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Emergency Services Open House set for May 11

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Before someone can be an “everyday hero” – such as a police officer, firefighter or paramedic – he or she must first learn the ropes. In Portland, one of the best places to do so is the Public Services Education Building at Portland Community College’s Cascade Campus. The public will get a close-up view of what it takes to be a first responder during the building’s annual Open House, set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11, at the corner of North Killingsworth Street and Mississippi Avenue.

A scene from last year's crash and rescue test at the Emergency Services Open House at Cascade.

The open house will feature information and demonstrations from the various programs housed in the Public Services Education Building – Fire Protection Technology, Criminal Justice, Emergency Medical Services (or EMS, where paramedics and emergency medical technicians are trained), Emergency Management and Emergency Telecommunicator /911 Dispatcher.

The centerpiece of the day’s events are two mock motor vehicle crash rescues, occurring at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., in which students from the programs collaborate to simulate a drunken driving incident. Student 911 dispatchers receive and process calls reporting the incident, providing medical aid instructions over the phone while dispatching Police, Fire and EMS units. Fire students will demonstrate how they extricate patients from a wrecked vehicle, and EMS students will demonstrate how they administer emergency treatment in order to prepare patients for transport to the hospital.

“The vehicle rescues are really cool,” said Doug Smith, an instructor in the Fire Protection Technology Program. “They involve the simultaneous participation of students from several different programs, and they give people the chance to get right up close as our students perform the rescue.”

Meanwhile, the “driver” will receive a field sobriety test from – and eventually be arrested by — Criminal Justice students. A live narration from program instructors will accompany each stage of the rescue operation. Visitors will also have the chance check out the building’s emergency vehicle bays and see the training center where students learn to be 911 operators.