Upstate school gets emergency response lesson

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – An Upstate school got a lesson in responding to emergencies.

“It’s very important to know where everybody is and what’s going on,” said High Point Academy Teacher Lindsey Leonard.

She was among faculty, staff, and students at High Point Academy tackling a topic outside of their textbooks.

“In case of a natural disaster, what to do, in case of a terrorist attack, anything like that,” said 9th grade student Vassilia Tsabunieris.

The Spartanburg County Community Emergency Response Team, or “CERT,” brought those points to the Spartanburg school.

“If something extremely bad happens where all first responders were overwhelmed, then it’s up to citizens, it’s up to students it’s up to everyone to almost have to take care of themselves initially until help can arrive,” said Spartanburg County Emergency Management CERT Coordinator, Robbie Swofford.

Those lessons were put into action during an exercise alongside experienced emergency responders.

“It’s important to take those skill sets that they learned.. Kind of make it as real life as they can,” said Swofford.

Students helped create that ‘realistic setting’ with fake wounds ready to be assessed.

“It’s where you see the injuries and you label them immediate, minor, or delayed,” said Tsabunieris.

It’s skills students and staff say they hope they never have to use but are fortunate to have if a school day turns dire.

“It’s comforting to know that if you’re equipped with the things that you’ve learned or chosen to go and learn outside of class, that to  your best ability you will truly be able to take care of those children,” said Leonard.

The CERT program is open to the public. The classes and training are free. Find more information on their website, HERE.

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