Durango High School to Host Flight for Life Helicopter Landing – The Durango Herald

Seminar an opportunity for students to learn lifesaving practices

A Flight for Life helicopter landing will take place at Durango High School on Wednesday afternoon. Students will have the opportunity to learn first responder rescue techniques. (Durango herald file)

A Flight for Life helicopter landing will take place on the Durango High School baseball diamond on Wednesday as part of the school’s health care course.

Landing will take place at 2 p.m. and those registered for the event will have the opportunity to explore the interior of the helicopter, network with experts and hear paramedics describe emergency situations.

Students will learn about the equipment on board the helicopter and the capabilities of the aircraft.

“They’re actually going to tour the helicopter and meet with the professionals and they walk them through what they would do in scenarios where they’re performing a life-saving rescue,” said DHS teacher Kyle Montgomery.

Vocational and technical health care pathway courses were launched in 2019 by Montgomery, but in-person activities had been limited until that year due to COVID-19 policies.

Montgomery said more and more students are interested in medical careers. The program is intended to help students pursue their passion and gain an accurate description of what working in a medical profession is like.

He said that students taking medical courses are mostly interested in becoming nurses or doctors. However, Montgomery wants students to see how learning about medical practices can be applicable in multiple settings.

Phlebotomist, X-ray technician, and physician assistant are three of the specific certifications mentioned by Montgomery as part of the DHS healthcare pathway.

Montgomery said her students have a desire to help people and challenge themselves. Events like the helicopter landing help students make connections with medical professionals they can use later.

“Some students might fall in love with it and they might go down that route, but the majority of students probably won’t,” he said.

Montgomery said the benefit of the event is that students will get an understanding and appreciation for what Flight for Life crews do.

The helicopter is just one of the many ways Montgomery tries to expose students to medical fields. He also took students to visit Animas Surgical Hospital to meet medical professionals about career opportunities.

He said some students might also do internships at the hospital. Students will do the same at Mercy Regional Medical Center in the coming weeks.

For DHS students, healthcare career path courses allow them to learn in an alternate setting outside of their core coursework. The classes are also part of the school district‘s mission to create a workforce pipeline in Durango.

“We’re always looking for ways to engage our community partners, and that’s really exciting,” Montgomery said. “The Flight for Life staff do this because they really want to encourage our children to enter the medical field.”

tbrown@durangoherald.com

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