Cushing plays host to Kids Medical Camp
Forty Leavenworth County children took a tour Tuesday of Cushing Memorial Hospital for a morning of fun and learning.
There, they met a surgery nurse, a dietician, the director of volunteer services and two different dogs: a Belgian Malinois named Aron, used by the Leavenworth Police to find drugs and people; and the other, a tall hound named McGruff, whose favorite treat is "a bite out of crime."
The children met the canines during Cushing's Kids Medical Camp. The children went outside to the front of the hospital to learn hands-on about three different kinds of emergency vehicles and the equipment they carry, and got to play with the Dutch-language trained Aron.
"My favorite part was the fire truck or throwing the slobber toy for the K-9 dog," said Derrikk Johnson, a Leavenworth seventh-grader.
The Leavenworth Police Department's DARE officer, K-9 officer and dog were there with McGruff the Crime Dog, as were vehicles and personnel from Leavenworth County Emergency Medical Services, Leavenworth Fire Department, and the LifeNet Helicopter.
Joey Studnicka, Cushing's outreach and marketing coordinator, said the camp was "a way for Cushing to reach out to the community. It's a way to get kids interested in the medical field and get to know all the personnel involved, not just the medical and emergency jobs."
Leavenworth firefighter Tyler Ewert explained to the children the various supplies and tools on a fire truck, including hoses, biohazard kits, water valves, Jaws of Life, and huge shears for cutting metal.
Johnson asked Ewert, "How come you're not allowed to stand in the back of the truck anymore?" Ewert explained state law required all riders in fire trucks to wear a seat belt.
Children were also shown the equipment and tools used by Leavenworth County Emergency Services in an ambulance by Chad Beckley, EMS supervisor. Beckley had the children hold hands in a circle and placed electrodes on two children at either end to show how an electrocardiogram worked.
Austin Wells, a Leavenworth fifth-grader, had his heartbeat measured on the EKG.
Wells joked, "I was dead," pointing to the printout from the machine recorded in the moments before the EKG was properly attached to him.
The highlight of the emergency vehicles portion of the camp was the landing of and introduction to the LifeNet helicopter, which is used for hospital transfers and flights from the scenes of auto accidents. Paramedic Ryan Bever explained the different parts and functions of the copter, and answered the children's questions about the vehicle.