the area of danger to a safer place on the same floor. This type of evacuation is usually required where a resident cannot use exit stairs to get outside and must remain on a particular floor until assistance arrives. This is one reason why using fire doors properly is so important, as they help to create fire resistant compartments.

However, depending on the fire situation it may ultimately be necessary to attempt a vertical evacuation with these residents too and therefore, a resident’s PEEP should have listed the preferred method of moving that person down a flight of stairs.


In order to ensure that evacuation procedures run smoothly it is important to conduct regular training. This is in fact a legal requirement and forms part of fire regulations.

Therefore, conducting regular drills, and ensuring that enough staff are competent (to manage shift patterns etc) is vital to ensure compliance with fire regulations. Effective fire routine is dependent on regular training and practice – as with all learning, the more frequently we train, the better we become.

You should write a detailed fire emergency evacuation plan and this should include instruction on the general procedures, instructions for individual PEEPs and details of any training needed for employees.

Remember too that you should think ‘out of the box’ and consider different scenarios. Carry out regular drills using a variety of escape routes, assuming that the normal and most direct evacuation route is not always possible. It is surprising how much this can throw someone off in an emergency.

Practice both horizontal and vertical evacuation techniques and consider ‘worst case scenario’ plans which see those who would normally be covered in a horizontal evacuation, moved vertically.  In this situation, specialist equipment may be needed so this is also the time to make sure that staff are well trained in using evacuation equipment such as Evac Chairs or evacuation board and sledges.

Having to use this equipment for the first time in a genuine emergency is a recipe for disaster and could lead to serious injury to those being evacuated, or the handler.



When teaching use of evacuation equipment, we would recommend the use of training manikins, not least because it greatly reduces the risk of injury to either the person doing the lifting and handling or to a volunteer if lifted incorrectly.

At Ruth Lee Ltd we have been providing rescue training manikins for more than 30 years and we have a range well-suited to care home evacuation. This includes our Patient Handling manikin, which will sit upright in a wheelchair if required, and a range of bariatric manikins. It is a sad fact that the population is getting larger and heavier – would you staff be confident to evacuate a heavy resident in a genuine emergency? Consider introducing bariatric training into your routine training schedules.


If you want to create ultra-realistic training, which will be remembered for years to come (for all the right reasons!) you could also consider fire simulation. 


Monday, June 29, 2020


You are training to save lives – don’t risk a live volunteer as you train for a genuine emergency.

It isn’t always safe to expect a volunteer to wait on an exposed mountainside, hide beneath rubble, or stay out in open water for prolonged periods of time. A manikin can be placed in situ several hours before training begins…and will never complain about being cold, sore or tired! Using manikins lets teams set up difficult training exercises in risk environments with a decreased risk of harm to others.


When learning new skills it is always best to use a manikin to minimize the risk of mistakes and consequent injury. Mistakes are easy to make when learning new skills - let a manikin face the consequence of these mistakes.
Working at Height training is the perfect example of an occasion where you would not risk a human life. Suspension related injury can occur in under 2 minutes, and in 5 minutes, you can lose consciousness. Never expect a live person to ‘hang around’ in harness whilst waiting to be rescued during training.


Real people don't always make realistic casualties! If mimicking an unconscious casualty, a volunteer will always protect themselves, taking a deep breath to float for example, or moving limbs to prevent knocks.


Manikins come in all shapes and sizes, from a 5kg baby to a 260kg bariatric adult. Our manikins are designed to accurately represent an unconscious casualty, with correct human weight proportions.
This allows trainers to set up difficult scenarios to really test the skills of their teams.


People are inherently breakable! You'll be reassured to know that we use the very best manufacturing techniques and the strongest materials to make our manikins. Most are constructed from the same flame retardant Polyester used in Police ballistic/stab vests.

Unlike plastic bodied manikins, our manikins are tough enough to be thrown from a second story window, driven over by a bus and buried under rubble without damage. We always aim to make the strongest possible manikins to stand up to the rigours of your training.


Most of the manikins in our range have been developed after dentifying the need for a particular scenario related dummy (such as bariatric, mountain rescue or lifeguard training).
We want to make sure that you have the very best products for your training and we have worked closely with expert organisations such as the Royal Lifesaving Society (UK), Surf Lifesaving, the RNLI, The Royal Navy and many rescue training specialists to make sure they perform as desired.


