California Educator

March 2017

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proud of these kids. rough this program, students learn things that very often lead to a career path. ey develop leadership skills and confidence. And of course, they are helping so many people in the process." TRUST, LE ADERSHIP AND RESPONSIBILIT Y During the two years that students participate in the program, they work closely with Lake County Search and Rescue and the Sheriff 's Department. Cross-trained as first responders, the 12 juniors and 12 seniors are certi- fied in CPR and trained in packaging and transporting victims; technical rope rescue and rappelling; radio communication; tracking; swift water rescue; map and compass use; and disaster training. Recently, students flew in a helicopter with members of the National Guard, who taught them how to properly lower ropes for rescue operations. K-CORPS members are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. In emergencies, they may be asked to go to Marin, Sonoma, Contra Costa, Mendocino, Trinity and other counties. It is not uncommon to receive a call in the middle of the night telling them to report to school in 15 minutes. In addition to searching for and rescuing missing persons, they assist with body recoveries and searches for evidence. All students must protect the confidentiality of those they are assisting and their families. Sometimes K-CORPS members play "victims" for mass casualty train- ings conducted by hospital or law enforcement agencies. They also provide traffic control for community events, serve as CPR instructors for middle school students, run canned food drives, and assist organiza- tions in Lake County. " This is an amazing group of kids," says Holt. " They may be high "Oldies" (senior students) training "greenies" ( juniors) on how to build a lowering system. Photo courtesy K-CORPS schoolers, but they are the best of the best. ey can han- dle just about anything." RE ADY FOR ACTION Over the past few years, Lake County has been devastated by wildfires, and members of K-CORPS played a key role in helping residents who were forced to flee their homes. During the Valley Fire in 2015 and the Clayton Fire last year, K-C ORPS members helped operate evacuation centers, assisted with traffic flow, looked for evidence of missing persons in burned areas, and informed residents when it was safe to return home. In both fires, students organized themselves in shifts to offer help 24 hours a day. "We enjoyed helping out during the fire," says Juan Villa, an "oldie," or senior student. "ere were a lot of people coming together in the community, and it was a touching time for everyone." Oldie Kallianne Otte handed out masks and supplies for residents who lost their homes. "One lady started crying, and we all gave her a hug," Otte says. "It was eye-opening to realize the impact we can have on the lives of others." In Mendocino County in 2007, members assisted in a search for a missing woman who had been lost for 36 hours. ey helped locate her at the bottom of a hill that wasn't safe to walk down. While responders from several nearby counties also assisted, K-CORPS was the only team 18

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