Not Too Young To Save Lives

Pipestone Flyer

A brand new program created right here in Leduc is offering teens between the ages of 15-18 the amazing opportunity to get a head start on training as emergency responders.

    Chandell Popik created the Adventures in Emergency Response Youth Academy in partnership with the Leduc Rotary Club because she saw a big gap in the programming that was offered for teens. The first program of its type to be offered in Canada, Chandell drew together experts in the field of emergency response and put together a curriculum that gives young people who are interested in becoming EMT's, firefighters or police an inside look at what it takes to do those jobs. "The closest thing to this Academy would be an actual RCMP or firefighter boot camp." said Chandell.

    In a statement from their brochure a brief explanation of the course says that they are "Targeting leadership, citizenship, community service and safety, the academy provides a unique opportunity where teens are engaged in hands-on learning while expanding and exposing them to career opportunities…As a participant you can expect to return home tired but thrilled by the experience."

    The inaugural one week course will be taking place from July13-19, 2014 and just a few of the activities participants will take part in include forcible entry training, vehicle extraction, a ladder extension and beam walk, and a rescue attempt. But don't think for a moment all of this is just a chance to play around with some cool tools! The youth taking part in this Academy will be putting in the hard work that it takes to also leave this one week course certified in First Aid and CPR, Automated External Defibrillator Training, Personal Assault Response (self defence), and Fire Extinguishing.  

    "This course was put together specifically for Rotary," shared Chandell, "but we have since joined in partnership with the City of Leduc, along with incredible support and participation from the Leduc RCMP Detachment, Leduc Fire Services and the LRC. This concept has grown and blossomed ten times better than I originally thought of!" 

    Any teen between the ages of 15-18 years old can apply to participate in this program. Applications can be sent through their school or it can be applied for directly by the student. The cost for the one week program is $1175.00 and that cost can be covered personally or possibly by sponsorship through Rotary, different service clubs and/or youth groups. All meals are provided along with transportation to the various locations that different aspects of the program require.

    Response to the Adventures in Emergency Response Youth Academy has already been outstanding with 25 requests for information and 5 applications being received within the first week of schools being notified about the program. The first application was received back within 2 hours of the initial fax being sent out! 

    With only 50 spots available Chandell foresees a challenge in deciding upon the best participants. "Participation in the Academy is not on a 'first come, first served' basis." she stated. "The kids really need to put their best foot forward in their application because there will be a committee reviewing each one and deciding on who is accepted based on that." The teens chosen to take part in the Academy will be notified in the first week of April that they have been selected.

    Because this is a locally based project in its first year, the Academy is still open to more interested community sponsors becoming involved with the program. 

    For more I formation on how to become a sponsor or to request an application package please email Chandell at responseacademyinfo@gmail.com.