Ruth Lee manikins are used world-wide in more than 50 countries and sold through a network of Distributors.
Customers range from small rescue training organisations to large multi-national organisations. We have previously sold manikins to the BBC, Exon Mobil, Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK), Airbus, Shell, E.On, Siemens, Rolls Royce, Star Cruises and many more.

As well as supplying the Fire Service and other Emergency Services, we provide manikins for hospitals and care homes, leisure groups and hotel chains, funeral groups, Construction companies and the Armed Forces world-wide.

Friday, June 26, 2020

COVID-19 - Cleaning of Ropes

Our friends at Teufelberger published this information:
A study performed by U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Technology and Development Program, “Effects of Pathogen Decontamination on the Strength of Climbing Rope and Harness Equipment” which suggested that it is possible to soak textiles in water up to 55 degrees C with little effect to overall strength.
RescueTECH advises that you contact the specific rope or harness manufacturer for bespoke inspection and care instructions pertaining to your particular products in use.
Included with this notice is information specific to Teufelberger.

Disclaimer: All of these recommended disinfecting solutions are advisory only. RescueTECH assumes no liability for improper use of the products. It is the user’s responsibility to inspect their gear before each use, and should any doubt arise about its condition for safe use, the product should be immediately withdrawn from use and not used again until confirmed in writing by a competent person that it is safe to do so. Users should additionally follow government guidance relating to general rules to minimize the transmission of COVID-19.

Thursday, June 25, 2020


Going back to the start of 2020, no one could have guessed the extent that COVID-19 would impact our everyday lives.  Previously little-used terms such as ‘social-distancing’ are now commonly used and for some, they will always instill a feeling of anxiety when it comes to working closely alongside others.
Obviously, when training, close person-to-person contact is often inevitable and therefore Ruth Lee Ltd are proud to be able to provide a solution to minimize person-to-person contact... training manikins! 
It is true that we have seen an increase in interest from all sectors over the past few weeks as teams seek to ensure stricter social distancing methods during their essential safety or rescue training and it is fast becoming obvious that for many, training manikins help you to achieve this. It is also true that we have had more queries about what can be done to clean the manikins safely.


Ruth Lee Manikins have a full Equipment Note which can be found here, which offers care instructions.
We understand that during the pandemic, you may wish to be extra careful and take additional precautions which include washing and cleaning your manikins more frequently.
Probably the simplest step to take is to ensure that you have clean overalls for your manikin – preferably at least two sets so that you can wash them frequently. Our overalls are machine washable at 40 degrees, and by keeping multiple sets, you can change them between sessions, even between participants in your course, to help minimize cross-contamination. 
Replacement overalls are a cost-effective way to prolong the life of your manikin anyway, but it’s worth keeping in mind that this simple step of changing the overalls might also help to minimize the risk of contamination if changed frequently and machine washed regularly.
Bleach free multi-surface spray cleaners or wipes such as Dettol, Clorox Bleach-Free could be used between participants and shouldn’t have an adverse effect on the fabric if used appropriately. Dettol gives the following advice on their website in relation to COVID19
Most of our manikins are made from a tough polyester fabric – the best way to clean the carcass of the manikin is to hand wash it with hot, soapy water. You can scrub it thoroughly and then hang the manikin to dry completely before the next changing session. It is very important that the manikin is dried properly to make sure that mold and mildew do not form. You can use the loop at the back of the manikin to suspend it in the air for effective drying.
Bleaches and chlorine-based cleaning fluids are highly effective against germs but using them will degrade the materials very quickly, decreasing the integrity of the fabric and stitching and shorten the usable life of your manikin. We do NOT recommend their use.
You may also want to consider the use of a Ruth Lee Carry holdall to store your manikin between training sessions. These are made from reinforced PVC and are very easy to clean…making sure that no one accidentally sneezes on your training buddy in passing!


Always remember, prevention is better than the cure! So, if you can reduce the risk of contamination to your manikin in the first instance, this is always preferable.
Enforce strict health screening at your facility – have an open and honest culture built on trust whereby someone who is potentially suffering from COVID19, or has been in contact with someone who has, does not take part in training and potentially spread the virus. Live to train another day!
Please refer to the NHS website at: and/or the WHO website at or the CDC website at for additional information on tackling the Coronavirus in your facility.