Firies offer schoolies a lesson
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.’’
Realism was the key