DUPAGE COUNTY, Ill. - Disaster struck at a technical school in DuPage County today, but the multiple car crashes were by design, creating a realistic drill for EMT and fire science students.
It all unfolded In the parking lot at the Technical Center of DuPage.
Called an "extrication drill," it gave students an opportunity to test their skills and use equipment like the Jaws of Life.
People trapped by twisted metal were freed and the injured accident victims were carefully placed on stretchers and taken away by EMT’s in training.
Even cosmetology students gained experience. Realistic-looking accident victims were made up by the cosmetology department.
There were plenty of real-life emergency personnel on standby to offer feedback.
FOX 32 talked to a Wood Dale firefighter who graduated from the program several years ago.
"A lot of kids in college still don’t know what they want to do, " said graduate Mike Fennell.
But because of this program he already had some training right out of high school.
Cory Nickles, a 2017 graduate now working for the Addison Fire District, remembers participating in a drill like today’s.
"I was telling my partner this training here was the best day of my life," Nickles said.
He said it confirmed that he was on the right career path.
The center also has programs in computer programming, welding, HVAC, criminal justice, gaming and more.
The students come from high schools all over DuPage County and earn college credit for their courses. The fees charged are a small fraction of the price of college tuition.
Administrators say it assures a fast track to a career.