We have compiled a list here of the most frequently asked questions – if you can’t find an answer here, just call us on 01490 413282 or visit our contact page to get in touch.

Please note: Since leaving the European Union, certain products supplied from the continent, including Fireware and Eccotarps, will be subject to additional shipping and customs charges. These start at £90.

Please contact our Head Office on 01490 413 282 for an up-to-date quote before ordering.

Who are Ruth Lee Ltd?

Ruth Lee Ltd is a world-leading manufacturer of training manikins. Based in the UK (North Wales), we sell our manikins worldwide through a network of dedicated distributors.

We have been manufacturing equipment for the British emergency services for almost 30 years and now work with professionals working in healthcare, water rescue, the military, SAR and safety to make sure we provide the best possible manikins for their specific training.

How much are your training manikins?

All Ruth Lee manikins are made by hand to exacting quality standards and to the required specifications.

The cost depends on which manikin you want and where you are in the world – your local representative will be able to give you a price inclusive of local taxes and freight costs.

If you are based in the UK, please call us on 01490 413 282 to discuss your requirement or contact us here. Alternatively, if you are not based in the UK, find your local stockist by visiting our Distributor page.

How are the manikins made?

We have almost 30 years’ experience manufacturing manikins to exacting standards for a range of training applications.


All our manikins are hand-made to specific specifications. Their design is reflective of the application they are used for.


They are individually constructed with an inner composition weighted with aggregate to human proportions, held inside the outer carcass. The aggregate is distributed around the body in weighted modules in such a way that slumping of the weight is prevented, allowing the dummy to maintain its form during and after use.

The manikins are specifically designed with various grades of foam and padding to create a realistic ‘feel’, based on the specifics of the training application.

Various grades of ballast are used to achieve certain weights, some of which are metal-based. Almost all manikins will also have a metal zipper as part of their construction. Please call us on 01490 413 282 if the exclusion of metal is important to you.

What materials are used in the construction of the manikins?

We use a range of heavy-duty materials when constructing our manikins, in conjunction with ballast for weight and foams for padding and buoyancy (water rescue manikins). Some manikins also have specific components to create anatomical features such as a spine, or more rigidity in areas such as the chest.

There may be slight variations in the materials used for the manikins in our range, but you can find out the full information on the page dedicated to each manikin by downloading its datasheet.

Various grades of ballast are used to achieve certain weights, some of which are metal-based. Almost all manikins will also have a metal zipper as part of their construction. Please call us if the exclusion of metal is important to you.

If you need more information, please call us on 01490 413 282

How do you achieve the different weights?

We use a variety of different aggregates and ballast to achieve the specific weights, depending on the use of the manikin (i.e. if it must go into water) and the environment it is used (i.e. a pool/chlorinated water).

Is there metal used in your manikin construction?

Yes. Please be aware that metal ballast is also sometimes used to achieve certain weights within the manikins’ general construction. Almost all manikins will also have a metal zipper as part of their construction.

Please call us on 01490 413 282 if the exclusion of metal is important to you.

Can you make heavier manikins?

Obesity is a growing issue and we have therefore developed a range of Bariatric Manikins at 90 kg, 180 kg and 260 kg. These manikins have been designed with anatomically correct weight distribution and our lighter-weight 90 kg manikin is the perfect choice if you want to work with less weight without forfeiting the bulk for your training.

We could potentially accommodate requests for heavier weights within other manikins in our range. However, anything not from our current range would be a bespoke construction and price available on the application.  Please contact us on 01490 413 282 with your specific requirements.

We have also developed an innovative water-fillable bariatric conversion suit, which lets you transform any adult Ruth Lee manikin into a bariatric. Simply dress your manikin in the suit, and then fill it with water up to 150kg.

How do Ruth Lee manikins compare with plastic manikins?

Ruth Lee training dummies are a very different product from plastic-bodied manikins.

We have worked hard to make sure our manikins behave in a more realistic way, like an unconscious casualty and are, in our opinion (and the opinion of countless rescue teams around the world) more suited to most rescue training scenarios.

