Teens Learn About Search and Rescue
Local teens experience a mock disaster to put training to use.
What began as a two-week program in health class has now become a semester long preparedness program for GHS students. Teen search emergency rescue training (TeenSERT) is a semester long class that trains and certifies students in different disaster and rescue techniques. The program is taught by Peggy Densmore-Henderson and with the help of Mary Ann Sussman, the students learn everything from simple first aid to crisis management in disaster situations. Students go through rigorous training, with the help of volunteers like Kathy Dilly, who certifies the class in CPR and AED. Recently, the students were put to the test and trained in a mock tornado disaster rescue at the school’s agricultural barn.
With just under 20 victims in various states of injury (from minor wounds to chemical burns and even dead), the Teen SERT were driven to the sight without any foresight as to what they would encounter. This element of surprise helps prepare the student for real-life emergencies. Students were faced with dousing a (controlled) fire, setting up triage, securing the disaster site, handling distraught parents and dealing with the media. Essentially, everything they were taught in class was put to practical use in this mock disaster. The class is offered every semester and has a mock disaster test each time.