Lincoln fire department turns to Innovation Studio to solve unique problem

Max Wheeler, instructional designer at Nebraska Innovation Studio, shows a new 3D-printed case for a video laryngoscope to firefighter-paramedic Brennan Oliverius at Nebraska Innovation Campus.

The high-tech set of video laryngoscopes used by Lincoln Fire and Rescue to navigate a patient's vocal cords and other obstructions during intubation came with a set of low-tech carrying cases.

Although better than the denier fabric cases of the manual scopes, which are hospitable to bacteria, the new cases included holders built from paper pulp prone to disintegration after the instruments were disinfected.

The department's options for more-durable, longer-lasting cases for the new scopes from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation were also lacking, said Brennan Oliverius, a firefighter-paramedic on LFR's Engine 3.

"What we wanted was a case that would hold these scopes in the EMS bags, but we just weren't happy with what we saw on the market," he said.

Bypassing the limited commercial products available, Oliverius and others tasked with finding a solution followed up on a suggestion.

The crew of Engine 3 asked for ideas from Innovation Studio, billed as a place "where creators of all sorts can share ideas, tools and knowledge."

Max Wheeler, an instructional designer at Innovation Studio, said it isn't unusual for a unique problem to land at Nebraska Innovation Campus in search of an answer.

"Usually we try to connect those people who come to us with a specific problem with someone in our community who is an expert to work with those groups," Wheeler said. Read More>>