Get­ting safety mes­sage across

South Western Times - - News -

ABOUT 500 South West high school stu­dents were given a stark re­minder of the dan­gers of tex­ting while driv­ing dur­ing one of the big­gest crash scene sim­u­la­tions ever hosted by St John Am­bu­lance WA.

Staged at the Bun­bury Re­gional En­ter­tain­ment Cen­tre on Fri­day, the event in­volved paramedics, coun­try youth am­bu­lance of­fi­cers, po­lice and stu­dents from Manea Col­lege’s health and med­i­cal pro­gram who acted as first re­spon­ders to a sim­u­lated ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dent.

The Year 10 and Year 11 stu­dents from Don­ny­brook Dis­trict High School, Bun­bury Cathe­dral Gram­mar School and Manea Col­lege got to see how a crash scene was man­aged and wit­nessed first­hand the con­se­quences for those in­volved.

More than 160 peo­ple died on WA roads last year, with 91 deaths in re­gional ar­eas.

St John Re­gional train­ing and ser­vices co­or­di­na­tor An­nette Matel­jan said young peo­ple needed to un­der­stand the im­me­di­ate and long-term con­se­quences of inat­ten­tion while driv­ing.

“Many of these stu­dents will soon be at an age when they’ll be able to drive, which is why it’s so im­por­tant they recog­nise what can and does hap­pen when driv­ers be­come distracted,” she said.

“We hear road safety mes­sages reg­u­larly, but of­ten that doesn’t have the same im­pact as ac­tu­ally see­ing the con­se­quences played out be­fore your eyes.

“By show­ing stu­dents what paramedics, po­lice and first re­spon­ders see at the scene of a se­ri­ous crash, we’re ul­ti­mately hop­ing they will think twice be­fore reach­ing for their phones while driv­ing.”

Photo avail­able at west­ Pic­ture: Emily Ace

Year 12 Manea Col­lege stu­dents and St John event of­fi­cers Time Fer­gu­son, Kalee­sha John­son and Bronte Pea­cock tend to “An­nie” and Ru­ral Clin­i­cal School stu­dent Ran­dolph Dob­son.

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