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Students relate outdoor survival to reading, writing
There were some 15 different agencies that participated in the Survival Day last Wednesday and Thursday at the Mountain Valley Middle School. At top left, Med-Care EMT Mike Derouche showed seventh graders the various types of bandaging and tourniquets that might be used during a rescue. Also popular were the rescues involving a dog (top right, Oxford County Sheriff's Office) and horses (bottom pics, Maine Mounted Search & Rescue). (Photos by Bruce Farrin and MVMS)
MEXICO -- Last Wednesday and Thursday, the Mountain Valley Middle School was buzzing with activity inside and outside the building in an event focuing on outdoor survival.
Each year, the school holds an event that revolves around a theme that blends well with reading and writing.
This year, they hosted illustrator Ben Bishop from the Graphic Novel, Lost Trail. To go along with the theme of the book (surviving in the Maine woods) were several mini interactive, middle school level activities from different organizations in the area.
Among them were some 15 different agencies. Popular were the rescues involving dogs (Oxford County Sheriff's Office and the Maine State Police) and horses (Maine Mounted Search & Rescue) as well as a state all-terrain safety organization, Med-Care, game wardens and the Rumford Falls Times on writing a news story about a rescue.
One of the presenters were EMT Mike Derouche and Paramedic Jon Rajaniemi, both of Med-Care. For one seventh grade group, they demonstrated various types of wrapping and tourniquets and how they can be used.
Their advice when facing a rescue situation? "There's a lot of choas. Take a step back and access the situation before taking action."
The two then showed the students some of the tools they use and what they are used for. From the classroom, the 90-minute session concluded with a walk to the parking lot to the ambulance where the six student hopped into the back of the rescue vehicle with Rajaniemi, who explained the devices they have onboard.
Signing the books provided to the students was Bishop, a graphic artist and writer from Portland, who just won a state award for his illustrations in “Lost Trail,” a graphic true story of Donn Fendler’s, “Lost on a Mountain in Maine.”
Bishop’s presentation focused on his determination to keep working in a field that he loved, despite experiencing many setbacks.
“I’ve drawn comic books since I was four years old,” he said.
His presentation showed middle schoolers how he had to follow a script and align the drawings with what was happening in the story.
Bishop also provided a workshop for the students and their parents on Wednesday night.