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Future Emergency Responders Get Real-World Lessons in Mock Car Crash

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With a goal to provide their EMT and Firefighter students with a simulation as similar as possible to a real life emergency, John Flemming and Michael Koonce put together a mock vehicle wreck drill at Southwest High School May 15.

With a little help from their friends at Haws Run and Southwest Fire Department, Flemming, the CTE instructor of the school’s Emergency Management program, and Koonce, the instructor of the school’s Fire Fighter program set up the vehicle crash scenario.  EMT students and Firefighter III students donned gear and gathered beside the school with volunteers from the fire and rescue departments to have their skills put to the test.

The crash involved a 56-year-old grandfather and his 6-month-old grandchild.  When the grandchild exhibited signs of respiratory distress, the grandfather decided he would drive the child to the hospital himself instead of calling 911. The child’s condition deteriorated, panic ensued, and as a result the grandfather crashes the car and both are trapped inside.

This was the time for the students to take what they learned and put it all together and act quickly and as a team.

The drill, while chaotic at times, served a purpose, said both instructors and professionals observing.  Drills play a pivotal role in providing practice for emergencies and disasters that will happen.  Students learn a lot given hands-on exercises like this.

Following the drill, the observers and students held a briefing to provide feedback on how the students responded.

Southwest High School is the first school in OCS to offer Firefighter and EMT programs.  The Fire Fighter program is in its third year and the EMT program started this school year.  Both programs have been well received; next year 50 students have applied for EMT I and there are only enough spaces for 15-20 students.



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