The city is looking for the next generation of emergency responders, and is willing to start training them now towards a potential future of helping others.
Starting in January, a new high school class in the Battlefords will give students practical training in emergency services.
The class, called Emergency Services Response Training, will be held primarily at the North Battleford Fire Hall, with certain classes being held at the RCMP detachment and EMS building.
Students will get to do hands-on training including rescue scenarios and a ride-along with Community Safety Officers, in addition to in-class work.
The city’s director of protective services Albert Headrick said it’s often difficult now to get young people interested in careers in emergency services, so he hopes this program will help students understand what emergency services is all about.
“We're hoping this program will engage our youth and provide the opportunity for them to contribute to whatever community they want or make a professional career from it,” he said.
There are 27 students signed up for the class from John Paul II High School, North Battleford Comprehensive High School and Sakewew High School. Students from the different schools will participate in the class together and be provided transportation to and from class.
The North Battleford Fire Department, WPD Ambulance, Battlefords RCMP and the Community Safety Officers are all coordinating with the schools to bring this program together.
Headrick said this class won’t be easy, but it comes with some practical results. Students who complete the program will have received six certificates applicable to jobs and to further training: Saskatchewan Firefighter Level 1, Red Cross Standard First Aid, CPR and AED, Saskatchewan Emergency Vehicle Operations Level 1, Incident Command System Levels 100 and 200, and Search and Rescue Saskatchewan Association of Volunteers Basic Rescuer.
“It's not going to be a walk in the park for anybody to be quite honest. There's an obligation here on the part of the student and of the school and we all recognize that it's not an easy credit, you have to work towards it,” Headrick said.
He said a lot of the material includes valuable life skills, even if a student doesn’t pursue a career in emergency services. But if they do, they’ve already got a foot in the door.
Sarah Rae is battlefordsNOW's court and crime reporter. She can be reached at [email protected] or tweet her @sarahjeanrae.
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