Hospital’s camp offers CPR and inside look at OR

Rachel Pokornowski, Staff Writer

Ever wanted to learn more about safety? A unique opportunity is now available through the Allegan Healthcare Group Youth Summer Safety Series.

The Safety Series will be the week of Aug. 21. Teens ages 14 to 17 may register for the pilot program. Classes will be at Allegan General Hospital and will run between 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and enrollees must attend all consecutive sessions. It costs $50 and 15 spots are available.

The purpose is to showcase the hospital as a resource and give the opportunity to learn about job opportunities. Hands-on activities will teach safety and life skills to keep themselves and the community safe.

“This is not something they think about when they’re 14, 15, 16 and 17. They don’t look at the hospital as a resource,” Youth Summer Safety Series project manager Jen Hamman said.

Jen Garcia, executive director of the Allegan General Hospital Foundation, said, “Our responsibility is to reach out. The more we can share our resources with the community the better.”

A simulated technology device will be used to teach what to do in a fire emergency. The Otsego Fire Department will show how to put out a fire safely using a fire extinguisher and the American Red Cross will help youth to build a home fire preparedness plan.

A field trip will be taken to the call center where the county’s 911 calls are answered.

All participants will receive adult and child CPR training and a completion certificate. Personal safety will be addressed including self-defense techniques, situational awareness, and cyber safety by the Allegan County Sheriff’s Office and the hospital’s information technology team.

The surgical team will demonstrate how they prepare for a surgery and youth will gown up and scrub in for a mock case.

Participants will also receive a disaster preparedness backpack.

The idea for this program began a year ago. Partly funded by an Allegan Community Foundation grant, the program is also made possible by the Allegan General Hospital Foundation partnering with many community agencies to develop an ongoing program to reach a group who can make a difference but are often overlooked.

Hamman said, “It is important to know what to do in a disaster. People are not prepared. By providing knowledge to youth, lives will be saved. Youth respond a little more easily emotionally and physically.”

Hamman and Garcia hope that this will be ongoing and that kids will love it and spread the word.

Plans for future programming include a distracted driving simulator. Input will be taken from the youth who attend to continue to offer valuable training.

Hamman said, “The greatest hope is that someone will someday come back and say ‘thank you; I saved a life or made a difference.’ Nothing would be better than hearing this.”

To register, visit www.

For more information, call (269)686-4234 or email

There are many ways members from the community can get involved. The Allegan General Hospital Foundation is currently seeking funding to underwrite this pilot series. Those who would like to sponsor a child for $50, donate breakfast, lunch or snacks for any or all of the days, or who are interested in making a gift of any amount, contact Garcia at (269) 686-4234 or  Every gift can make a difference for our area youth, she said.

Contact Rachel Pokornowski at reception@ or (269) 673-5534.


Kaechele Publications, Inc.
241 Hubbard St.
P.O. Box 189
Allegan, MI 49010
Phone: 269-673-5534
Fax: 269-673-5535

Meet the staff

The Union Enterprise
P.O. Box 483
Plainwell, MI 49080

The Commercial Record
3217 Blue Star Hwy.
P.O. Box 246
Saugatuck, MI 49453
269-857-8187 or 269-857-4637

Comment Here