Sixth-graders attend camp for first responders

Published 11:24 pm Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Two local students learn what it is like to respond to a crisis


If disaster strikes, two Pike County sixth graders will be ready for action.


Taylor King, 11, and Ethan Barnes, 11, both Charles Henderson Middle School Students, took part in Be Ready Camp 2012 at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville.


“We learned search and rescue, medical, logistics, fire suppression, incident command and assistant incident command,” Barnes, who wants to be a meteorologist and search and rescue first responder, said. “We learned about preparation so we can be ready for anything.”


Be Ready Camp is an opportunity for sixth graders across Alabama to become Youth Preparedness Delegates. Participants received a commendation from Gov. Robert Bentley and were asked to carry the message of preparedness and safety to their schools, communities and families.


“I thought it would be neat to learn about what to do when you are stranded anywhere, or if an emergency happens,” King, who wants to be a civil engineer, said.


As part of the camp, King and Barnes “lived” at the Space and Rocket Center for five days. They took part in different training activities, such as learning to use fire extinguishers and then were surprised with a mock disaster they had to manage.


“There was a loud boom and it shook us,” King said. “We went outside and there was a fake plane crash.”


The boys explained that they worked through the scenario of two planes colliding. They, along with other campgoers, had to search for survivors and triage the patients.


“You look for the most injured person because you want to get them to the hospital in five minutes or less,” Barnes said.


“We used everything we learned,” King added. “We even had to put out fires.”


The camp is held each year during National Preparedness Month in September. The camp is free to delegates. Those interested in next year’s safety camp should contact Jeanna Barnes at the Pike County EMA.


The camp is organized by the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and the Alabama Department of Homeland Security.