WELLS COUNTY, Indiana (WANE) – Wells County Scouts obtained their search and rescue badges with the help of first responders at Ouabache State Park.
Scouts from Bluffton and Markle attended the training where they were tasked with finding victims and bringing them to safety. The victims were covered with false wounds and hidden in isolated parts of the park. The scouts have been sent to find them, provide early treatment and bring them to safety.
Several departments, including the Bluffton and Ossian Fire Departments, as well as Wells County Emergency Medical Services, Lutheran Air and the Department of Natural Resources. The hope is that by accompanying them through the process, the Pathfinders will gain a better understanding of what these departments do and view them as careers.
“Emergency services at all levels, we have a hard time getting young people involved and seeing what we’re doing,” said Lt. Jim Platt of the Bluffton Fire Department. calls, but we are doing search and rescue. We do a whole range of different things other than just putting out fires so hopefully we are expanding their view of what emergency services are doing at all levels rather than just shooting, EMS, a police officer. There is more than what is on the surface.
For the Scouts, it was an eye-opening experience.
“It was a little scary at first because there was a lot of responsibility,” said Ben Stevens of Troop 149. “Between organizing the scouts and discussing with the control center. There are just a lot of different moving parts that must have worked together.
“It allowed me to get out and work with the kids and even remember my skills as a father and as a person who loves the wilderness,” Platt said. “Where am I at, if I’m up to my skills and if I’m an instructor, if I’m teaching at the level I should be.” It helps me to define this expectation for myself and to know my firefighters, but also for the public. “
The boys earned their communications and search and rescue badges through training.