This past week, my high school alma mater - The Webb School in Bell Buckle, Tennessee - held its second emergency medical responder training course twelve months. I'd like to share some of our experiences with you in hopes that it helps you develop similar programs at your local schools.
Eight rising seniors and five faculty and staff members took the course which will enable them to sit for the National Registry of Emergency Medical Responders (NREMT) examination to become a state licensed emergency medical responder. The class offered at Webb consisted of six consecutive days, ten hours each, with skills training and testing, along with lecture and written testing.
The EMR certification from the NREMT is quite robust. EMRs are able to do many of the functions of an EMT-B. In addition, these responders will now be able to participate in the county EMS system, where they can get more experience and serve the community by volunteering to serve time serving on EMS ambulances and receiving additional training by the local EMS system.
In the school's rural setting, the isolation can be both an asset and liability. "Big city problems" don't generally plague Bell Buckle (population: 519, as of 2016). Conversely, EMS response times can be north of 20 minutes if the nearest ambulance isn't available. There are only four sheriff's deputies on duty at any time, meaning if there is a significant emergency on campus, the students and faculty will have to be their own responders for quite some time.
We started developing this program back in 2012 with a day long training session for student responders developed by Lone Star Medics. Over time, the school was able to join the other local high schools and receive training qualifying them to be licensed responders in the local EMS system.
As this evolves, we're learning more about how to build a strong response system along the way. We're now to point that:
Meanwhile, other schools in the area are stepping up their game. Nashville television station WKRN did a week long series on school safety this past week, with a number of good reports of what area schools are doing to protect their students and staff.
The report that really made an impression on me dealt with the efforts in Wilson County, TN school system. Watch the report for yourself. These people are doing it right:
In short, school safety programming is in a constant state of evolution. As the standard of care for school safety and security increases over time, schools must ensure they are evolving their plans to keep kids and faculty safe.
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