Emergency responders train Boyertown area youth during Emergency Response Explorer Weekend

Photo by Sandi Yanisko Boyertown Community Lions Ambulance Deputy Chief Chris Stevens provides guidance as Jason Carlile, Austin Carlile, Brent Spicer, and Ashley Evans carry "accident victim" Kevin Otto to the ambulance.

These days it’s never too soon to start thinking about the future—and when that future could potentially save lives, than it seems all is for the better.

A dozen Boyertown area youth recently spent the weekend of July 18 alongside emergency responders as a part of the Boyertown Ambulance Venturer Post’s Emergency Response Explorer Weekend (EREW).

The Boyertown Lions Community Ambulance Service is the host for Boyertown Venture Crew Post 525. The Venture Crew, also known as Explorers, is an organization tied to the Boy Scouts of America and is designed for ages 14 to 21.

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This annual weekend event offers hands-on training to the members of the Post, allowing the opportunity to learn practical skills from local professionals as well as learn what it’s like behind the scenes.

The Venturers receive training from their advisors and other outside individuals, then are “dispatched” on simulated mock calls throughout the weekend. Venturers practiced assessing and immobilizing the mock patients.

Those who assisted in lectures and lessons for the weekend included Montgomery County Coroner’s Deputy and Gilberstville Ambulance’s Chief of Operations Garry Schmoltze, Phil Nunan - an EMT for Boyertown Ambulance and Assistant Chief for Boyertown Area Fire and Rescue, retired police officer Jack Harris and Ashley Neubauer - Chief of Boyertown Ambulance and Assistant Chief of Boyertown Area Fire & Rescue.

Neubauer reportedly provided a hands-on demonstration for the post using the fire department’s forcible entry simulator. Participating individuals then had an opportunity to practice forcing entry into the doors and window on the simulator.

Personnel involved in the weekend are trained to work with youth.

According to Boyertown Ambulance’s Deputy Chief of Operations, there are now several individuals staffed at the ambulance company that went through the program. He added that others have gone on to pursue various roles in the medical field.

“We got a lot of dedicated kids that are very interested,” said Stevens. “As an aside, many get involved in fire fighting.”

The Boyertown Ambulance Venturer Post is an ongoing program which meets every other Wednesday, at the Boyertown Lions Ambulance Service. It has been running for approximately 20 years.

The EREW is held annually every July.

About the Author

Rebecca Blanchard

Rebecca won't hesitate to tell you that she has enjoyed writing throughout her entire life. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, she graduated from the professional writing program of Kutztown University in 2012. Rebecca joined Berks-Mont Newspapers in July of 2012 as editor of The Boyertown Area Times following her internship with the newspaper. In addition to writing, she enjoys traveling and cooking gluten-free foods. Reach the author at rblanchard@berksmontnews.com or follow Rebecca on Twitter: @boyertowntimes.