All the bells, whis­tles . . . and sirens

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Scott Tib­balls

THE scene is a con­fronting one – a small hatch­back is wedged un­der a jack­knifed semi-trailer and a cy­clist is flat on the tar­mac, her bike caught in the back wheels of the trailer.

Thank­fully for all those in­volved this was a mock sce­nario de­signed to mimic all-too sim­i­lar scenes that emer­gency ser­vices per­son­nel re­spond to far too of­ten.

Or­gan­ised and co-or­di­nated by Moss­man firey An­drew Pe­track for Moss­man High School stu­dents, it’s the ideal op­por­tu­nity for those not in the know to get up close and per­sonal with the nitty-gritty of how emer­gency ser­vices re­spond to call-outs.

“The whole ob­jec­tive was to let them see what hap­pens in (and af­ter) a crash,” said Mr Pe­track.

Many stu­dents look­ing on had re­cently ob­tained drivers li­censes, or would be soon, mak­ing them the ideal au­di­ence to learn about the dan­gers as­so­ci­ated with driv­ing.

In Thurs­day sce­nario, the learner driver was dis­tracted and drifted into the path of the truck, set­ting off a chain of events that lead to a fa­tal­ity and mul­ti­ple se­ri­ous in­juries as well as jail time for the learner driver.

Lt Pe­track nar­rated the sce­nario as it played out over 1½ hours.

Al­most 40 re­spon­ders were in­volved, with per­son­nel from fire and emer­gency ser­vices, po­lice, am­bu­lance of­fi­cers, Wonga Ru­ral Fire, Moss­man SES and even un­der­tak­ers to make the scene even more real as the de­ceased cy­clist was carted away.

The Res­cue 510 he­li­copter even made a rock star en­trance. Lt Pe­track ex­plained that if the sce­nario were real, it was likely that three of the in­jured would have re­quired air­lift­ing to nearby hos­pi­tals.

For the stu­dents, it was sober­ing. It ham­mered home the risks on the road, whether as a driver or pas­sen­ger.

Pic­ture: SCOTT TIB­BALLS

The wrap up: An­drew Pe­track ad­dresses high school stu­dents about road safety

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