Sobering “mock crash” highlights the dangers of drinking and driving

Ponoka Secondary students witness consequences for driver and victims in simulation

This mock crash hosted by emergency crews at PSC Thursday

The scene looked grim and just like the images, but when it comes down to the dangers of drinking and driving, it is no laughing matter.

The “mock crash” set up by emergency crews Thursday, May 12 at Ponoka Secondary Campus (PSC) painted a stark picture of the realities of a collision and the many resources used by emergency agencies that respond to a collision. In this case, RCMP school resource officer Cst. Jackie Tessel organized the event to show students the dangers of drinking and driving.

Four young actors at PSC helped create a realistic scene in which two vehicles were set up as if they crashed, one of which was driven by a drunk driver. One actor played a victim fatality she wasn’t wearing a seat belt another played a person trapped in the vehicle needing extrication and one more person was injured.

The scene was depicting what was unfolding right after the collision.

Understanding the amount of resources needed to handle a collision became only too clear as RCMP and Sheriffs with the Integrated Trafffic Unit, EMS crews with Guardian Ambulance, members of the Ponoka Fire Department, Ponoka Victim Services, STARS Air Ambulance, a collision analyst and Wombold Family Funeral Homes all get called to the scene.

The mood took on a more somber tone when the hearse pulled up to collect the “victim.”

While the visuals may be macabre, it also highlighted the dangers of drinking and driving. Tessel said the simple choice of driving while drunk, as depicted in the mock crash, showed how much goes into saving people’s lives. “It’s not Hollywood. It’s not pretty.”

PFD Fire Chief Jamie Wilkinson said the goal is to show the importance of avoiding drinking and driving and distracted driving. “Obviously you see the consequences that could result in an incident like this.”

He added that it shows how an accident could be a cause for strong emotional response. Several emergency crews had mics on to let students listen in on the emergency scene.

It allowed students to see how Ponoka Victim Services (PVS) steps in to comfort someone involved and how the fire department handles an extrication. Tessel said PVS provides a vital piece in helping individuals, which allows police to take care of investigations.

It’s important for all the different agencies to have a working relationship and open lines of communication.

Darryl Dirsten, supervisor of operations for Guardian Ambulance, said hosting a mock crash helps students understand the number of emergency workers come into play when saving people’s lives. In this case not only does it have emergency agencies called to action but also hospitals and their staff to deal with injured patients as well as the family members involved, he explained.

A different perspective

The young actors who took part in the mock crash found the experience eye opening.

Playing the part of the drunk driver was Connor Archibald, who said the amount of resources involved in dealing with the crash was surprising. Playing the part of the victim was Karen Green, who had to lay on the ground throughout the scene until the hearse came in to collect her.

“You could feel the intensity of everyone,” said Green.

What struck her the most was how one accident and one choice can have lasting affects on everyone involved. Caitlyn Bolze played the friend of Green and she had to act out the part of grieving for the victim. It added to the intensity of the scene. Bolze said the mock crash also points out the importance of wearing a seat belt.

Adding to the chaos was Nicholas Parent, who was trapped in the vehicle. The fire department performed an extrication as if Parent was actually trapped by removing the doors and cutting out the glass, which added to the realism of the mock crash. “I’m still in a surreal state,” said Parent of the extrication.

For him it the choice is clear. Don’t drink and drive. “It affects everyone.”

 

Just Posted

Ponoka will save $430,000 with change to new waste contractor

Transition to take place with CanPak for Jan. 1, contract includes two bins

Crime rate slowly falling in Ponoka County

Ponoka RCMP stats show crime figures down from same nine month period in 2017

Ponoka Victim Services brings support dog to court hearing

One support dog was in Ponoka to provide support for a young victim attending court

Life of Darrell Paulovich honoured at Ponoka memorial

One of rodeo’s biggest fans was remembered during a memorial celebrating his life

PHOTOS: Volunteers add lights to Ponoka’s Centennial Park

Centennial Park in Ponoka will have a festive appearance once again thanks to volunteer supports

VIDEO: Shoppers like self-checkout lanes at the grocery store, survey suggests

Grocery Experience National Survey Report suggests most grocery shoppers spend 32 minutes per visit

Ponoka County issues stop order on un-permitted scrap metal recycler

Complaints about the business located near Morningside came to county council’s attention

No deal in sight: Canada Post warns of delivery delays into January

Union holds fifth week of rotating strikes as both sides remain apart on contract negotiations

Ponoka woman and Sylvan Lake man see assault charges withdrawn

Charges dropped in Rimbey Provincial Court, stayed against Morsette

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Air force getting more planes but has no one to fly them, auditor warns

The report follows several years of criticism over the Trudeau government’s decision not to launch an immediate competition to replace the CF-18s.

Bolder action needed to reduce child poverty: Campaign 2000 report card

The report calls for the federal government to provide more funding to the provinces, territories and Indigenous communities to expand affordable, quality child care.

Judge bars US from enforcing Trump asylum ban

Protesters accused the migrants of being messy, ungrateful and a danger to Tijuana; complained about how the caravan forced its way into Mexico, calling it an “invasion.”

Ottawa Redblacks defensive back Jonathan Rose suspended for Grey Cup

Rose was flagged for unnecessary roughness and ejected for contacting an official with 37 seconds left in the first half following a sideline melee after a Tiger-Cats reception.

Most Read