Disaster Day training teaches high schoolers to save lives

Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 6:20 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - ) Ida B. Wells High School in Southwest Portland partnered with PPS, AMR and Portland Fire will put 80 students through medical field exercises to earn their Teen Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Certification.

It’s a program for students to get hands-on experience to learn and better prepare for any disaster they may encounter.

The exercises were made up of four stations: cribbing, when a patient may be trapped, fire suppression, stop the bleed and triage.

“Our medical students have to go in, and they have to search and clear the room and sort out those patients based on their priority and urgency,” says Aaron Olsen, Health Science Teacher. “The idea Is that the students because they have been learning medical principles and medical skills that they can actually be resources to their own community.”

Senior Emma Hayes says it’s a rare opportunity for kids to learn life-saving skills.

“Understanding that you can have these skills and you can learn more of it, is really helpful in high school to understand what you wanna do after high school,” says Hayes.

During her free time, Emma is also part of the Multnomah County Search and Rescue Team.

“We go up into the gorge and look for people,” says Hayes. “It’s an amazing opportunity that I don’t think high schoolers usually get it’s kind of unique to our county that it’s so youth led.”

Olsen says he never wants kids to have to use these skills but wants them ready, if they should need to.

“Unfortunately, I hear stories about once a year, just out and about or in a lot of vehicle incidents and things when they’re out,” says Hayes. “I kind of just celebrate them that hey yeah you’ve gone through the training.”