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PUBLISHED: 5:24 PM on Wednesday, May 30, 2007
SEARHC, 4-H start POW Youth First Responders
KLAWOCK- The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Emergency Medical Services Department and the 4-H program run by the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service are teaming up to start the Prince of Wales Youth First Responders youth rescue team.

The first orientation meetings are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 30, at the Craig City Gym and at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 2, at the Klawock ANB Hall. The Prince of Wales Youth First Responders youth rescue team is for students ages 14-18 who want to learn about medical and health careers by earning their Emergency Trauma Technician and Emergency Medical Technician certificates from the State of Alaska.

"This group will provide actual responding resources in communities and at special events throughout Prince of Wales Island," said Chaundell Piburn, who will serve as coordinator for the POWYFR team.

The POWYFR team is modeled after the award-winning Sitka Youth First Responders youth rescue team that won an Alaska Spirit of Youth award in 2006. Students in the program helped organize a citywide flu shot clinic that vaccinated 924 people in five hours, provided medical and crowd-control services for local sports events, helped out at citywide and SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital mass-casualty disaster drills, and helped out at the Alaska State EMS Symposium. Several SYFR participants won college scholarships for their work with the team.

Bill Winslow coordinates the SEARHC EMS Youth Program and the SYFR program. He said creating the youth first responder teams was a good way to introduce young people to health care careers, give them marketable skills and give young people a positive way they can contribute to the community. "They are a resource, they're not just high school students," Winslow said. "They are highly trained and poised to assist with real emergencies."

For more information, contact Chaundell Piburn in Klawock at 965-2534 or 828-3207, Karen Peterson of the UAF Cooperative Extension Service in Craig at 828-3207, or Bill Winslow in Sitka at 966-8844. The POWYFR e-mail address is POWYFR@hotmail.com.


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