Whether on land or in the water, 150 third and fourth graders learned how to be safe at the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office annual Safety Camp June 17-18.
The best step to take is to not aggravate a dog or a person, but the young students learned what warning signs to watch for and how to defend themselves in case they are in dangerous situation.
Anoka County Sheriff’s Office K-9 officer Theresa Mulek demonstrates how Abbey uses her nose to find drugs such as marijuana, which is in a backpack that sheriff’s office detention deputy Nichole Kempenich has on. Mulek said many people have asked her if they get these dogs “hooked on drugs.” Mulek said they do not. The dogs are just trained to know the scents. Photos by Eric Hagen
If they ever need to be airlifted to the hospital, North Memorial Hospital Health Care helicopter pilot Gary Vanderbilt told them it takes six minutes for him, flight paramedic Zac Hogan and flight nurse Kris Niermann to take off after receiving the 911 dispatch call. Although many of the kids assumed the helicopter was almost new, Vanderbilt said it was older than all of them but looks good because it is well-maintained, and needs to be, because it cost $6 million.
“Whoa!” several students exclaimed when hearing this dollar figure.
Students learned how to rescue others they see struggling in a pool and they got a look at the sheriff’s office rescue boat. They learned how to be prepared when going camping in the woods and how to help themselves befound by search parties in case they become lost.
Other safety topics covered included cooking, campfires, fireworks, Internet and school buses. They learned the value of dialing 911 if a stranger is acting suspiciously.
Even after more than 20 minutes of instruction at each seminar, students still had a bunch of questions.
Vanderbilt was peppered with questions: How long does it take to build the helicopter? Why take a helicopter instead of an ambulance? How fast can it go? Has he flown in other countries and states? How many people can fit in this helicopter?
Vanderbilt was unable to say how long it took to originally build the helicopter he flies, but said every two to three years maintenance workers take the helicopter apart for cleaning and repairs. This process takes about two months. The helicopter does not have to contend with other vehicles and its 160 mph top speed is more than twice as fast as an ambulance would go. This North Memorial helicopter mostly sticks to Minnesota, but has been flown in Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Besides the crew of three, the helicopter can fit no more than one additional grown adult. So if a small child is injured, they could be accompanied by an adult.
“So it’s like a speedy ambulance?” one student asked.
“Yes, it’s like a speedy ambulance,” Vanderbilt said.
Eric Hagen is at [email protected]
- Gary Vanderbilt, helicopter pilot for North Memorial Health Care, and flight paramedic and flight nurse visited with 150 third and fourth grade students Tuesday morning, June 17 during the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office Safety Camp.
- Aaron Anderson asks North Memorial helicopter pilot Gary Vanderbilt a question.
- Ella Fields punches at a piece of paper held by Brian Sherve of the National Karate Academy of Martial Arts studio. Sherve and Sue Lomasney showed the third and fourth grade students how they can defend themselves if they cannot get out of a fight.
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