A group of local high school volunteers from the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Community Emergency Response Team earned the top three medals awarded during a statewide emergency response competition held at this year’s Health Occupation Students of America State Leadership Conference in Las Vegas.
The students are all part of a Teen CERT pilot program at the Washoe County School District’s Academy of Arts, Careers and Technology sponsored by the Sheriff’s Office Citizen Corps Program.
“While high schools work hard to prepare youth for the ‘real’ world, teens are often caught off guard when a natural disaster or medical emergency happens,” Washoe County Sheriff Mike Haley said. “This pilot program was created to help reverse that and benefit the community as a whole, with winning results.”
The students attended a one semester course about how to act as emergency responders in the event of an incident on their campus or in the community. The teens trained in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. They also learned how to better prepare for potentials hazards that could impact their families and community.
The course was taught by Margo Bender, a teacher at the academy as well as being an instructor with the Sheriff’s Community Emergency Response Team with support from Roy Bain and Kaydie Paschall both CERT Instructors.
Students from AACT put those skills to the test when they competed against teams across Nevada in the Health Occupation Students of America State Leadership Conference on March 23rd in Las Vegas. Washoe County School District’s Academy of Arts, Careers and Technology (AACT) won Gold, Silver and Bronze in their team completion at the conference. The Gold and Silver teams will be competing at the National HOSA competition in Anaheim, California in June.
Over 400 students competed at the Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) State Leadership Conference 2011 held at the College of Southern Nevada in March of this year. Teams from throughout the state participated in a competition testing their skills in various medical events. Students performed skill procedures in lifesaving scenarios such as triage, rescue lift and carries, and head to toe assessments.
Health Occupations Students of America is the premiere leadership and training organization for students preparing for careers in the health care profession, endorsed by the U.S. and Nevada Departments of Education.
Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Community Emergency Response Team Program provides training for the “general citizen.” Participation is free and open to the public. For more information on the program contact Linda Sienko (775) 325-6927.
The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office celebrates 150 years of proud service and community partnership in 2011. Sheriff Michael Haley is the 24th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County. His office continues to be the only full service public safety agency operating within northern Nevada and is responsible for operating the consolidated detention facility, regional crime lab, Northern Nevada Counter Terrorism Center, Internet Crimes against Children Task Force, court security, service of civil process and traditional street patrols.