SIM truck near Chimney Rock
SIM-NE trucks are stationed in four cities across Nebraska to provide training to rural health professionals.

Dr. Paul Paulman grew up in Sutherland, Neb., where “one EMT ran the filling station and one ran the grocery store,” he said.

Dr. Audrey Paulman grew up in northwest Nebraska in the village of Dixon.

The Paulmans graduated from the UNMC College of Medicine, then spent time providing clinical services in rural Nebraska – Paul in Spalding and Audrey in Albion – before joining the faculty at UNMC.

They know rural Nebraska and understand how difficult it can be for first responders to travel miles from home for multi-day, costly training sessions, in which they miss work and family and are unavailable for emergency calls.

With fewer health care providers in rural areas, the Paulmans say communities have to have a well-prepared, well-trained first responder workforce. UNMC is helping do just that by deploying four mobile training trucks that help train rural EMTs and small-town hospital personnel across the state – without leaving home.

Launched this past August, the program already has trained more than 1,400 people across the state with the four trucks collectively having traveled more than 10,000 miles.

“After 34 years in the emergency medical services, this is one of the best things to happen,” said Gail Suhr of the Bloomfield Rescue Squad. “There’s so much we can learn through the SIM-NE trucks.”