Maryland schools hold emergency preparedness programs
| 05.08.2006 | 08:10:53 | Views: 3223 | ID:
May 8 '06: Students from the Baltimore area participated in community preparedness drills as well as programs designed "to promote awareness of the community's safety needs and encourage people to become involved in local public safety, disaster and emergency preparedness projects," the Baltimore Sun reported recently.
The program, called the Youth Ready to Respond Expo came out of a two-year planning effort funded by Learn and Serve America along with other community organizations which totaled $50,000. "About 25 community agencies, including local emergency services departments such as the Westminster police, the American Red Cross and the county Health Department participated in the expo," the Sun continued.According to Bill Hill, the Carroll County school system's coordinator of community partnerships, program participants engaged in six major projects that were related to homeland security and community preparedness. "One of them was a safe house model that more than 100 technology center students in drafting, welding, electrical construction and building maintenance began building last fall," the Sun continued. In the house, several safety features carbon dioxide detectors, mold-resistant carpeting and paint, as well as emergency interior lighting and food rations. Building the house helped students understand the dynamics of emergency preparedness and the complications which can grow out of large disasters. Francis Scott Key High in Union Bridge, Maryland, Josh Layman told the Sun, "I learned multiple things building the safe house. ... I helped with the drywall and carpeting. I learned about the sprinkler systems, how they work." Additionally, tech students engaged in online research and information dissemination. Using federal, state and local emergency management and response sites, students learned how to compile "three-day disaster survival kits, first aid materials, metal pen holders with emergency contact numbers listed on the back and fleece blankets." The program was so successful, the Sun reported, "that school systems as far as Europe have called for advice and guidance," on similar programs.
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