Students learn emergency response techniques

LEROY — Emergency situations can be frightening to witness, but with the proper skills, an individual of any age can play a vital role of assistance before medical personnel are on scene.

With the help of Osceola County EMS Director Jeremy Beebe, however, students at Pine River High School are learning valuable pieces of information that may someday save a life.

Last week, students in a life skills class toured an ambulance and were introduced to skills including basic first aid, how to be prepared during an emergency, CPR, how to access the 9-1-1 system and how to use an automated external defibrillator, or AED.

"With students at this age, they're the easiest to teach," Beebe said. "Cardiac arrest and large events happen frequently and students like this will be able to help before EMS providers arrive."

Using one of the practice dummies, Junior Hannah Kleppinger picked up CPR quickly.

"We've been learning how to properly hook up the AED, how many compressions to do and how quickly to do them," she said. "I never realized how hard and strenuous it would be to do it. After so many minutes you really start to get sore and tired."

Following the course, the students will take a test and receive a certificate of completion by Osceola County EMS.

"I feel like I'll be a better person because I'll be more prepared for these situations," Kleppinger added.

During each student's turn at using the dummy, Beebe answered questions and gave tips to students who were unsure about how to proceed.

"They're doing awesome and they're having a lot of fun," he said. "Maybe we'll get a few more EMS providers in the career field."

Teacher Jessica Miller initiated contact with Beebe about the opportunity, knowing the skills are important to know in case they end up in such a scenario where they could be of assistance.

"I wanted to give the students something with a lot of practicality," she said. "Now, after this, they will leave AED certified and certified in adult CPR. It's also a nice hands-on thing for the kids, instead of sitting in a desk like they do all day."