About 100 students enrolled in the Canton school's military preparatory program have been trained by county first-responders on basic first aid and evacuation techniques used by the country's armed forces.
The partnership started last year when Cherokee Fire-ES EMS Training Officer Waylon White asked Corps Commander Dr. Santiago Santana if a few cadets, known as Air Raiders, could participate in training exercises for new paramedics. Students served as "patients" in training exercises for EMTs to become certified.
"They all seemed excited to help," White said.
As part of the arrangement, county paramedics are helping with drills conducted twice a year at the school so students can practice evacuation and first-aid techniques on each other.
The school conducted one of these drills on Thursday. Some students served as victims, while others evacuated them from a war zone-type situation.
An emergency services helicopter flew in to serve as the drop-off point for the "wounded."
Both the school and Cherokee Fire-ES spend less money on training as a result of the partnership.
Santana, who has been at Teasley for five years, said he began such partnerships with local fire and emergency services personnel 10 years ago as a teacher in Winter Springs, Fla.
Santana, who was in the Air Force for seven years, said the drills are the highlight of the semester for students in the program.
"I think they love it," he said. "Our Air Raider cadets have thrived on the idea of being perceived as a junior medical team."
Santana said the opportunity to train with working paramedics boosts self-esteem and self-confidence among his cadets.
For the paramedics, White said the initiative gives his men the opportunity to serve as role models in the community.
"These guys are looking up to them," he said.
Eighth-grader Alec Riggins said he's not only learned self-confidence, but it's also taught him discipline.
"It's been a good experience," said the 13-year-old son of Joe and Aileen Riggins of Salacoa Valley.
The experience has given eighth-grader Ali Landry a taste of techniques she will need to know if she follows her dream of becoming a neonatal nurse.
Ali, the 14-year-old daughter of Scott and Jennifer Landry of Canton, said she's learned CPR and how to dress wounds.
The experience, she said, has also helped her learn how to better communicate with others. She added she also was glad to help local paramedics train to become certified.
"It's just a good thing to do," she said.