2007 American Red Cross Rapid Response Team Camp
2007 American Red Cross Rapid Response Camp
HHS Members Attend American Red Cross Rapid Response Camp
This week dozens of students from across the state learned skills that will enable them to help in community emergencies during a week long Red Cross training camp in Little Rock. The camp shows the teens how to respond to school shootings, weather or health emergencies, to name a few. After the camp, students take what they learned back to their schools and train their classmates.
The camp uses returning campers, who are certified American Red Cross instructors, to teach new campers CPR, AED, and 1st aid skills, as well as introducing them to the Incident Command System. The week concludes with all of the campers putting their skills to use in responding to a detailed mock disaster.
This year's mock disaster centered on a high wind incident involving dozens of volunteers from the Little Rock area. Many of the victims were UAMS nursing students or area firefighters who had nothing but praise for the student first responders who rushed to their aid.
Kevin Shinn, state Chairman of the American Red Cross Rapid Response Team Project, says the Rapid Response Camp was created as a result of real life disasters and violence.
"Because of the potential of school violence and natural disasters, which can occur at any time, this program trains young people to be prepared. Unfortunately, this is not just a "What if" type scenario in that recent history is full of examples where it has happened. There was the school in Alabama that was devastated by a tornado and school related violence has certainly touched this state. There was Jonesboro, and another case at our own school where a student with a knife took over a classroom full of children. You never know when it could occur," said Kevin Shinn. “Which is why this program is so vital.”
Kristyn Shinn went through the camp five years ago and was voted the Outstanding Camper. Now she is a member of the American Red Cross Rapid Response Board responsible for planning the camp. She says it changed the direction of her life. "I used to want to be a lawyer; this program showed me what young kids can do. Now I am a pre-med major at the University of the Ozarks. This program has changed a lot of young kid’s lives," said Kristyn Shinn.
Kristopher Hardin of Greenbrier says, "It's taught me to work with anybody and everybody.”
The Red Cross calls the training invaluable because emergency personnel are not always immediately available at disasters.
“It is wonderful to have the energy of these students,” Camp Director Colleen Joslin says. “They are eager to learn education, not to mention their enthusiasm for helping others is contagious.”
Former first lady Janet Huckabee, who works for the Red Cross and was the first chairman of the Rapid Response Project, says once they complete the camp, they're prepared for anything.
"A lot of times, we teach duck and cover. We practice getting in the halls at schools when there is a tornado, but when it hits, we ask ourselves what do we do now?” said Huckabee. "Keeping victims calm is the first step in saving lives."
This year, AJ Templeton and Rebecca Thurman, both members of Kevin Shinn's team from Huntsville High School, were selected by their peers as the Outstanding Campers for the week.
This is the seventh year the Red Cross Rapid Response Camp has been offered. It's free to students who are recommended by their schools. As you know, Red Cross disaster assistance is made possible with the help of donations. Log onto: www.redcrosslittlerock.org if you would like more information.
Congratulations to HARRT members AJ Templeton and Rebecca Thurman for being selected by their peers as this years Outstanding Campers.