Rising eight graders through rising eleventh graders are invited to apply for the American Red Cross of Greater Arkansas Rapid Response Training Camp to learn lifesaving skills and enhance their leadership ability. The 2013 Camp marks more than ten years of 300 plus Arkansas high school students certified with lifesaving skills to be of benefit to others in Arkansas as well as where ever their travels may take them.
The Rapid Response Camp evolved from local Red Cross discussions on how to empower students to respond to crisis situations after the 1998 Westside Middle School shooting near Jonesboro. Two students shot and killed nine classmates and one teacher during the school day. The tragic incident raised concerns surrounding the need to equip children with the tools to respond to a variety of emergencies in the event adults were unable to direct them due to injury and to the lack of adults nearby.
Since the first camp in 1992, students have been certified in First Aid, CPR, Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) use, as well as additional advanced lifesaving training. Numerous campers have used Red Cross training learned to aid injured persons, as well as to save lives. Interactive training in disaster management and incident command during camp has resulted in several students changing initial career plans to peruse areas of study post high school in Emergency Management and medical fields.
The 2013 Rapid Response Camp is generously underwritten by the Gertrude E. Skelly Foundation, enabling selected students to attend at no cost. The camp will be held this summer in Little Rock, and is open to interested Arkansas high school students. Space is limited. Applications will be available starting February 1, 2013.
Gayla Bowden, State Volunteer Specialist, 501-748-1080