The class did observational ride-a-longs with Bradley County EMS as well as observe their operations. At the time of graduation, the class had a pinning ceremony similar to nurses. They then are allowed to test for the NREMT First Responder license (now known as Emergency Medical responder.)
Chief Dewey Woody of Bradley County Fire and Rescue allowed the class to use the firefighter training facility for the drill.
Brian Bird, a paramedic with Bradley County EMS, was in charge of training and organizing the drill.
“My goal on this day was to take the students outside of the classroom and see what it was like to perform their basic first responder skills in these real world scenarios. It is much more difficult to perform these duties outside of the classroom.
“I was not so much testing them as I wanted them to learn that they may have to think quickly on their feet and adapt and overcome to the situation,” said Bird.
“Another goal was to involve the Explorers from Bradley County Fire Rescue, which turned out to be a great addition to the training. On a good percentage of our calls, we have to work side by side with law enforcement and also fire/rescue. Sometimes we don’t have a clue as to who these people are besides the uniform they wear. My guys got a chance to learn what that was like. We split the EMS class and Explorers into groups of two,” Bird said.
“At that time we had a search/triage team go in and assess the situation. As they found victims, they radioed out to operations and asked to have a rescue and EMS strike team enter to remove the victim.
“At time of removal, they were placed into the back of a Bradley County ambulance with paramedic Marisol Burke.
“She explained to them what further treatment would be from a critical care paramedic view. Randy Watson, Cliff Howard and Justin Humbard with BCFR participated to help with rescue operations and Josh Edgeworth assisted with EMS operations inside,” said Bird.
The students performed excellently that day, officials said.
“It was awesome to see every one of my high school kids show up on a Saturday at 7:30 in the morning for this. You don’t see this from young folks much anymore and to see how excited they were was awesome. And then to see their expressions when they left was awesome,” said Bird.
The scenario for the program was the aftermath of an earthquake. The players who were the patients were made to look like they had real injuries.
Bradley County recently took part in the national earthquake drill — “Great American Shakeout.”
According to Danny Coggin, principal of Walker Valley High School, the EMS class was instituted in 2007 and in 2010, students were able to obtain first responder certification.
“In health services, there is always going to be a need for the profession. This class prepares our students and gives them a head start,” Coggin said.