Reading, writing and saving lives

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We find it quite fascinating that, among the subjects included in the curriculum at Carmichaels Area High School, is a course on becoming an emergency medical technician.


This year, for the first time, students who completed the class have the opportunity to receive certification in the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians.


In 2013, the district received a $10,000 grant from the energy company EQT through the Community Foundation of Greene County, which helped the district purchase the equipment necessary to prepare the students for the national registry exams.


The Carmichaels EMT program continues to be sponsored by the Fayette County campus of Penn State University and the Emergency Medical Services Institute.


Students who complete the class are trained and certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, basic first aid and first response and in the federal National Incident Management System, Incident Command System and Hazardous Waste Operations.


Seven students who graduated in May already have taken the practical exam and will be completing the written exam this summer to become National Registry EMTs.


In preparation to test for the national registry, these students underwent additional training, including working with staff in the Southwest Regional Medical Center emergency department to complete patient assessments; extracting individuals from vehicles, which was done with the assistance of members of the Carmichaels-Cumberland Township Volunteer Fire Co.; and cross-field search and rescue and methods of splinting and transporting patients.


We often hear students complain that learning algebraic equations or memorizing dates in history will have no practical real-life applications.


The knowledge and training these seven students took away from the EMT course at Carmichaels will indeed have a practical application.


Let’s hope, however, they won’t have to use it too often.


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