Road safety push drives firies’ visit
SERIOUS SIDE TO OZTAG FUN
FIREFIGHTERS from Mt Druitt and St Marys visited Cobham Detention Centre recently to pass on a strong road safety message and have a fun game of Oztag.
RescuED is a road safety and education program, aimed at young drivers, run by Fire and Rescue NSW.
It aims to reduce the frequency and severity of the tragedy and trauma caused by motor vehicle accidents involving 17 to 25 year olds.
The program is predominantly offered in high schools but rookie firefighter Craig Kitson, from Mt Druitt Fire Station, organised the Cobham visit because he knows firsthand the boys detained there would benefit from the lesson.
Before joining the firefiighting ranks, Mr Kitson worked as a youth worker at the centre for almost six years.
“I thought ‘why not give them a visit’, many are at the age where they will soon get or already have their licence,” Mr Kitson said.
100 young men who die (in Australia), 83 will die in a motor vehicle or motorbike accident – they make up about a quarter of all deaths on our roads.”
The boys were shown a video documenting an accident involving the son of a Dunheved firefighter in 1998. Tim Rafton was 17 when, on January 2 of that year, he set off on a road trip with mates. He was driving about 130km/h in an 80km/h zone when a momentary lapse in concentration meant he did not see the car in front of him soon enough.
As he swerved to avoid a crash, he lost control and the car wrapped around a pole, landing on its side.
His legs were so badly crushed they needed to be amputated by a CareFlight doctor at the scene. The video sent a strong message to the boys and Cobham youth officer Hulita said she was hopeful the group would remember the message.
She said she was sure the boys appreciated the visit, especially the Oztag game.
Firefighters from St Marys and Mt Druitt stations enjoy a friendly game of Oztag with detainees from Cobham Juvenile Justice Centre in Werrington.
(Left and right) Firefighters put the detainees through their paces in a game of Oztag, while rookie firefighter Craig Kitson (centre) from Mt Druitt Fire Station talks to the youngsters about staying safe while driving.