Learning Opportunities, From the Air and On the Ground

Area health care providers and emergency responders, part-time Penn College faculty, and alumni shared their insights with students and others during Thursday visits to main campus. The day began at around 8:30 a.m., when pilot Eric Smith landed Geisinger Health System’s Life Flight 4 helicopter on the Madigan Library lawn. With two of the college’s adjunct instructors on board, the aircraft’s arrival clearly gave School of Health Sciences students (and curious guests from the Dunham Children’s Learning Center) something to talk about. During the afternoon, on a makeshift course on a parking lot west of the Klump Academic Center, students in the Operations and Rescue Practices for the Paramedic class navigated the Emergency Vehicle Driver Training course. Citizens Hose Co. in Jersey Shore provides the ambulances for the skills tests, and Susquehanna Regional EMS brought its bariatric vehicle (equipped with a winch and a ramp for ease in transporting extremely large patients).

– Photos by Whitnie-rae Mays, student photographer; Tom Wilson, writer/editor-PCToday;
Bambi A. Hawkins, learning laboratory coordinator for the college’s paramedic program;
and Tony A. Bixby, Life Flight medic and part-time member of the paramedic faculty

LifeFlight arrives from the southeast, banking toward a precision landing.

LifeFlight arrives from the southeast, banking toward a precision landing.

The landing zone, as seen from the air

The landing zone, as seen from the air

Flight medic Tony A. Bixby and flight nurse Danielle N. Houtz, both part-time faculty members in the college's School of Health Sciences, were part of the morning's crew.

Flight medic Tony A. Bixby and flight nurse Danielle N. Houtz, both part-time faculty members in the college’s School of Health Sciences, were part of the morning’s crew.

Boys and girls from the Dunham Children's Learning Center venture closer for a better look.

Boys and girls from the Dunham Children’s Learning Center venture closer for a better look.

Crew members answer questions from students assembled on the library lawn.

Crew members answer questions from students assembled on the library lawn.

Jackson Mackey, son of Jon and Katie Mackey (Penn College's coordinator of off-campus living and commuter services) climbs aboard for a photo op.

Jackson Mackey, son of Jon and Katie Mackey (Penn College’s coordinator of off-campus living and commuter services) climbs aboard for a photo op.

An "injured" Austen M. Kauffman, an emergency medical services major from Myerstown, is secured for simulated transport.

An “injured” Austen M. Kauffman, an emergency medical services major from Myerstown, is secured for simulated transport.

Classmates carry the "patient" to the medical helicopter.

Classmates carry the “patient” to the medical helicopter.

Houtz acts as the tail-rotor guard and Bixby guides students Scott C. Forbes and Nathan J. Katzmaier toward the loading bay.

Houtz acts as the tail-rotor guard and Bixby guides students Scott C. Forbes and Nathan J. Katzmaier toward the loading bay. Forbes, of Odenton, Md., is enrolled in the applied health studies: emergency medical services concentration; Katzmaier, of Montoursville, is a paramedic technician major.

Handling with care

Handling with care

Children entertain themselves while waiting their turn, inventing games ...

Children entertain themselves while waiting their turn, inventing games …

... and playing some tried-and-true ones, such as "leap frog."

… and playing some tried-and-true ones, such as “leap frog.”

Bixby talks with students about the challenges and rewards of flight medicine.

Bixby talks with students about the challenges and rewards of flight medicine.

An airborne medical miracle-worker, at rest on the ground

An airborne medical miracle-worker, at rest on the ground

Nearby apparatus from the Williamsport Bureau of Fire also attracted youthful attention.

Nearby apparatus from the Williamsport Bureau of Fire also attracted youthful attention.

Regina G. Andes, an assistant group leader at the CLC, steps inside with two young friends.

Regina G. Andes, an assistant group leader at the CLC, steps inside with two young friends.

All aboard for photos ...

All aboard for photos …

... and more photos!

… and more photos!

An enlightening visit ends with a flawless takeoff.

An enlightening visit ends with a flawless takeoff.

With make-believe maladies (except for the sling, which harbors a real-life injury), Nicholas J. Perri, a pre-emergency medical services student from Philadelphia, is wheeled aboard Susquehanna Regional EMS' bariatric ambulance.

With make-believe maladies (except for the sling, which harbors a real-life injury), Nicholas J. Perri, a pre-emergency medical services student from Philadelphia, is wheeled aboard Susquehanna Regional EMS’ bariatric ambulance.

Brady L. Breon, an assistant professor in the paramedic program, assesses a student's driving skill.

Brady L. Breon, an assistant professor in the paramedic program, assesses a student’s driving skill.

Kaitlyn M. Reedy, an emergency medical services major from Montgomery, takes her turn on the litter.

Kaitlyn M. Reedy, an emergency medical services major from Montgomery, takes her turn on the litter. At right is Susquehanna’s Alfred P. Scott Jr., a 2008 graduate in Penn College’s paramedic technician major. Assisting off-camera are Dayton J. Root, an emergency medical services student from Liberty (and a Susquehanna Regional EMS intern) and Tina Dymeck, an emergency medical technician. The visit was arranged by Jason P. Zielewicz, supervisor of prehospital services, a 2003 applied health studies graduate and part-time member of the college paramedic faculty.

With pylons set just beyond the vehicle's width, there's little room for error in maneuvering.

With pylons set just beyond the vehicle’s width, there’s little room for error in maneuvering.

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