NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - When it comes to emergency situations, you’re never too old to learn; that’s the message Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital shared with a special group of 8th graders Tuesday afternoon.
The Leaders of Tomorrow, a program sponsored by the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce, gathers students from all over Nacogdoches County to participate in various trainings throughout the school year. Today 34 youngsters learned about the importance of emergency life-saving measures. Students learned how to put on a cervical collar, how to safely put someone on a backboard, and other potentially life-saving measure.
For some the leadership comes naturally.
Cherish Green, a Cushing 8th Grader said, “It comes easy for me because I can be kinda bossy and I’m the oldest sibling so I have to; it’s like extinct for me.”
For others it’s a matter of stepping outside their comfort zone.
With each element of the exercise the teens, selected from applications or nominated by school districts, realize what they’re being asked to do is not child’s play. The exercises, complete with makeup and realistic re-enactments, are the same ones used by professional paramedics.
“We do this all the time," said paramedic Jonathon Walker. "That way when they see this training right here and they do the real thing, they’re going to respond exactly like the way they were trained because it’s like what they say in the fighting world;'You train like you fight'. You train like you are really going to take care of a patient.”
The role playing requires participants to sit in a wrecked vehicle. Some portray seriously injured passengers. Others pretend to be fatality victims.
Tuesday’s emergency care lessons were in coordination with another important program called Stop the Bleed. The program will teach Nacogdoches County students how to stop a bleed, whether it be from an accident or a more serious incident.
“A penetrating energy can be prevented from hemorrhage if you can stop the bleed immediately, and there’s 3 basic principles” said Kelle Harrison, trauma program manager at Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital. “You either can put pressure on it, stuff something in where the bleed is, or you can put a tourniquet on it to stop the bleed. That will ultimately save a life and limb.”
“It not only gives them, you know, awareness of what can happen -- car wrecks and accidents -- but it can also show them they’re going to realize that they can tend wounds that can have a tourniquet put on them, or a shirt if that’s all they have,” said Harrison.
The Leaders of Tomorrow program, or the LOT Crew, is a leadership development program hosted by the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce, but actually is a collaborative program that include significant contributions by the City of Nacogdoches, Stephen F. Austin State University, and the public schools across Nacogdoches County, according to Nacogdoches ISD’s website. Students learn to work together, learn to communicate more effectively, and learn the importance of engaged citizens in helping communities and cities be successful.