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Instructor sets off grenade in drill; blows eardrum of EMT student

Concerns over “blatant disregard for safety” in drill meant to scare students into action

REDDING, Calif. — A Shasta College instructor teaching a basic EMT class faces scrutiny for setting off an explosive device that blew out a student’s eardrum, causing it to bleed.

KRCR News reports Heather Chinn no longer has hearing in her right ear after the instructor set off a CO2 grenade during training for an active-shooter scenario. The drill was meant to scare the 45 students into action, but instead caused the injury.

Specialists suspect she will suffer permanent hearing loss, but her prognosis is still uncertain.

College administrators haven’t disclosed whether the instructor is still involved with the school.

A former infantryman who fought in Iraq and has experience handling explosives, was taking a different EMT training course. He spoke out about the incident, saying the mock scenario had the potential to be effective, but was poorly handled with “blatant disregard for the safety of students.”

“It was probably one of the most inappropriate things I’ve seen in a classroom setting,” said former Army Sgt. Justin Day.

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