Pint-Sized First Responders Save the Day

Adam Black, Editor

The Ashland Beacon


   Front Street was full of activity Friday as police, firefighters, EMTs and the Heli-Med gathered at the scene of a staged two-car collision, but they weren’t your average first responders.

   During the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center’s First Responder Summer Program, children got the chance to dress up like the pros and attend a simulated car accident.    “This is our fourth year of the First Responders Summer Camp,” Education Director of the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center, Donnetta Trimble said. “Today they are putting everything they learned during the weeklong camp to the test.”

   Throughout the week, future first responders met with various agencies to learn about the equipment, vehicles and careers of each agency.

   “It has grown dramatically over the four years, the kids get more involved as well as the first responders,” Trimble said.

   Children raced to the scene of the car accident, where they learned the different roles of the three agencies who arrive to the crash, including investigating the crash, caring for the victims and putting out fires.

   “We have learned how to use special equipment and learn how to be safe,” Brady Clark said. “I really want to be a firefighter when I grow up.”

   As participants gathered around the cars that were badly banged up, many stood with excitement in their eyes as they watched firefighters use the Jaws of Life to open the vehicle doors so they could reach the dummies inside.

   “I enjoyed all the groups, but my favorite was the fire department,” Clark said. “We got to use the fire hose, and go up in the ladder tower.”

   Once inside the car, the EMT group secured the dummy to a stretcher and transported it to an ambulance.

   “Both my uncles are firefighters and it has been so much fun to do,” Logan Murphy said. “My favorite part has been cutting open cars and learning how to take care of someone in an accident.”

   Once the patient was sent off, the finale of the event was the landing of the medi-copter. Future first responders watched from a distance as the helicopter flew in, circled the area and landed at the scene of the accident.

   “It has been an amazing week, I would advise anyone who likes this kind of stuff to come to this camp,” Murphy said.

   Once the crash scene was cleaned up, all the participants and first responders headed to the 911 call center to celebrate their accomplishments and to receive certificates.