Hands-on experience brings students’ training into practice at Tech Center

By: 
Paul Garrod - news4garrod@vineyardpress.biz

   LAWRENCE -  Although it was a staged crisis, Wednesday’s mock disaster provided “real life” training  for many Van Buren Intermediate School District students, as well as state, county and local first re-sponders.
    For the 19th year, the  VBISD Technology Center held the mock disaster on the  grounds of the Bert Goens Learning Center.  This year’s scenario:  a tornado has struck a carnival, resulting in injuries.
    VBISD Technology students  who took part in the morning were from the Fire Academy, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Law Enforcement classes.
    First responders and emergency service agencies from throughout Van Buren, Cass and Berrien counties took part. West Michigan Air Care  provided a helicopter to help students transport “victims.”
    Students from the Technology Center’s Cosmetology program applied make-up to simulate realistic injuries on the volunteer patients.
    “Kids get to experience the stress of a real-life disaster, without the risk to actual patients,” said EMT instructor J.C. Robertson. The mock disaster is a culmination of skills learned throughout the school year. Students are judged on professionalism, technical skills and inter-agency cooperation.”
    Matt Whitman, Law Enforcement instructor, said, “This is a great way for students to work with actual police, fire and EMS personnel who have years of experience in the field.”

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