The state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services is busy teaching all weekend at the State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany.
Fifty students from 10 different U.S. colleges are taking part in the NY Hope exercise from Aug. 9-12, where students partner with first responders to get hands-on training in leadership, disaster response, medical operations, emergency services partner agency training, and more.
Participants are learning how to handle situations such as mass casualties, water rescue, and wilderness search and rescue, to name a few. Students also got to do some swift water rescue training, which gave them the opportunity to use the brand-new multi-million-dollar state facility built for water rescue exercises.
The experts behind the NY Hope exercise say this is the first time they’ve done this with students, but it won’t be the last.
“These are the first responders of tomorrow,” said Robert Stallman, assistant director of the State Preparedness Training Center. “So it’s really neat to see the enthusiasm that they have and it's inspiring because these kids are in college and they are thinking about what they’re going to be able to do to help New York State and beyond when they get older, and I think it’s great.”
The students participating will be receiving college credit for this four-day course.