Safety questioned in college EMT course


REDDING, Calif. - More backlash aimed at the Shasta College instructor who set off an explosive device during a basic training class, blowing out the ear drum of an EMT student.

Shasta College school administrators are staying mum on whether or not the instructor is still involved with the college, saying they can't comment.

Heather Chinn was in the basic EMT class on the school's campus for an active shooter scenario, along with about 45 other students when an instructor set off a CO2 grenade. The drill was meant to scare students into action, but the drill backfired. Chinn's ear drum was blown out, causing it to bleed. She no longer has hearing in her right ear from the surprise blast.

A former Infantryman, who fought in Iraq and was taking a different basic EMT training class at the college, stepped forward voicing his concern over the incident.

"It was probably one of the most inappropriate things I've seen in a classroom setting," said former Army Sgt. Justin Day, who has background experience with how to safely handle explosive devices.

When it came to the active shooter drill, Day believes there is potential to learn from the mock scenario – but only under proper supervision and with safety as the number one priority.

"It could be appropriate and it could be a useful tool, but the way it was presented, absolutely horrible. Blatant disregard for safety of students," Day explained.

He went on to describe how speaking in a normal conversation, the intensity of sound measures at about 65 decibels.

The former Infantryman said that blast must have been near double that, considering it was in an enclosed space.

Deafening ear damage can happen at around 150 decibels.

Chinn has seen multiple specialists to determine the extent of her hearing loss, though her prognosis is uncertain at this point experts say she will suffer permanent hearing loss.