Renton high school students training in emergency response

Renton high school students will soon be prepared to act in cases of emergency and disaster around the school district.

Twenty students from Hazen and Lindbergh high schools have been training for months in preparedness and exercise drills through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) TeenCERT. It is the teen version of the Community Emergency Response Team offered by Renton Fire and Emergency Services.

The teens are in training to become community emergency responders and will have their final drill on Feb. 23. This training will allow them to be used in their schools and community in the case of emergencies and natural disasters.

The program is a joint venture between the district and Renton Fire and Emergency Services with additional assistance from school resource officers of the Renton Police Department.

Students are trained in basic disaster response skills like fire suppression, search and rescue, team organization, assembly of medical treatment areas, applying basic first aid techniques and helping reduce survivor stress.

Tom Walker, Hazen High School health science teacher, has been guiding the students in their work. He is a 20-year volunteer firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician. The TeenCERT members will stand in during natural disasters and other emergencies when professional responders are not immediately available, a district release reported.

The district cites FEMA statistics that say in 95 percent of all emergencies, the victim or a bystander provides the first immediate assistance.

The Hazen Associated Student Body and PTSA committed support and resources for the TeenCERT training.

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