Peachtree City police teach 9th-graders disaster response skills

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Peachtree City Police Department CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) trainer Gary Conlon works with The Foundry School students. Photo/Submitted.
Peachtree City Police Department CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) trainer Gary Conlon works with The Foundry School students. Photo/Submitted.

Representatives of the Peachtree City Police Department recently completed the department’s first CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training at an area high school. Headmaster Christi McCully said The Foundry School in Peachtree City is the first high school in the area to offer the program.

“Assistant Chief Stan Pye with the Peachtree City Police Department and Gary Conlon with the CERT program spent the fall teaching the 9th grade class at The Foundry high school the skills needed to save others in a disaster,” McCully said.

McCully said students learned how to use fire extinguishers to put out real fires, how to bandage wounds and use tourniquets, how to treat for excessive bleeding, obstructed airways and shock, how to conduct a search and rescue and how to carry an injured person on a back board.

“The focus of the CERT program is to prepare citizens for real disaster situations. The Foundry’s focus is to make learning real, relevant and hands-on. When students can make the connection between fire and physical science and saving a life and anatomy, the book learning takes on a whole deeper meaning,” said McCully. “Assistant Chief Pye and Gary Conlon’s hands-on, real-life lessons have helped engage our students in the learning experience. We are proud to be the first high school that has offered this amazing program.”

The course ended with a simulation at the Peachtree City Fire Department Burn Building. The scenario involved the aftermath of a shooting with multiple victims. Students were prepared to search for victims, assess them for seriousness of their injuries, treat their more serious injuries and safely remove them from danger, McCully explained.

“It isn’t a matter of if a disaster will happen, but when,” said Pye. “The ‘if’ factors in with whether an individual is prepared to act. It takes an emergency vehicle time to get to the scene of an accident and time is often the difference between life and death.”

McCully said Conlon and Pye related numerous stories of students who had gone through the teen CERT class and had subsequently come upon vehicle accidents and were able to treat the wounded before an ambulance arrived. One student was even able to save his father during an emergency.

Classes at The Foundry high school are held at Christ Our Shepherd Lutheran Church in Peachtree City.

For more information on The Foundry, visit www.thefoundryschool.org.