JERSEYVILLE - First responders descended on St. Francis Holy Ghost grade school in Jerseyville on Wednesday morning. A Survival Flight helicopter stationed at Jersey Community Hospital landed on the school's back parking lot while two Jersey Community Hospital Ambulances, a Jerseyville Fire Department Truck, two Jersey County Sheriff's Department vehicles and the Jerseyville Police Departments DARE truck were parked on the front lot kiticorner from the school.

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The event was organized by Nathan Bishop whose son is a third grader at St. Francis Holy Ghost. Bishop, who is a Jersey County Hospital Ambulance Service paramedic, said "Outreach is important, the public, especially kids, need to know that first responders' main concern is public safety." "To do our job we must be approachable."

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Paramedic Jason Bostic and RN Kelly Koerber explained the importance of an air-ambulance in critical situations to the second grade class led by teachers Melissa Yates and Megan Albrecht. While in the church parking lot, school children cycled past the ambulances for a presentation by Bishop, the fire truck manned by volunteer firefighter Jeff Gundlach, Jerseyville Police Department's DARE truck where Officer Rich Portwood spoke about the key roll the program plays in the community and Jersey County Sheriff John Wimmersberg's, unmarked vehicle where the Sheriff showed students an 'everyday' bullet-proof vest, a tactical vest and, a reflective safety vest that Wimmersberg described as the most important vest because it keeps him and his deputies visible on dark roadways.

The vehicles were on-site from 9:30 to noon. The kids seemed to enjoy themselves while learning about the role first responders play in our everyday lives.

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