KBJR 6: Rescue Divas EMS camp kicks off third year

By Jessie Slater on Jun 11, 2017

See KBJR website for original story.

Deep in the backwoods of Northwest Wisconsin, Rescue Divas EMS Camp has begun their third year of teaching young girls hand-on activities that focus on a variety of skills and knowledge needed in Emergency Medical careers.

Along the gravel back roads Camp Northwoods, the Troop House is filled with Rescue Divas, learning a new trade.

“It came about because we realized we have a shortage of EMT’s in our area,” says Camp Director, Carrie Okey.

Rescue Divas is a five day EMS camp where young girls are educated in skills such as CPR and first aid.

Okey says, “we do things that are really exciting but we do things that are really practical.”

Rescue Diva, Alexis Haeger says this training could be beneficial for her future.. “My moms a nurse and my dad’s an EMT and a fire chief. So being in the medical field is something I can see myself doing in the future.”

Twenty middle school-aged girls are accepted into the camp program. Camp officials try to have girls from a variety of counties across Northwest Wisconsin. Counties including, Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Rusk, Sawyer, and Washburn.

Okey says, this year the camp had the highest number of applicants and they had to put some girls on an alternate list. “The selection process is girls apply. They have to answer three different essay questions about why they want to be a Rescue Diva and how they plan to take it back to their communities.”

The program is funded with the help of Northwest Wisconsin Area Health Education Centers and other organizations.

“We get funding from a lot of different grants and volunteer work.”

Okey claims that women are underrepresented in this line of work and it’s important to make them feel like they can excel in a medical career.

“It’s not just about the twenty campers that are here, it’s really about the ripple effect and getting the word out to people.”

Rescue Diva, Haeger says, “I think I’ll learn how to react faster and how to do things when I need to.”

The campers went through a CPR scenario on day one and will re-do the scenario on the last day to show how much they have learned.