High school EMT students learn extrication techniques

Students learned several vehicle-rescue techniques, including how to safely knock out windows and how to properly use the Jaws of Life to remove doors


Marisa Hicks
Log Cabin Democrat, Conway, Ark.

Twenty-eight students with the Conway Career Center took part Friday in a hands-on extrication training course taught by Conway firefighters.

The Conway Fire Department went to the Conway High School on Friday to teach area students potentially life-saving techniques. The course marked the 12th year Conway Career Center students have been able to learn emergency medical technician (EMT) procedures.

Local firefighters explained how each extrication tool works to the 28 students who attended the training session before allowing them to participate in the hands-on workshop that walked through just how each benefits the extrication process.

While 28 students took part in the morning workshop, 32 students were enrolled in CCC's EMT course for the 2018-19 academic year. CCC courses are open to Faulkner County students as well as schools that neighbor the county, including those in Bigelow, Heber Springs, Quitman, Rose Bud, Bee Branch and Greers Ferry. This year's class consisted of Conway, Greenbrier, Mayflower and Vilonia students.

The auto extrication class is a requirement for EMT students before they can go on to take the national registry exam for certification.

"This is one of the course requirements students must meet to be eligible to test for licensure once the class concludes," CCC instructor Charissa Tillery said. "It takes students through everything from personal and scene safety to structural safety and stability of the vehicle before rescue efforts can be initiated — a side of emergency medical service that most people don't think about."

Students learned several vehicle-rescue techniques, including how to quickly and safely knock out windows to help pull victims from vehicles and how to properly use the Jaws of Life to remove doors.

Tillery said students enrolled in this year's course showed to have a great work ethic.

"This year's students have all been a pleasure to work with; they are like my kids," she said. "They all are excited and eager to learn and have a desire to not only meet but exceed the qualifications necessary for testing. They are a great group of kids with lots of opportunities ahead of them. I am very proud of them."

Friday's training was possible through partnerships CCC has with the Conway Fire Department and Steve's Auto Center.

Having the relationship between these two entities is another example to career students that "you can't do this (EMS work) alone, it's a team effort," Tillery said.

"The Conway Fire Department and Steve's Auto are always willing to jump in and donate time, resources and materials for us no matter how busy they are. They are great people to work with and we all (students included) appreciate their dedication to keeping our program successful," Tillery said. "There are multiple times throughout the year where they are involved both in and out if the classroom."

Metropolitan Emergency Medical Services now has an active role with the course's activities as well.

The support benefits all involved, Tillery said.

"It truly takes a village to raise a child, and we are fortunate to have such a wonderful village to help prepare these students for the sometimes not so beautiful side of life experiences," she said.

After completing the CCC course, students can become EMT certified by registering and passing the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians written exam.

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©2019 Log Cabin Democrat, Conway, Ark.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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