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Severe storms immerse emergency management student in disaster response

When emergency management and homeland security student Evan J. Kelbaugh returned to Pennsylvania College of Technology for the Fall 2021 semester, he did so with an enhanced sense of emergency response to parlay into his coursework. As part of his recent internship with the Bucks County Emergency Management Agency, the Langhorne resident was called into action when severe storms caused flash flooding in what the National Weather Service termed a “100-year flood event” for that county.

“This was my first real taste of an actual disaster that affected a large amount of people,” Kelbaugh said. “Looking at disasters in class can only influence someone so much. When I saw the people impacted just wandering and trying to collect their salvageable items, it hit me that this was real and not something I was just reading about.”

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Business, Arts & Sciences Emergency Management & Homeland Security Faculty & Staff Students

Penn College hosts PPL Electric Utilities Live Line Electrical Safety Exhibit

PPL Electric Utilities recently offered a Live Line Electrical Safety Exhibit and demonstration for students and first responders at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

PPL, a Corporate Tomorrow Maker partner of the college, takes its mobile electrical safety exhibit across its service territory to teach first responders, contractors, businesses, school students and the public about the dangers of live wires and how to stay safe around them.

The exhibit is a scaled-down 7,200-volt electrical distribution system that features live electrical wires, utility poles and transformers. It was designed in 2016 by representatives from across PPL Electric Utilities’ operations who met in PPL’s Innovation Lab to brainstorm ways to present the information. PPL provides 100 such demonstrations to more than 10,000 people annually.

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Nursing & Health Sciences: ‘Your path to a thriving career’

“If a career in a health care setting is your calling, your path to a thriving career starts right here at Penn College,” says dental hygiene student Dacia James, who leads a virtual tour of the School of Nursing & Health Sciences. The Williamsport resident (aided by Ally K. Swartz, a paramedic technician major from Bellefonte, and Alexia O. Zelenevskaya, a dental hygiene student from Ephrata) guides viewers through an 11-minute exploration of paramedic, physician assistant, dental hygiene, nursing, physical therapist assistant, surgical technology, radiography and applied health studies, as well as the school’s newest majors: health science and allied health.

Allied Health Applied Health Dental Hygiene Emergency Medical Services/Paramedic Faculty & Staff Health Science Nursing Nursing & Health Sciences Physical Therapist Assistant Physician Assistant Radiography Students Surgical Technology

Intensive activities spotlight college’s career-building majors

Pre-College Programs“Because tomorrow begins today,” Penn College campuses welcomed scores of high school students for six more Pre-College Programs in recent days. (A variety of programs focused on more of the college’s academic majors were held in June.) The past week’s schedule included three new summer offerings – Diesel Truck & Heavy Equipment, Fundamentals of Emergency Response, and Thingamajig Fabricators – joining returning favorites Automotive Restoration; Design, Build & Grow Landscape & Horticulture; and Graphic Design Summer Studio. All told, the college hosted 211 high schoolers for two sessions of overnight camps this season and 40 middle schoolers during two weeks of My Tomorrow day camps.

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Magazine chronicles kayak outing’s ‘transformational impact’

Pennsylvania Angler & Boater magazineAn article in the July/August issue of Pennsylvania Angler & Boater features a field trip taken by Rob Cooley’s Outdoor Recreation as a Therapeutic Tool course during the spring semester. The class traveled to nearby Rose Valley Lake, accompanied by Lycoming College’s director of outdoor learning and education, for an enjoyable and insightful day of kayaking. Students making the trip were Colin G. Browne Jr., Cody R. Englehart, Brad S. Grenoble, Payge C. Hess, Kai K. Marshall, Krystle J. Richardson, Nicole M. Smulligan and Devon M. Wasson. Grenoble is an emergency management technology major; the others are enrolled in human services and restorative justice. The magazine piece was facilitated by Douglas M. Hess, manager of the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission’s Benner Spring State Fish Hatchery in Centre County (and Payge Hess’ father). Included are a number of quotes about the day’s positive effects on members of the group, from enjoyment of local wildlife to the accent on their chosen field – such as this from Wasson: “There is something about just being on the water that is so calming to me and brings me that instant stress relief that everyone needs.”

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Business, Arts & Sciences Emergency Management & Homeland Security Faculty & Staff Human Services & Restorative Justice Students

Penn College announces new degree for future paramedics

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s paramedic program is accepting applications for a new Bachelor of Science degree in health science: prehospital medicine concentration for the Fall 2021 semester.

The new degree is being offered in addition to the paramedic program’s current certificate and associate degree options. It provides a strong foundation in the natural sciences while preparing graduates to function as competent entry-level paramedics.

Coursework prepares students for administrative and teaching positions within the paramedic profession, as well as providing the necessary foundational knowledge for entry into many graduate-level programs, including medical school and physician assistant degree programs.

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Emergency Medical Services/Paramedic Faculty & Staff Nursing & Health Sciences Students

Experienced emergency manager shares ‘boots on the ground’ insight

The crucial role that Incident Management Teams play in a coordinated response to emergencies was recently highlighted for Pennsylvania College of Technology students by a nationally contracted instructor, mentor and consultant.

Susan Taylor-Hall, the executive associate/director of ETC and Associates (and one of the cross-country luminaries rounded up by instructor David E. Bjorkman) met virtually with emergency management students to enlighten them on a variety of rewarding and challenging careers.

