HILLSBOROUGH, NJ – More than 300 Boy Scouts from the Patriots Path Council converged on the Somerset County Emergency Services Training Academy on Roycefield Road Dec. 12 to put their first aid skills to the test, competing in several simulated accident and critical care scenarios.
The sprawling complex adjacent to Veterans Industrial Park is where volunteer firemen come to train and where first responders learn to cut into mangled cars and handle hazardous materials.
But this was the Scouts’ turn to put their first aid skills to the test.
“Today’s event served as a test of the Scouts practical first aid experience,” explained Matthew Hachey, district executive with the Patriots Path Council. “They were put into situations that they might have to deal with on a hike or camping trip where they need to think on their own.
“They were challenged to stop, think and be responsible and to get the right person involved,” he added.
The Scouts were presented with several critical care scenarios, and their response to each was judged by 15-20 experts. Cub Scouts served as the “victims” in each of the scenarios – fractures, frost bite, hypothermia, heat exhaustion, eye injuries, breathing and cardio issues.
Afterwards, the Scouts gathered around the New Jersey State Police NorthSTAR Air Medical helicopter to get a closer look at the emergency gear onboard and to ask questions of the crew.
The Scouts also had no shortage of questions for soldiers from the US Army Recruiting station in Somerville who also visited the event with two armored Humvee vehicles.
The Somerset County Emergency Services Training Academy provides education and certifications in a wide variety of fire, EMS, hazardous materials and other courses. Training is provided for career and volunteer personnel from municipal, county, state, and industrial/commercial agencies located within and outside Somerset County.
The Academy is a division of and home to the Somerset County Office of Emergency Management, which is responsible for the coordination of police, fire, EMS, hazardous material and weather agencies for major incidents within the County. Somerset County OEM is also responsible for the Somerset County 911 Communications Center.