CAMERON - Although the three-story new Cameron Middle and High School Complex is a huge space with plenty of room to learn, librarian Pam Schimmel couldn't get a nagging question out of her head - What if someone gets hurt?
Schimmel was concerned getting from one end of the building to another can be quite a task and in the event of emergency could cost valuable time. This concern inspired Schimmel to look into providing wheelchairs to place throughout different points of the school in case a student, teacher or visitor gets sick or has an accident and needs to be transported quickly to obtain treatment.
"People tease that you can lose weight by walking around this building," Schimmel said. "But what happens if a student or teacher gets hurt or faints or twists their ankle? There was a wheelchair in the nurse's station, but what if you are in the math labs at the other end of the building?"
Cameron High School Principal Jack Cain thanks Jason Bucher, executive director at the Cameron Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, for the center’s donation of a wheelchair for the building.
She noted an incident in the old Cameron High School building when an individual got sick at the school on a Saturday, but no one had keys to the office where the only wheelchair was stored.
"That got me thinking we need wheelchairs in different parts of the building," Schimmel said. "If we had a wheelchair at a central location, it would make it easier to get someone to an elevator."
To date, Reynold's Memorial Hospital has provided a wheelchair and Cameron Nursing and Rehabilitation Center added two new transport chairs. These chairs have been placed in a copy room, which teachers can access at anytime, and in two teacher workrooms. She noted moving into the new building was a good time to add wheelchairs since the building is completely handicap accessible.
Schimmel is not done though. She still hopes to get a minimum of three more chairs to put near the school's middle and high school gyms, which she said do not have direct access to the outside of the building.
She said this would be a good place to assist visitors coming to see basketball or volleyball games who might fall on the bleachers and would need quick transportation to the office.
"Cameron helps Cameron and we want to be able to give back for an individual who comes in and needs a little help," she said. "Time is valuable and sometimes its a matter of life or death."
If you have an adult wheelchair or transport chair and would like to assist in Cameron's project, call Pam Schimmel at 304-686-2143 or Principal Jack Cain at 304-686-3336.