Compared to plastic-bodied manikins which are easily broken, Ruth Lee manikins are much tougher and more durable, plus you will not get your fingers crushed in rigid plastic joints!


Why are your manikins better than cheap sand/rag filled alternatives?

For many reasons!

Our manikins have been designed with many years of research and testing, are weighted to anatomically correct proportions, are hard-wearing and durable…all whilst offering excellent value for money. There is really no comparison to a sand/rag filled alternative.

For the full benefits of each manikin, visit their relevant page on our website.

Why should I use a manikin – surely it is better to use a person?

Not necessarily!

Whilst we agree that switching to a person can be beneficial in some circumstances after an initial learning period (healthcare training for example, where you wish to build patient empathy) in all situations where people are learning to use new techniques or equipment, a manikin is a far safer option!

An important learning method is to make mistakes. Using a manikin you can be as repetitive as you like and learn from any mistakes. If you make a mistake using a live person, you could cause them serious injury.

For rescue teams, it isn’t 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


Who uses your manikins?

You can find Ruth Lee manikins in use all around the world – we can proudly say they are used for training on every continent. We are confident that anyone involved in rescue and safety will have heard of Ruth Lee manikins!

They are used by 100% of the UK’s Fire and Rescue Service, plus many other emergency services including the police, ambulance (Including HART teams) and coastguard.

Ruth Lee Ltd also has contracts to supply The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) including the British Navy. Our distributors supply our manikins to other Military all around the world.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), hospitals and large care home groups, international and local airports, Air Ambulance Services and prison services all use our manikins; they are also used widely across industry.

Where can your manikins be used?

It always amazes us where the manikins can be and are used.

From the obvious use within situations too hazardous or uncomfortable for human volunteers, such as technical rescue or testing new equipment, to more ‘patient-focused’ activities such as within the health and care services.

Our manikins are perfect for simulating rescues from height, confined spaces, static and fast-flowing water, or extrication from vehicles and collapsed buildings. Similarly, they are great for when you need to simulate a patient or casualty in caring professions.

Basically, any situation where one person might be expected to move or rescue another!

Is there a warranty period?

Various training scenarios and applications can affect the lifespan of a manikin to a large degree. For example, a manikin used in a healthcare setting is likely to last for several years. Whereas a manikin used for military training or within a firehouse will be subjected to much more rigorous use and extreme environmental factors.

The Company will always replace any product that is defective due to faulty materials or workmanship within one year of purchase. However, this excludes fair wear and tear, misuse of a product or environmental factors and training techniques outside of our control.

Please also note that protective overalls and boots are consumable items which help to protect and prolong the lifespan of your manikin.  Please see our manikin accessories HERE which are also available with our international distributors.

Please contact our Head Office on 01490 413 282 if you wish to speak to us about any issues and we will be happy to help.

How do I look after my manikin?

You should treat your manikin like you would treat another person. This greatly increases the lifespan of the product. Training should replicate how you would look after a real casualty!

Some manikins have specific care instructions (such as the Pool Rescue manikin) and you should refer to these or contact us for further information.

Our products are extremely robust, but care should always be taken when using them around sharp or jagged objects. Just like any material, if pulled over sharp edges, you could damage the fabric. Ruth Lee Ltd always recommends the use of protective overalls or other protective clothing and most manikins are supplied with overalls and wellies, which we sell as consumable items to help prolong the life of your manikin.

Not only do the overalls protect the carcass of the manikins during use, but they can be machine washed to keep the dummy clean; whilst this may not be important to Fire Services, it is certainly important when they are used in hospitals or schools etc. Should the carcass require cleaning, it can simply be scrubbed clean with warm water and a mild detergent.

The manikins should always be hung up (using the webbing loop on the back) if they get wet, allowing them to dry completely before storing.

Our Manikin Equipment Note / Care Instructions can be found here

Do you have a risk assessment prepared for the manikins?

There’s a wide range of training scenarios that can be conducted with our Ruth Lee Manikins, each of these will be individually tailored by the organisation and training instructors. Therefore, it’s not feasible for us to prepare a risk assessment on your behalf for your specific training scenario. As with all training products and scenarios, it is the end-user’s responsibility to conduct a suitable and sufficient risk assessment for your specific training task.


