PRSD schools earn top spots in High School First Responders emergency challenge

PRSD schools earn top spots in High School First Responders emergency challenge

When an emergency happens in several Peace River School Division schools, medical attention takes no time at all because the first responders are already there.

Worsley Central School, Grimshaw Jr Sr High School, Peace River High School and Hines Creek Composite School are among 13 North Zone schools taking part in the Alberta Health Services (AHS) High School First Responder (HSFR) program.  Students are trained and supported by AHS professionals and recently, their skills were judged and put to the test.

Last month, AHS staff tested HSFR school teams by showing up unexpectedly to their school and presenting a mock medical emergency scenario for high school teams to respond to. PRSD is thrilled to announce that Worsley Central School (WCS) earned first place and Grimshaw Jr Sr High School (GHS) earned second place of the 13 participating schools that includes the communities of Grande Prairie, Sexsmith, Spirit River, Beaverlodge, Hines Creek, Peace River,  Hines Creek, Worsley, Grimshaw and Savannah.

“We are such a small community and to have surpassed the bigger schools within the zone brings a sense of pride” says WCS grade 12 student and HSFR team member Tyrel Bean.  

Mindy Rowe, WCS Principal says the students responded to approximately 80 medical incidents this year and speaks highly to the value of the program.

“The program is extremely valuable and we are very proud of our High School First Responder team for placing first in the zone challenge” says WCS Principal Mindy Rowe. “The program allows students to be of service to others, make our school and community safer, learn important life skills, obtain emergency medical training, earn high school credits and truly explore the medical sciences before leaving high school.”

GHS Principal Adam Murray also speaks highly of the program and commends GHS students for earning second place in the challenge.

“I am amazed at the maturity and skill level of the GHS HSFR team” says Murray. “Earlier this year, they answered a call where a community member walking through school grounds had collapsed and required first aid. The team responded and were commended by AHS for their quick and professional action.”

Students in the HSFR program take part in extensive four day training with AHS staff, take part in weekly training and local AHS Emergency Medical Responders work with students throughout the year to provide support and ensure medical supplies are replenished.  Students also earn high school credits through their participation in the program.

“This is an important life skill that can be used in and out of school” says Emily Roessler, WCS grade 11 student. “It also opens doors and provides an inside view for students who are interested in health sciences.”

The program was developed in September 2008 by Doug Christian, AHS Emergency Medical Services to increase community safety by training high school students to recognize and respond to emergencies that take place at their school.

“This is a very meaningful program that supports student learning, school safety, wellness, leadership, teamwork, community involvement and it provides students with an idea of what a career in the medical sector may be like” says PRSD’s Board Chair Darren Kuester.  “Congratulations to both Worsley Central School and Grimshaw Jr Sr High School and thank you to all involved in making this opportunity possible for students.”

On Friday June 16, AHS staff attended WCS to celebrate the HSFR team by treating them to lunch and presented the team with certificates in front of their peers during a special assembly.

Top left: Worsley Central School First Responders Team
Bottom right: Grimshaw Jr Sr High First Responders Team