A small crowd gathered in the quad at Escalon High School on Friday afternoon, treated to a display of skills learned by the Escalon Fire Science and EMT class.
Now in its second year, the class has seen a huge increase in participants and added a second teacher for this school year.
The demonstration featured an MCI – multiple casualty incident – with EHS students responding as if it were the real thing. They triaged patients, they handled the fire suppression, they got those in need of immediate treatment onto the ambulance.
All played out in real time, with students assessing injuries on the go.
“We’re extremely impressed with what our kids have done,” teacher Seth Davis said in setting up the scenario, noting that they pulled it together in a relatively short time to put their skills and knowledge on display.
He added that roughly 25 percent of the student body at EHS is involved in the new class and that they have received some grant money as well as equipment donations to help; the school now has its own fire truck and ambulance.
The scenario included a truck crash that resulted in a gas line leak so responders had to deal with multiple issues as part of the exercise.
“There’s no better training than scenario training,” said Stephen Schuler from Manteca Police Department, who served as narrator for the event.
Junior Angelina Morones is in her second year with the program.
“When I get out of high school I plan to go to the Police Academy,” she said, adding that the skills she is learning now will prove helpful later on. “I’m CPR certified because of the class, I can take basic vitals.”
Addison Stewart, also a junior, just started with the class this year.
“I honestly thought it would be fun to do, it’s out of my comfort zone,” she said. “It’s really interesting and I’m CPR certified.”
She added that it helps prepare students for a variety of situations and would be good for anyone, even those not looking for a career in the field.
“One hundred percent, take the course,” agreed Morones.
Davis noted that students practiced for about eight days before putting on the staged incident for the audience, which included family members, school officials, emergency personnel and more. Along with handling the on scene assessment and treatment, students also did the make up for the various victims.
“It’s a showcase for the kids,” Davis said. “This way people can see the good things they’re doing for our community.”
Several graduates from the Class of 2019 who took the course last year are already working in the field, said teacher Mike Helton.
“Four of my kids from last year have EMT jobs in Stockton,” he pointed out.
He also was pleased with the Friday afternoon scenario.
“I thought it went amazing and the kids were all about it,” Helton said, adding that the scenario was a logical extension of class. “We’re actively participating, we’re always doing something.”
Members of the sixth period class put on the scenario and there are roughly 220 to 230 students enrolled overall in the Fire Science EMT curriculum.
Senior Nathan Luis served as the incident commander for the exercise.
“It does feel real,” he said following the completion of the scenario. “Everyone did amazing.”
He added that students should take advantage of the new classes being offered.
“Because it can open a potential career pathway,” Luis said.