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Teens Prepared to Save Lives

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July 11, 2010 by wcobserver

Camp Rescue Certifies 8 from West Fork

By Susan McCarthy

West Fork-When faced with the proverbial, “What did you do over the summer,” eight teens in West Fork will be able to say they learned how to save lives.   And they have the certification to prove it after spending a week at Camp Rescue at the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Fayetteville.

The camp, which is in its eighth year, is co-sponsored by the Washington County Fire Marshal’s Office, Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Central Emergency Medical Service (EMS); students who complete the program become certified First Responders.

“Our job is to keep people alive until other emergency personnel can get there,” said Robert Sulzen of West Fork who attended the camp with his brother and sister.

Over the week, 34 students attended lectures and received hands-on training in CPR, childbirth, medical emergencies, splinting, fire training and wilderness response.

“We’re involved in the Explorers Program with the West Fork Fire Department.  This is good experience for us,” said Jessica Throgmorton of West Fork.  “We can go on calls after this.  We can go on-scene with an adult.”

“The highlight of the week has been the hands-on training we do…patient assessment, CPR, back-boarding and splinting,” said Katelyn Griffin of West Fork who will be a freshman in high school this fall.

West Fork students Jessica Throgmorton, left, and Mari Louise Sulzen learn to make splints and stabilize bone breaks Thursday during the 8th annual Camp Rescue at the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Fayetteville.

Ronnie Skirvin, a paramedic for Central EMS has been involved with the program for six years and said many of these kids will move-on to work with their local fire departments and will be first on the scene ahead of paramedics.  “It’s good they’ll have the skills they need to help a patient at their time of need,” he said.  He said the skills taught in the camp will help kids respond even when they’re out as teens at movie theaters or restaurants.

Nellie Morgan, Captain, EMS, said the campers spent an entire day working on CPR and received their “CPR card” as well.

Campers ended the week in an Emergency Services Expo on Saturday that had students showcasing their newly learned skills alongside local fire and emergency crews.

“Our EMS Chief got started in a program like this.  It’s all about the kids,” said Morgan.

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