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Police Explorers double as paramedics, investigators

Alyssa Bowers and Maya Bowers learn to use a stethoscope from firefighter Vasile Mircea at the Nov. 17 Police Explorers meeting.
Alyssa Bowers and Maya Bowers learn to use a stethoscope from firefighter Vasile Mircea at the Nov. 17 Police Explorers meeting.

HOLLYWOOD — Hollywood Police Explorers became paramedics and detectives for an evening as they learned how to check for vital signs and uncover important clues at crime scenes.

Seminole Fire Rescue and Police departments teamed up Nov. 17 to offer Explorers hands-on experience in their areas of expertise.

Paramedics brought equipment so Explorers could check each other’s blood pressure. The youth also learned how to find a pulse to calculate heart rate and how to check the respiration rate of a patient.

“Look, listen and feel for 30 seconds,” said firefighter/paramedic Mackinley Pratt. “Then multiply by two to get the breathing rate. Normal is 12 to 20 breaths per minute.”

The Explorers took each other’s pulses by pressing on the artery at the wrist, counting the beats for 30 seconds and then multiplying by two again to find the number of heart beats per minute. The normal range is 60 to 100.

Next, they placed blood pressure cuffs on each other and listened carefully through stethoscopes for heartbeats that would determine the pressure, which was displayed on a dial gauge on the cuff. They also used a digital blood pressure machine to get the same results automatically.

After the paramedics packed up their equipment, Seminole Police Department Officer Kyle Boyd explained basic definitions of crime scenes and evidence and engaged the group in memory games. He also outlined the protocol used at crime scenes to preserve evidence and interview witnesses.

During the memory challenge, Boyd showed a screen with 20 items and gave the group 30 seconds to memorize each one. Items were random and included a telephone, kite, hammer, plant, clock, scissors, ice cream cone and house. They had two minutes to write down all they remembered. The highest score of the evening belonged to Kaitlynn Gorney with 13.

“It shows you when a crime happens, you have to remember everything,” Boyd said. “Things happen real fast, so you have to work hard to remember.”


Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at