ELIZABETHTOWN — One never knows when an emergency might arise — a spurting artery or maybe a person choking or having a heart attack.
The Elizabethtown Social Center, in conjunction with the Elizabethtown-Lewis Emergency Squad, recently sponsored a series of workshops to teach teens cardio-pulmonary-resuscitation, the Heimlich maneuver and first-aid measures.
Many of the young people who took the classes are or hope to be baby sitters, among them Brianna Goff, a seventh-grader at Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School.
She found the sessions very interesting, and Bridgett Blood did, too.
“I do a lot of baby-sitting and also help at a vacation Bible school with a lot of young kids,” Blood said.
“I have two younger siblings that have ages of 9 and 5 that I have to baby-sit for,” said Abby Burdo. “So I just want to know these things in case I need them. It is better to know it and not need it than not be able to help and have to live with that.”
Emily Morris baby-sits and also works at a camp in Vermont.
“They recommend that we take a course such as this.”
Brody Hooper, a junior at ELCS and member of the E’town-Lewis Emergency Squad, helped with the sessions, wearing an inflatable vest that allowed the participants to realistically practice the Heimlich maneuver.
When pressure is properly applied to the vest, a choking particle is propelled across the room — that brought much delight to the students.
“We are also doing programs like this to encourage teens 16 or older to become junior responders,” said Hooper.
Shonna Brooks, 16, just joined the squad and needed the course as part of her training.
“I hope to go into the medical field after high school,” she added, “and this also helps, as I baby-sit a lot.”
At the workshops, many life-saving measures were touched upon. This included ensuring safety for the rescuers, such as wearing protective gloves and being aware of their surroundings, and knowledge of Health Information Privacy Act regulations that guarantee the privacy of the patients and protect the responder against possible lawsuits.
“I took this class just to know the information in case something happens and I have to save someone,” said 10th-grader Alexis Brown. “I now know the steps to take instead of just having the idea.”
Classmate Julia Cox said the training will look good on her resume as she applies for a job at a summer camp.
“It also helps when you are a baby-sitter and the kid’s parents know you are trustworthy.”
Symptoms and causes of underlying illnesses, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, were taught to help the teens understand the causes for the afflictions that might create emergencies they may be called upon to handle.
Shannon Canavan, who hopes to enter the field of medicine, perhaps as an X-ray technician, was confronted by an unexpected health crisis one time.
“Once, I helped when someone had a seizure, and (I) cleared the items around the person. But I had no idea what was really happening and stared into space,” she admitted.
“If anything like that was to happen in the future, I would know what to do.”
“I hope this training will help (the students) to stay calm and be able to react in a case of an emergency before we get there,” said EMT Susie Saska, who taught much of the course. “They can see that an emergency doesn’t have to be terrifying.”
Yes, the Rescue Squad hopes to recruit teens, she said.
“But the main thing is that they will walk away with more knowledge. If we can get the kids involved, they may go home and their parents will become interested and perhaps also get first-aid training.”
Email Alvin Reiner at: email@example.com.