Firies of­fer schoolies a les­son

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

ONE night last week the Moss­man Fire Brigade got an old car, took it to the high school and wrapped it around a tree.

The next morn­ing the school stu­dents were all there on the lawn to watch as the fire res­cue, po­lice and am­bu­lance units at­tended the ‘‘ac­ci­dent’’, com­plete with act­ing vic­tims who needed to ex­tri­cated from the ve­hi­cle.

Ahead of schoolies week, it was a timely demon­stra­tion and it did not go with­out mak­ing some im­pres­sion.

Un­der-25s are over-repere­sented in ac­ci­dent sta­tis­tics. In this ac­ci­dent sce­nario a num­ber of stu­dents and fire­fighter Grant Philp helped to cre­ate a re­al­is­tic scene.

The point of the demon­stra­tion was to un­der­line to stu­dents the risks of drink driv­ing and get­ting into a car with a drink driver.

Af­ter­wards, there was a de­brief­ing for stu­dents which in­cluded state­ments from the point of view of emer­gency work­ers who told how such in­ci­dents take a per­sonal toll on them and their fam­i­lies.

As well as be­ing a gritty sce­nario for an in­tended au­di­ence, it was an in­ter­de­part­men­tal train­ing ex­er­cise for the emer­gency ser­vices through the li­ai­son of Moss­man Fire and Res­cue lieu­tenant An­drew Pe­track.

Mr Pe­track said the ex­er­cise gave the stu­dents a shock re­al­i­sa­tion of the con­se­quences of drink driv­ing or speed­ing.

‘‘The mes­sage was to show what hap­pens when peo­ple are hav­ing fun and speed­ing or drink driv­ing, the fi­nal re­sults is this could hap­pen. It was very graphic and very con­fronting,’’ he said.

‘‘We want the kids to know it’s not just about get­ting into the car, it’s the reper­cus­sions af­ter­ward, of po­ten­tially killing one of their friends. This ef­fects not only them but the firies (and all emer­gency ser­vices), we of­ten see badly in­jured peo­ple and it af­fects us, we take it home and it af­fects our fam­ily.

‘‘Moss­man po­lice OIC Matty Smith said it best: it’s like throw­ing a stone into a pond – you have the ac­ci­dent and there is a con­stant wave of im­pli­ca­tions af­ter. It af­fects ev­ery­one.’’

SCE­NARIO:

Re­al­ism was the key

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