All the bells, whistles . . . and sirens
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.
The wrap up: Andrew Petrack addresses high school students about road safety