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Local high schools sink their teeth into training to treat reptile bites

GRAHAM, N.C. — EMT students at Graham High School know that, when they’re ready to practice what they are learning in real life, they better be prepared for anything.

That includes reptile bites.

To teach them more about the different types of reptiles, teacher Brook Price brought in Chad Griffin, a local herpetologist.

He brought some snakes and other reptiles with him to show the students the difference between venomous and non-venomous bites.

Griffin said more and more people are buying reptiles for pets, so the students need to be aware of how to treat their bites.

“A monocled cobra, a gaboon viper and a western diamondback rattle snake — the reason we brought those in is because, with this being a pre-EMT class, we were talking about invenomation and treatment,” Griffin said.

Its all a part of being a first responder, and teacher Brook Price knows that first hand.

She was a paramedic for 12 years before she left to teach these high school students.

Price said, “If you stay in this business long enough, you can’t make this stuff up. So if you are looking for a job or a profession where each day you come into work is completely different, this is the job for you. You may run from a snake bite to an arm stuck in a vending machine. It’s completely plausible.”

That’s why she wants the students to be able to know how to react to anything while on the job — Especially unpredictable wildlife!

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