Middle schoolers learn about careers in emergency services

Mock emergency teaches students about career options

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – When disaster strikes, firefighters, police and paramedics are the first to the scene. Wednesday, about 40 middle school students attended a mock emergency to learn what it takes to have a career in emergency services.

From the first 911 call to the moment firefighters rush to the scene and put out the flames, students from Martinsville, Henry and Patrick counties watched as crews responded to the "emergency" scenario.

"I thought it was pretty cool," said Jahzara Liverpool, a Henry County student.  "I really didn’t think about how many people were involved in an emergency like that.”

Henry County Public Safety and Patrick Henry Community College teamed up to put on the mock emergency as part of the college's educational Talent Search Program, which gives kids the chance to explore various career options.

Public Safety Director Matt Tatum hopes Wednesday's demonstration inspires kids to work or volunteer in emergency services.

"We're going to try to expose them to a little taste of each one of them, "Tatum said. "to spark their interest."

The program is free for students in the area. Liverpool wants to be a pilot, but her mom is a 911 dispatcher, so she said after seeing the "emergency," she would consider a career in public safety.

"It's cool seeing other people do things you didn’t think about that you could do as a job," Liverpool said. "And it would be fun."

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