The Woodward News

March 12, 2014

County schools receive Kits for Kids

Rowynn Ricks
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — Do you know how many first aid kits it would take to outfit each classroom at every school in Woodward County with its own kit?

Over 500, according to Melissa Hobbs, public education officer for the Woodward Fire Department.

And Hobbs ought to know as she recently distributed approximately 550 kits to each school in the county.

She said the kits were given out to each elementary, junior high, and high school classroom at all 4 public school districts in the county, including Fort Supply, Mooreland, and Sharon-Mutual as well as Woodward.

In addition, Hobbs said "we're even doing it at some of the churches where they have some classes."  This included handing out kits at the private school, Woodward Christian Academy, she said.

Furthermore, besides just providing kits for every classroom, she said "I've been leaving a couple extra at each school for the offices and libraries and places like that so we know that everywhere is covered."

Hobbs said the idea for the first aid promotion program, which has been named "Kits for Kids," actually came from a local teacher.

She said Horace Mann's gym teacher Selena Marlatt started an initiative to get kits together for her school and approached Fire Chief Steve Day about getting some help with the project.

"Marlatt asked him if the fire department had any supplies it could donate," Hobbs said.  "Steve then got with me and we thought it would be a good idea for all the schools.  So we decided to use some of our Woodward County Fire Prevention money to buy kits for every classroom."

Each kit is filled with basic first aid items ranging from cleaning wipes to gloves to a cold pack to almost every size of bandage available.

But perhaps one of the most important items in the kit is a First Aid Guide.

Hobbs said the guide will help teachers know what to do in a variety of first aid situations.

"Mainly it tells you how to do things beyond treating a small cut with a bandaid; like if a kid were to get a really bad cut, it tells how to apply pressure," she said.  "It even tells how to do CPR.  You never know when you might have to do CPR, hopefully you don't, but if you needed to know how the guide could help you.  The guide is just basic info in case someone has to do anything beyond their education level."

Another important feature of the Kits for Kids first aid kits is the laminated inventory list which is attached to the kit.

"For the inventory list, basically we went through the kits and looked at all the supplies and wrote down what they were and the quantity.  Then when a teacher uses an item, they mark it down on the list," Hobbs said.

This way, when it comes time to restock the kits, they'll know what items are needed, she said.

"When I go to restock, I won't have to interrupt the class to know what items are needed, I can just check what's been used from the list," she said.

And the best part is that "we actually have enough money in our Fire Prevention funds that we will be covering all the restocking costs for them," Hobbs said.

She said she knows the schools probably appreciate the cost savings, as well as the teachers themselves.

"It will help them some with their out-of-pocket expenses, because I've heard some teachers have been paying for some of these items for themselves," she said.

But that's not the only benefits that the teachers may see.

"I've even heard some middle school and high school teachers say they like it because it helps to keep the kids in class; they have one less excuse to leave the classroom if they don't have to go see the nurse just to get a bandaid," Hobbs said.

Debbie Jones, principal at the Woodward Early Childhood Center, felt happy and grateful when Hobbs visited the ECC last week to pass out the kits for the 39 classrooms at her school.

"I think it's wonderful," Jones said of the Kits for Kids program.  "These are things like we've tried to for our classes in the past and for them (WFD) to do it for us is wonderful.  And then for them to refill the kits, that is so generous."

The principal said having first aid kits available to the teachers is nothing new, but the Kits for Kids program will make things easier.

"We have kits at the end of every hallway, but not this puts one in every classroom, which is great," she said.  "Just what they would need is right there handy, so in the case of an emergency they'll have it right there on hand.  And with little ones, having bandaids right there is a good thing."