Joplin, MO (SNS) – A fly-in by at least five emergency aircraft and a unique obstacle course will be among the highlights of the annual Health & Safety Expo, set for 9 to 5 p.m. Friday, April 15, at Missouri Southern State University.

The morning will begin with a session for EMS students that will teach them how to coordinate a landing zone for emergency aircraft. Starting at 10 a.m., aircraft from Mercy Life Line, EagleMed, Cox Care and the Missouri Highway Patrol will be landing on campus near the Julio S. León Health Sciences Center.

“Completing the SOAR program, which stands for Student Observation and Ridealong, will make students eligible to ride in their aircraft as observers, with some restrictions,” said Thad Torix, an instructor and clinical coordinator for the EMT/Paramedic department.

New this year will be the Biohazard Games – an obstacle course coordinated by EMS students. The relay race will be open to teams of four people in three categories – professionals; students, faculty and staff; and amateurs.

Teams will have to “rescue” a mannequin, which they’ll then have to transport through a series of obstacles designed by the dental hygiene, nursing and respiratory therapy programs, as well as the Show-Me Gold officer training program. Winning teams will receive a traveling trophy.

Janet Taylor, a flight nurse from Mercy Life Line will give presentations on topics such as emergency childbirth and hypothermia.

Also on hand will be representatives from the Taney County Ambulance District near Branson.

“In the last five or so years, they’ve taken an approach to cardiac arrest patients that has led to much greater outcomes,” said Torix. “They’re far exceeding the national standard because of a few changes they’ve made to how they approach those scenarios.”

Representatives from area fire and ambulance programs, law enforcement and the military will be among the 40 vendors available to meet with students and the community.

“Nearly half of them will be here for one purpose only – to recruit,” said Torix. “They’ll be there to talk to students, current providers and other people in the industry.”

Hamburgers, hot dogs, popcorn and soft drinks will be available to purchase during the event.

-WWW.MSSU.EDU-