The Action of Caring in Practice
Fire Science students successfully complete a car crash rescue drill at UCC.
ROSEBURG, Oregon – When you enroll in Fire Science at UCC you are dedicating your life to helping. You probably are a caring and selfless individual who has a passion for making a difference in the forest and in people’s lives. Fire Science is not only a “Smokey the Bear” and forest fire job, but a lifesaving and rescue skill as well. You will learn to put out all kinds of fires, but cutting open a car like a tin can to remove a person from a crash is one of many lessons to be learned here at UCC.
On a hot July day, the outside class practice with Fire Science was assembled to act out a “crash rescue” with a helicopter lift. The students were in full gear on the 85 degree day to cut apart the soon-to-look-wrecked car. They used cutters, jaws, hammers and crowbars to give the car a freshly wrecked authenticity. A fully gear covered student protected the “pre-bloodied” volunteer-patient that acted hurt from the rescue havoc. When the class was done destroying the car, there were no windows left, the fenders and doors were removed and the top was even peeled off like a sardine can. Then the crew finally extracted the volunteer. He was put in a neck brace and slid ever so gently onto the fire safety rescue board. Then he was carried away by several of the crew to meet the helicopter rescue team and then transferred to their patient carrying device.
What I noticed when the transfer was complete and the helicopter crew left the student rescue crew after successfully securing the volunteer, was the high five slap like a relay between teams as if to acknowledge the successful completion of the rescue activity. It was a cool expression of the “brother/ sister-hood of helping”. It was the combined efforts of another life rescued.
As the helicopter revved its engines for take-off, it took the volunteer on a flight circle around the campus. The crew was able to reflect on the day’s work and their immediate lesson. Following the example crash today, they can think about the satisfaction of helping people for the rest of their careers. They will save lives and families much like their own in a community that relies on professionals that they will soon be after graduation.
Written by Sharon Bedford, student in Human Services AAOT
About Umpqua Community College
Nestled in the beautiful North Umpqua River Valley, Umpqua Community College is the regional center for higher education in Douglas County, Oregon. UCC provides high quality college degree programs, workforce development, and community learning opportunities.
Joel King - Contact
Coordinator, Fire Science
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