Students’ life-saving skills tested near Lake Michigan

Ottawa County

GRAND HAVEN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — While it was a day at the beach for dozens of Careerline Tech Center students Monday, what they learned wasn’t easy.

Nearly 50 CTC students showed up at Kirk Park for life-saving simulations led by Grand Haven Township Fire and Rescue crews. The beach scenarios are part of the class’s “simulation week,” aimed at better preparing students for an emergency.

“This is a great opportunity for them to take the classroom instruction and now make it a little bit more real,” said lead instructor Kim Schrader. “That’s probably one of the most exciting parts about today — not only to use their knowledge, start to put it into a more realistic situation, but then hearing from alumni who felt the same way they did — some as little as a year ago.”

Keagan Langworthy is a Grand Haven Township firefighter. Last year he was one of Schrader’s students.

Langworthy says connecting with professionals as a student is valuable.

“You can learn it from the book, but when you go out, a patient it isn’t going to be by the books. Something is going to be different,” Langworthy said. “Today will kinda help the students understand more of what a situation like this is really like.”

Being a firefighter fresh out of high school comes with challenges, but Langworthy wants people to judge him by his passion, not his age.

“When there’s a patient or situation going on, it really doesn’t matter what age you are,” he said. “I don’t think age really determines how good you are at your job. It’s kinda, you know, however passionate you are about it.”

Langworthy and others from the Grand Haven Township Fire & Rescue Department set up a variety of first aid and rescue challenges for the students, including responding to a cardiac arrest on the beach, falling down a dune and breaking your leg, and rescuing a mannequin off a dune.

CTC senior Chap Morris says the hands-on experience they gained Monday will help them all down the road.

“When the time comes, now that I’ve actually seen a patient on the beach before and I’m actually going to be working it, I feel a lot more confident,” Morris said.

Schrader says with students hungry for knowledge and alumni ready to teach, the future looks bright.

“It’s exciting to see the passion that they have,” she said. “Knowing that they’re going to give back to their community. We’re seeing that already with the alumni who are back and they’re ready to give back.”

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