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Children learn about EMS, personal safety at Camp 911

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By The Staff

Camp 911 was a three-day camp designed to teach children about Emergency Medical Services and personal safety, along with first aid and injury prevention.

Camp 911 began in 1996, though it’s not held every year.

This year’s Camp 911 was held June 9-11 at South Middle School.

The camp lasted for two hours each morning.

The directors of the camp were Sherri Brady, training coordinator for Lancaster County EMS,  Tammy Vincent, public information officer for EMS, and Greg Brasington, EMS’s field training officer.

Activities included exercising games, EMS games, first aid and CPR.

During camp, other emergency services and public safety service officials spoke to the campers about safety precautions and strategies.

At the start of each day of Camp 911, Brasington played a few exercise games with the children, including “Greg Says” and “The EMS Relay.”

Karl Allen, a reserve deputy with the Lancaster County Sheriffs Office, discussed personal safety with the children one day during Camp 911.

Allen discussed a technique children should use if they ever get lost.

First, he advised the campers to remain calm and stay in one place.

He told the campers to hug a tree, as this technique keeps the scent of your body from flowing away, which is important if tracking dogs are needed to help in a search.

Allen brought along his two search and rescue bloodhounds, Lucy and Jake. To show the children what Lucy and Jake do, Allen had Lucy search for a child, camper Carolina Martinez. He had Jake find camper D.J. Hagins.

Allen allowed the children to pet the dogs, one by one.

During one session, paramedic Angela Staehr taught campers about the importance of CPR and how to perform it. Brasington demonstrated how to properly bandage a wound and stop the rush of blood from it.

Every camper received a first-aid bag packed with bandages, gauze and Band-Aids.

On the last day of camp, campers got to check out a Lancaster County EMS ambulance.

Every camper was allowed into the back of the ambulance in groups, where Brasington told them more about a day in the life of a paramedic.

At the end of the day, every child received either a Camp 911 T-shirt or a Camp 911 backpack, along with more informational papers about EMS and personal safety.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Lacey Sowell is a journalism student at Andrew Jackson Middle School. Sowell attended this year’s Camp 911.

“As a journalist student, I was honored to be able to participate in this unique camp for kids,” Sowell said. “Every child at this camp was able to have fun while learning about important ways to keep themselves and others safe.”