VERMILLION, S.D. – A unique program recently held at the University of South Dakota prepared students in health professions programs from three South Dakota universities to assist local communities in the state if a disaster strikes.
Over 350 health care students from USD, Dakota Wesleyan University and South Dakota State University participated in Disaster Training Day on Feb. 28. The students represented 11 health care disciplines at the different universities.
Fifty instructors from USD, Dakota Wesleyan University, the South Dakota Department of Health, Sanford and Avera health systems, and other institutions shared practices and knowledge with the students. The event was managed by the Yankton Rural Area Health Education Center, a program created and sponsored by the USD Sanford School of Medicine. Funding for the event was provided by the South Dakota Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response.
Every student who participated in the training can earn certification in Core Disaster Life Support (CDLS) from the National Disaster Life Support Foundation (NDLSF). The 2020 training was the 11th year the training has been conducted. Over 3,000 students have participated in the training, and more than 2,000 have been certified by NDLSF. Past participates have aided communities around the state in the immediate aftermath of tornadoes, flooding, blizzards and other disasters that threaten public safety and health.