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Newswatch 16 on Hand for Students’ Rescue-Training Finale


Along the shore of the Susquehanna, WNEP’s Kristina Papa interviews emergency medical services student James A. Babinetz.
Along the shore of the Susquehanna, WNEP’s Kristina Papa interviews emergency medical services student James A. Babinetz.
Students receive a pre-activity overview from Williamsport Bureau of Fire’s Ken Smith.
Students receive a pre-activity overview from Williamsport Bureau of Fire’s Ken Smith.
A full slate of hands-on learning: Two Williamsport Bureau of Fire boats take students out to practice pulling their classmates out of the water, while students on the dock practice throwing lines to their classroom colleagues.
A full slate of hands-on learning: Two Williamsport Bureau of Fire boats take students out to practice pulling their classmates out of the water, while students on the dock practice throwing lines to their classroom colleagues.
A paramedic student perfects her pitch, throwing a line to a waiting classmate.
A paramedic student perfects her pitch, throwing a line to a waiting classmate.
Under watch by Williamsport Bureau of Fire personnel, a student pulls a classmate toward the boat.
Under watch by Williamsport Bureau of Fire personnel, a student pulls a classmate toward the boat.

WNEP’s Kristina Papa visited Penn College’s paramedic program on Wednesday as first-year students completed their final day of Rescue Awareness and Operations training. Under the lead of the Williamsport Bureau of Fire and the Central Area Fire Chiefs’ Association, the students dove into the Susquehanna River for a hands-on lesson in boat-based water rescue operations at Susquehanna State Park, using equipment lent by the Williamsport Bureau of Fire. During the morning, the students practiced shore-based water rescue along Lycoming Creek near Bowman Field. The four-day Rescue Awareness and Operations activities also included field trips to the CAFCA facility for training in vehicle rescues and rope rescues and to Frito-Lay for confined-space operations, along with lessons in handling carbon monoxide incidents and gas leaks. The events are the finale of a summer course in Operations and Rescue Practices for the Paramedic, which entailed emergency vehicle driver training, a visit to the Life Flight hangar, training for hazardous materials and crime scene incidents, and a tactical emergency casualty course. Throughout the summer, the students were taught not only by Penn College faculty, but by area professionals that included the Penn College Police, Lycoming County coroner, UPMC Susquehanna emergency department, Geisinger Life Flight, CAFCA and the local fire bureau. Papa interviewed Bambi Hawkins, interim director of paramedic technology programs, students Ali T. Alnasir, of Williamsport, James A. Babinetz, of Doylestown, and Michelle K. Waughen, of Montgomery, and Assistant Fire Chief Mark Killian. The story aired during Wednesday evening’s newscasts.

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