FIELD TWP- Emergency responders from around the region gave local high school students a firsthand look at the potential trauma and consequences of driving under the influence at a mock crash …
FIELD TWP- Emergency responders from around the region gave local high school students a firsthand look at the potential trauma and consequences of driving under the influence at a mock crash exercise held May 5 at the North Woods School.
“I knew prom was coming up that Saturday,” said Marylin Hannen, operations manager for the Cook Ambulance Service. “We wanted the students to understand what can happen when you drink and drive.”
Before staging the crash, emergency responders briefed the students about what they would see, which was a highly realistic mock crash, including deceased, injured and bloodied victims and the arrest of the high school-aged driver. “We were going for the shock value,” said Hannen.
“I hope this gets across to them, so they take it all in,” said Milla Carr, who was an actor in the crash scene. “A crash like this happens every 15 minutes in United States.”
The impact of watching the 45-minute scene unfold with their fellow students as the mock crash accident victims was evident, with emotional and stunned faces among the crowd. With EMS vehicles arriving with sirens, lights, and all responders going through the actions of a real crash, the presentation was as real as it could be. The outdoor portion ended with Life Link helicopter and ambulances leaving with the injured, and a hearse leaving with the dead.
Students were then brought back to the gym for a mock funeral and debriefing. Responders and students talked about the importance of making good decisions when getting in a car as a driver or a passenger. Most fatal crashes involve four factors: impaired driving, not wearing a seatbelt, speeding, and distracted driving.
Cook EMT Nancy Reing spoke of the impact of being an EMT “where every call could be someone you know. Death is real.” She also emphasized the importance of talking about what they saw. Councilors, community members, religious leaders, and a chaplain were available throughout the day if students needed to talk about the scenes they had witnessed.
The mock crash presentation was organized by the Cook Ambulance Service and brought together personnel from the Tower Ambulance and Orr, Virginia, and Hibbing fire departments, along with law enforcement from the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office, the Breitung Police Department, the Bureau of Indian Affairs from Nett Lake, and the State Patrol. The Mlaker Funeral Home, of Cook, also participated in the event.