I'd go to a gastroenterologist and ask for a barium swallow. It's not invasive, no anesthesia like the endoscopy. I've had been scoped and the doc couldn't really tell I had a huge hiatal hernia.
If you do have a large hernia AND the stomach is stuck in the chest, it can be life threatening if the stomach twists/rolls over.
This is not something we can diagnose on a forum! I hope you will see a doctor immediately. You don't have insurance? Most schools require it. Please check.
Whatever the machine is, I hope you will report it to authorities before someone else gets hurt.