Written by Marcia Love – Spruce Grove Examiner/Stony Plain Reporter
From driving to CPR to a career in emergency response, Seba Beach School’s Career and Technology Foundations offered students helpful information in planning for the future.
The Learn to Respond program offered as part of the West End Schools Career Technology and Foundations was held Nov. 28 – Dec. 2 at Seba Beach School and was geared towards Grade 9 students. Students from Entwistle School, Wabamun School and Tomahawk School also took part.
Created by community peace officer Jean Hoffman and Tomahawk School teacher Robyn Pandachuck, the program featured was intended to provide students with tangible skills and also teach them about a rewarding career in emergency response. This was the first time this optional course was offered.
On the first day, Hoffman shared useful information with the students as they prepare to obtain their driver’s license.
“One of the biggest concerns raised by students…was you can find the (learner’s) book and you can find practice exams, but it’s very difficult to find an actual course that offers you some hands-on training,” she explained.
Hoffman took the youth through scenario-based training, covered what can be expected on the test, and did practice tests.
The second day, the students were able to receive their first aid training. It was level A training, which can be an asset for students who are babysitting or looking into their first job.
On the third day, a presentation was made regarding a wide variety of emergency response career opportunities. These included emergency dispatch, policing, Alberta Sheriffs and EMS. The students learned about what a career in first response looks like and how to get involved.
On the fourth day, the students spent the day with the Seba Beach Fire Department.
“They did everything from hose drags to gear-ups,” said Hoffman.
The firefighters also worked with the students to build a contingency plan for their families, detailing an exit strategy if there was a fire in their home.
On the final day, there was a recap of everything the students learned. They then shared this with the school in a celebration of learning.
The program greatly assisted students preparing for jobs, their learner’s permit to drive, and even one student who is interested in a career in policing. For others, it gave them a peek into potential future careers.
Hoffman said there was a lot of positive feedback received, and they hope to provide the program on an annual basis.