January 25 was a busy day for Meadowview Elementary 4th graders as they participated in a Health and Safety Day Camp.
The program was put together by the LaGrange County chapter of the American Red Cross, Parkview LaGrange EMS and the LaGrange County Sheriff’s Department, along with area service organizations, to cover a full gamut of safety. Westview High School students assisted throughout the day camp, as well.
The day camp was the first of many that are being planned for all of the county’s elementary schools to take place yet this year.
Groups of students went from station to station throughout the day Friday. At one, they learned the basics of CPR, learning how to assist a victim until emergency personnel arrive. Across the gymnasium, students learned what to do if someone is choking.
Meanwhile, LaGrange County EMTs were discussing first aid and fire safety.
Personnel from the LaGrange County Communications Center and the sheriff’s department discussed how and when to call 911 with the students. They also worked with students making photo IDs for those that wanted one.
At the end of the day, the students were all together for a demonstration on electrical safety presented by LaGrange County REMC.
The LaGrange County Sheriff’s Department also gave a demonstration with the department’s K-9 units on how they sniff out illegal drugs and help catch suspects.
Jo Schrader, operations coordinator for the American Red Cross in LaGrange County, was pleased with how the day went and was grateful for how much the high school students added to and complimented the activities.
“The school administrators and teachers were very grateful for the program,” Schrader said. “They liked the style and interaction, along with the content the program brought.”
Schrader noted how the program quickly built up thanks to the collaboration and cooperation of all of the organizations involved. It started with the realization that the Red Cross and Parkview LaGrange EMS each had safety programs aimed at that grade level. “We combined efforts to impact all of the county’s fourth graders,” Schrader stated. Previously, 4th graders could attend a day-long safety camp during the summer. “These organizations came together and with their expertise made a huge impact,” Schrader said.
The safety day camp also allowed students to meet and see uniformed personnel up close and in a positive setting, something she believes teaches the students that people in uniform are someone they can go to for help.
Schrader noted that, as they take the program into other schools, they will continue to tweak some of the content and adjust for time in some areas as they continue to improve what has already started off as a great program to teach a variety of safety lessons to the county’s 4th graders.