Her message to the class was clearly one of partnership, in which each of the disparate agencies involved in emergent incidents functions as part of a fully engaged team. In that spirit, she told the aspiring practitioners, it is vital to know individuals’ strengths and weaknesses. In the heat of the moment in the Emergency Operations Center, being able to tap into and utilize each person’s particular skill, knowledge and ability is crucial for success.

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Business, Arts & Sciences Emergency Management & Homeland Security General Information Students

PPL supports training for front-line health care workers

Future health care professionals have access to a learning tool that simulates respiratory symptoms likely to be encountered in the field, thanks to a $2,500 sustaining grant from PPL Foundation to Pennsylvania College of Technology.

The 2020 contribution enabled purchase of a lung sounds simulator, which mimics real-life scenarios essential to educating health care providers.

“PPL is pleased to partner with Penn College to help enhance training for current and aspiring health care professionals,” said Tracie L. Witter, regional affairs director.  “We appreciate the efforts of Penn College Workforce Development to help improve the skills of our community’s front-line workers.”

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Amid challenging vaccine rollout, emergency manager makes time for tomorrow makers

On the one-year anniversary of the coordinated emergency response to COVID-19, Pennsylvania College of Technology students had the opportunity to hear from the director of the Snohomish County (Washington) Department of Emergency Management, whose jurisdiction includes the country’s first confirmed case of the coronavirus.

Jason M. Biermann spoke with Penn College students on March 2, part of a series of presentations arranged by David E. Bjorkman, instructor of emergency management/social science at the college.

Biermann told his audience that he got involved in emergency management “by accident … literally” when he lost his wallet after getting a flu shot through the local health department. Returning to reclaim it, he noticed a job posting – “hiring for a public health response coordinator” – and pursued it.

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Business, Arts & Sciences Emergency Management & Homeland Security Faculty & Staff Students

Leader in crisis mediation shares valuable expertise with students

An Emergency Management Leadership Series, featuring topic experts recruited by a Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty member to provide his students with topical and credible perspectives from their chosen career fields, recently kicked off with a presentation by Amazon’s global business continuity and supply chain risk leader.

Andrew Owlett, among the corporate professionals who generously answered a LinkedIn solicitation from David E. Bjorkman, instructor of emergency management/social science, visited with Penn College emergency management and information assurance and cyber security students over Zoom.

While he has only been with Amazon for less than a year, Owlett brings to his position an eye-opening breadth of knowledge accrued since his teenage days – the time he realized that his goal was, quite simply, to help people.

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Business, Arts & Sciences Emergency Management & Homeland Security Engineering Technologies Faculty & Staff Information Technology Students

Emergency management student thrives outside comfort zone

Juggling full-time college classes by day and full-time emergency medical technician work by night, Brooke M. Strubel is earning her Bachelor of Science degree in emergency management and homeland security in just two and a half years. For a young woman who recommends getting out of your comfort zone to achieve your highest potential, this past year, intensified by a global pandemic, has offered an ideal environment in which to enhance her people-centered skills.

“I never thought that I’d be working during a pandemic … but it’s an experience that I won’t forget,” said the soon-to-be Pennsylvania College of Technology graduate from Strasburg. “Challenges get you out of your comfort zone, and that is the area in which you will find yourself, your passions, your strengths and, yes, even your weaknesses. This is the area in which you will thrive and improve. Everything you learn advances your knowledge and leads to personal and professional growth.”

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Business, Arts & Sciences Emergency Management & Homeland Security Emergency Medical Services/Paramedic Nursing & Health Sciences Students

Penn College paramedic program to offer hybrid learning option

In January, Pennsylvania College of Technology’s paramedic program will launch a hybrid instruction option that combines in-person and online learning.

Designed to provide flexibility for EMTs who want to complete a paramedic education program while continuing to work, the lecture portion of the paramedic coursework will be both livestreamed and recorded for later viewing by those who use the hybrid instruction model. For students who prefer the traditional experience, lectures will continue to be held in-person.

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Emergency Medical Services/Paramedic General Information Nursing & Health Sciences Students

Pathways Scholarship assists transition to degree programs

Pennsylvania College of Technology has established a new scholarship to support students completing Workforce Development programs in practical nursing and emergency medical technician who wish to further their education.

The scholarship provides assistance for practical nursing graduates interested in the Nursing, LPN to RN program at Penn College and graduates of the EMT course interested in pursuing one of the college’s paramedic majors.

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Paramedics serve amid uncertainties during pandemic

In a word, the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in “uncertainty.”

Kyle G. Stavinski, a 2015 graduate of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s emergency medical services major who is a full-time critical care flight paramedic and educator for Geisinger’s Life Flight, part-time paramedic with Susquehanna Regional EMS and a part-time paramedic instructor at the college, says that, while danger has always been inherent to the work of emergency medical technicians and paramedics, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought new causes for uncertainty.

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Alumni Emergency Medical Services/Paramedic Faculty & Staff Nursing & Health Sciences

Emergency management major anticipates surge in career field

Although the COVID-19 pandemic is upending the norm in most sectors of society, students and faculty in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s emergency management and homeland security major remain steady, observant and engaged in their education as they watch the historic crisis unfold and their career field move to center stage.

“I do tell students jobs will be aplenty as there will be a lot of money thrust at health care, public health, emergency management, homeland security, other critical infrastructure sectors and private sector consulting for preparedness measures moving forward,” said David E. Bjorkman, instructor of emergency management/social science.

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Emergency Management & Homeland Security Faculty & Staff Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications Students