CALHOUN COUNTY, S.C. — Preparing middle-school aged students to potentially save lives is the aim of the Safe Sitters program in Calhoun County. It's been offered for three years.
“We’ve only got a couple schools in the county so most kids are staying at home either with the parents but if the parents are at work then all you’ve got is your siblings," said training officer BJ Meetze.
The program started 40 years ago when a nurse's child died under the care of a babysitter. The sitter did not have training to identify the child was injured or in distress. Now Calhoun County is one of 900 providers nationwide educating young sitters on how to be safe while home alone or watching others.
“I came from a bigger county and just knowing that child CPR and child first aid was really a big problem. No one wanted to deal with it," said Meetze.
It's a six hour course. Students will learn the basics of CPR, how to respond in an emergency, and even how to start their own babysitting business. There will be interactive exercises, games and role-playing of situations.
“Having them learn these skills helps us so they know what to do and when they need to call us, and how to be safe when they’re babysitting," he said.
The class is Saturday at the Calhoun County EMS Training office. It's 50 dollars per student which covers the cost of supplies and lunch is provided. You can contact BJ at 803-739-2552 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.