SELINSGROVE — A popular camp which focuses on teamwork, structure, discipline and self-esteem returned this week to Susquehanna University.

Susquehanna Valley Law Enforcement Camp Cadet combines the efforts of Pennsylvania State Police, local police and emergency providers. The camp employs engaging formats to demonstrate how people in public safety respond to crashes, crimes and other emergencies.

Realism was the theme for part of the Wednesday session as campers gathered in an upper parking for a simulation of a fatal crash caused by an intoxicated driver.

Brent Bobb, retired state trooper, hoped the staged crash would drive the point home.

“By seeing a body hanging out of a window, by seeing them cutting the roof off of a car or a drunk stumbling around,” Bobb said. “The visual is always a little better than us standing there talking to them in a classroom.”

Responders including Dauntless Hook and Ladder Fire and Ambulance, troopers and Selinsgrove Police came to the scene as if the crash was real.

Role-players in the crash included volunteers such as Natalie Osborne, of Mifflinburg, who played the impaired driver. After apparently broadsiding another vehicle, Osborne was questioned by a trooper who put her through the investigative paces associated with a crash investigation.

Osborne was convincingly shaky on her feet while crash victims Evelyn Osborne, of Mifflinburg, and Rylee Dyroff, of Lewisburg, were extracted from their vehicle, then stabilized, placed on gurneys and taken away for treatment.

Tony Burns, of Lewisburg, “driver” of the vehicle hit, was not so lucky.

A Snyder County Coroner’s Office representative declared him “dead at the scene.” His “body” was put into a black zippered bag and shut.

“They are exposed to stuff all week,” Bobb said. “We bring the state police helicopter, state police horses, motorcycles, crime scene guys, medics and others. Mostly law enforcement, but also some rescue stuff.”

Demonstrations of equipment, such as vehicle cutters, spreaders and fire hoses, were also part of the midday session. Simulated blood and mud were sprayed off the crash role-palyers with fire hoses.

Bobb said more than 120 applications were submitted starting early in the year, yet they could only accept 61 campers. He attributed the popularity of camp to veteran campers who spread the word to other students.

“Both my daughters came through in the first and second camp we had here,” Bobb said.”They couldn’t stop talking about it for months. They were talking about it and told their friends in school, ‘You’ve got to go to this.’ We’ve never had trouble filling the camp.”

Camp Cadet, a registered nonprofit organization, is offered at no charge other than a $35 application fee. Visit www.svlecc.com or the camp Facebook page for more information.

Staff writer Matt Farrand can be reached at 570-742-9671 and via email at matt@standard-journal.com.

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