Emergency medical technicians strapped Tryne Van Avery to a board Friday before placing a neck brace on her and loading her onto a stretcher. They rolled her into an ambulance and took her blood pressure and pulse rate before letting her go.
Van Avery, 8, said it was her first time in an ambulance, but it was one of numerous activities she'd participated in within a few hours during Montgomery County Youth Day, a celebration put on for children in honor of the county Youth Bureau's 30th anniversary.
"I learned that ambulances are pretty important," Van Avery said.
Van Avery came to the event with her mother, Lisa, and younger sister. Within two hours, she had her face painted, tried to scale a 26-foot rock climbing wall, joined in on a beanbag toss and got into a firefighter's turnout gear and rolled up a hose.
"There were a lot of interesting, free things for the kids to do," said Lisa Van Avery.
Emergency Medical Technicians Thomas Shepard and Julia Carpenter from the Greater Amsterdam Volunteer Ambulance Corps were showing kids how first-responders prepare victims for a trip to the hospital in a way that ensures they don't suffer additional injury during transport.
The process is called "spinal immobilization," Shepard said, and it ensures any unknown injuries aren't made worse by a dazed victim trying to move around.
Several activities during the celebration in the Fonda Village Recreation Park provided lessons as well as fun.
"They're trying to make children aware. I think it was great," Lisa Van Avery said.
The event, sponsored by the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors and Assemblyman George Amedore Jr., was held in honor of youth and to commemorate three decades of service by the all-volunteer youth board, which reviews requests for funding to help youth groups pay for healthy activities.