Youth Preparedness Program returns to Harlan County High School

Published 9:39 am Thursday, September 15, 2022

The Youth Preparedness Program, a joint program by Harlan County High School, the Harlan County Cooperative Extension Service, and Harlan County Emergency Management, is currently taking applications for the next installment of the program.

Harlan County Extension Agent Jeremy Williams gave some details on the program.

“It will be held at Harlan County High School,” Williams said. “They can pick up applications for the program at the school office.”

According to Williams, the course will begin on Oct. 20.

“It’s an after school program. It’s held every Thursday when school is in session for 18 sessions,” Williams said.

Williams explained the participants will learn about disaster preparedness, weather awareness, fire safety, search and rescue, lifesaving skills, CPR, and other areas of interest.

“We’re going to also talk about leadership skills and giving back to your community,” Williams said. “That’s a huge part of this program, being able to give back to your community and learning about community service projects.”

The participants will also learn to prepare emergency kits and create communication plans for themselves, their families, and the community. This is the second installment of the program.

“The first one we had was great,” Williams said. “The graduates learned a lot, and they were able to give back to their communities in multiple ways. We’re expecting this program to be just as good.”

The program is open to all Harlan County High School students. Williams and Harlan County Emergency Management Director David McGill will lead the bulk of the classes.

“We also work with outside folks,” Williams said. “For example, we’ll bring in EMTs.”

Williams said during the first installment of the program, they were able to bring in emergency medical helicopter personnel as well as members of police and fire departments to instruct the students on those subjects.

“We teach the core of the class, then bring in others to teach some specific things,” Williams explained.

Williams mentioned what he believes to be essential skills for the students to gain from the program. “Personally, I think the most important thing is being prepared for any event,” Williams said. “We’ve seen a lot of emergency disaster events take place in the region this year. Another important part of the program is gaining leadership skills.”

According to a news release, Applications for students are available in the front office at Harlan County High School. The program is limited to 25 students.

“The program is ideal for students interested in careers in emergency services, law enforcement, health care, military, and many others,” said McGill. T

he previous installment resulted in 15 Harlan County students graduating from the program. The deadline to apply is Oct. 7. The program begins on Oct. 20. Those who successfully complete the program will receive a certificate. Applications should be turned in to Tina Farley at Harlan County High School. For further information, contact McGill at 606-573-6082 or Williams at 606-573-4464.