LANCASTER — About 40 fourth-graders from Joshua and Monte Vista schools on Friday learned the basics of first aid, triage and rescue techniques as part of a disaster-preparedness program. The Lancaster School District has paired with San Bernardino County Fire Capt. Wayne Bennett to provide the training to elementary school-age children at all district schools. “It was pretty good. It was cool,” Joshua fourth-grader Patrick Chavez said. “We got to lift a dummy, Dead Fred, from under a cabinet.” Bennett provides the training through his company, Survival Skills, and is being paid $6,750 by the district for this school year. “If we target kids at this age to grasp the concepts, they can carry it through their whole life,” said Bennett, a 23-year Fire Department veteran. The students learned basic first aid, how to use a stretcher to transport the injured and how to use a wedge and blocks to lift heavy objects off people. “They learn details on how to do proper duck, cover and hold and how to take care of themselves, and how to prepare rooms at home as well as in school as far as earthquake safety measures,” Assistant Superintendent Mick McClatchey said. “It’s going to benefit the whole school,” said Assistant Principal Katrina Marrufo, assistant principal at 1,100-student Joshua School. “If we do have some kind of emergency situation, the more people we have trained and prepared, the better off we’ll be in the long run. To have students have responsibility and be able to help us is going to be great.” The training was the idea of McClatchey, who at his previous school district in Victor Valley worked with Bennett to set up a similar program. “Kids are great learners. Their attention span is great for this training, where it’s hands-on,” McClatchey said. — Karen Maeshiro, (661) [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!