SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – When you think of a first responder, you usually picture a police officer or firefighter, but what about 10 to 12-year-old kids?
Kids between grades 6 and 8 get this chance thanks to the Safety Village of South Dakota, who team up annually with local police, firefighters and EMT’s to put on their Heroes Summer Safety Camp.
“There’s some really interesting things to learn about it. Like, many different jobs that are kind of interesting and taking part in that,” Camper Rylee Cawley said.
From witnessing a K9 unit demonstration to getting to witness how a bomb robot is used.
They get to experience emergency situations in all forms.
“I was expecting, like, to be in a classroom all day just talking to people – we were very interactive actually,” Camper Sophia Prostrollo said.
This week, the kids got to learn about what it’s like to arrive at an active crime scene. Working with officers to solve a case.
“We have a crime scene made up for us with possible victims – we have two victims, and we have a room full of evidence at the site,” Camper Grace Bowling said.
They were each given a placard to set by items they saw as evidence and then took notes on why they think it could link to the crime.
“Figuring out where and when it happens, the location, the victims and possibly the criminal or who did it,” Bowling said.
And maybe solve the direction of their future careers along the way.
“They get to meet police officers in a non-threatening environment. Get a taste of this and maybe they do get a love of police work,” Police Officer Robert Draeger said.
“When I get older, I might want to be a 911 responder, so I might need to… be able to analyze a little bit by myself before I even talk to the police or anyone else,” Bowling said.
“Not really for me… most of this stuff is like… terrifying, and that’s not really my thing, but I’m grateful that we have them because if we didn’t life would be a lot different,” Prostrollo said.
There are still plenty of opportunities to register for the camp this summer,