Lab of horrors
The Buffalo News recently joined second-year nursing students at SUNY Erie Community College on their first training foray into an ECC simulation lab.
Sim labs are set up like hospital rooms. There, patient manikins and monitors are manipulated to replicate situations that nursing and respiratory therapy students must respond to quickly and safely.
Of about a dozen students at the lab that day, only one, Brandon Rueger, had previously experienced a sim lab.
As students took turns checking the vitals of a manikin they named “Gertie,” nursing instructor Tammy Goodemote hit a button on her remote to make Gertie scream.
Rueger was the only student who didn’t jump or exclaim, “What was that?”
“That’s when it gets creepy,” he replied calmly. “When the manikins start to talk.”
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Not only can operators cue today’s manikins to emit sounds such as screaming, coughing and vomiting, they can talk into a mic to use their own voices to allow the patient to ask for help, answer questions or even complain about their roommate.
We think Rueger is onto something that Buffalo FilmWorks might consider: a sim lab horror movie.
How about “Night of the Living Manikins," “Dawn of the Fake Patients?” or "World War Sim Lab?"
Just don’t give them their meds after midnight.
A very Buffalo connection
A few days ago, Sean Kirst wrote a column about how a last-minute decision in 1978 to buy $6 tickets with a friend to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at Shea’s Buffalo Theater shaped his teenage view of his life. The seats were in Row V, Section 4, which put the two 18-year-olds in the absolute back row at the peak of the balcony.
Something about the reference struck a chord for Mike Poreda. As director of ticket operations for the Buffalo Bisons, he has a particular affinity for these things. He is also a giant Springsteen fan who was 14 in 1978, when his uncle bought him a ticket for that show at Shea’s. It was the third concert of Poreda’s life, after KISS and America. It also occurred only a year after he lost his dad, who had worked for years at American Brass – which meant Springsteen’s new songs about fathers, sons and factory life had lasting resonance.
Poreda has been there for dozens of Springsteen shows since then, including Thursday night’s concert at KeyBank Center. A quick check of his almost-45-year-old ticket from the first time he saw the guy confirmed what he suspected when he saw Kirst's column: The young Poreda was in the last row in the house that night – Row V, Section 4 – one seat away.
“We were sitting next to each other,” he told Kirst. “That blows my mind.”
Knowing his place
Town of Tonawanda Supervisor Joseph Emminger knows where he stands in the pecking order.
Earlier this week, the Erie County Industrial Development Agency was reviewing an application for tax breaks from Elma aerospace company Moog when both he and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz sought to comment on the project.
ECIDA Chair Brenda McDuffie, seeking to keep order while giving priority to Poloncarz as the county’s top elected official, asked Emminger if he would allow the county executive to go first.
No problem. “I always yield to the county executive,” Emminger said.
Of course, Poloncarz also knows how to handle other government leaders.
The next day, speaking at a ribbon-cutting for Uniland Development Co.’s 8 Dona warehouse in Lackawanna, Poloncarz took turns praising his own team in county government and the ECIDA for their work in creating Renaissance Commerce Park at the former Bethlehem Steel site.
Then he turned to Karen Utz, Empire State Development Corp.’s Western New York director.
“This would not happen without our friends in New York state providing significant assistance. And continue to make, because these investments are not over with right? They’re not over with, right?” he nudged Utz, before turning back to the crowd with a wink. “Always put them on the spot in front of the cameras.”
Better inside than out
Uniland was excited to formally unveil and celebrate its new 150,000-square-foot warehouse at 8 Dona St. in Lackawanna.
Mother Nature had other ideas.
A constant drizzle, thick fog and occasional heavier rain threatened to put a damper on the festivities Thursday afternoon, when more than 60 people gathered to mark the occasion. Fortunately, the building is finished, so the event was held inside the bright and shiny new facility.
And Uniland CEO Michael Montante likely spoke for everyone in the room in his opening remarks, after the speakers had assembled.
“We were just having a bit of a conversation behind here,” he said. “We were saying thank goodness this is not a ground-breaking ceremony outside. That it is a ribbon-cutting inside, where it is nice and dry.”
We couldn’t have said it better – since we were thinking the same thing.
With contributions from Janet Gramza, Sean Kirst and Jonathan D. Epstein