When preparing your risk assessment, consideration should be given, but not limited to:

  • Selection of model and weight for the training scenario
  • The total weight, and weight distribution of the manikin
  • Manual handling for delivery, use and storage
  • Fluctuations in weight due to water ingress
  • Physical capabilities of the trainers and trainees
  • Environmental conditions and terrain
  • Specific training scenario risks (such as confined space, firehouse, working at height, open water etc.)

We recommend you consult with a qualified Health and Safety advisor to manage your risk assessment requirements.

Can we buy replacement overalls and boots?

Yes, these are a cost-effective way to prolong the life of your manikin and we recommend you replace them as necessary when worn. You can buy them online in our manikin accessories section



What Accessories are available for the manikins?

Depending on your training, you may want to consider adding to your manikin from our range of accessories which includes leg protectors (for dummy drag tests), thermal imaging suits and hoods for TIC work, face masks and wigs, plus weighted vests in both 10 and 20Kg weights. Find out more here

How robust are your manikins?

We are confident that we manufacture some of the toughest manikins on the planet! All manikins are constructed using robust fabrics and reinforced using PP webbing. Any stress points are double-stitched.

We have tested the strength of our Duty manikin – including driving over it with a truck and dropping it from a second-storey building!

See this video for a demonstration!

Of course, if you did this with a real person, you would be facing criminal charges! We don’t recommend you do this regularly! Treat your manikin like a person to give it the longest lifespan.




Can the loop on the back be used to lift or lower the manikin?

Yes, the high-density webbing loop on the back is an integral part of the manikin and will easily support the weight of the heaviest models when lifting or lowering. It has been LOLER tested to prove its strength and certification can be provided on request.

Can I fit a standard safety harness to a manikin?

Yes! WAH specialists around the world use our manikins with a wide variety of rescue harnesses.

Do you have NATO stock numbers for the manikins?

Yes, we can provide N.S.N numbers for several of our manikins.

Each manikin page on the website has a table which details the part number, weight, height and NATO stock number (where available) for the manikin.

How should I store and carry my manikin?

If you wish to transport your manikin between sites or store it more securely, you may wish to consider the purchase of our Manikin Holdall.

How do I dry my water rescue manikin?

Because the Water Rescue manikins are made from a tough Nylon mesh, water will very easily drain from the carcass; holes are also drilled in the Wellington boots to aid the process.

As with all the manikins, we recommend that they are hung up to dry using the webbing loop on the back of the carcass.

Can the water rescue manikin be used for diving exercises?

We have a full range of water rescue manikins, all designed for specific purposes and training exercises.

The best manikin for use in Diving Exercises is the Body Recovery Manikin. This manikin is a variant of the popular Water Rescue manikin – but instead of floating, it sinks. By balancing the buoyancy against the ballast, the manikin weighs 50kg on land but only 10kg underwater.

The body recovery models are visible to sonar devices – the gallery image was taken using a Cmax CM2 Side Scan and Konsberg Sector Scan Sona.

Where is Ruth Lee located? What is your address?

Ruth Lee Ltd runs from two sites, both situated in Denbighshire, North Wales.


The Head Office address is: Lambert House, Glyndyfrdwy, Corwen, Denbighshire, Wales, LL21 9HW

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The Factory address is: Ruth Lee Ltd, London Road, Corwen, Denbighshire, Wales, LL21 0RZ

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Are you affliliated with any professional bodies?

Yes, we are keen to build partnerships with professional bodies serving the sectors we work in.


For lifeguards, we are linked to the RLSS UK as an official Water Safety Partner and within the care sector, we are members of NASHiCS, the National Association for Safety and Health in Care Services. Members of the team are also members of the National Back Exchange, who focus on safe patient handling and mobility.

Ruth Lee is also a member of IRATA, the Industrial Rope Assess Trade Association.

Aligning with experts in these industries allows us to develop our understanding of the sector and create manikins for their training requirements.