With Memorial Day in the books, the season turns to high school graduations and proms. Every year in the news, tragic reports of young adults killed because of poor choices. To me, this is a failure of our ability to teach them about choices and consequences.
In our area, each year the local emergency services in conjunction with one of the local high school SADD chapters presents a “mock dwi accident”.
These are scripted accidents based on a real event. Several months in advance, the student actors begin to prepare for their role. They ride with patrols, fire departments and EMS. We require them to research the effects of alcohol and drugs, traumatic injuries, legal issues and several other items. These items are presented to their student body, prior to the “accident”.
The event starts with a 911 call from one of the actors, followed by actual dispatch of agencies that would be involved. Usually the stadium scoreboard clock is set at 60 minutes, with the concept of the “golden hour” explained.
The arrival of police,fire and ems begin the actual extrication. Depending on the weather, we can usually get a medflight to land, just as a lasting impression.
Finally, the intoxicated driver gets interviewed, tested and placed in custody.
Prior to the beginning of the event, one of the students was picked out of the crowd to hide some cannibus in the DWI car.
Without fail as usual, the K-9 finds the stash.
By the time the event is over, it’s so quiet in the stadium, its eerie.

The other program we host is call “Let’s not meet by accident”. It is a no holds barred look at what happens when poor choices are made and the student is involved in an accident. It explains all of the medical procedures used in EMS, emergency room and OR. It also explains the legal concepts of being a minor or being unconscious and losing the ability to express your choices.
Want to get the attention of an 17 year old girl; show them the “paramedic scissors” and explain they can cut through any underwire bra. And yes if you have serious injuries, I will be cutting off your clothes.
Want the attention of that big burley 17 year old football player? Show him a foley catheter, explain what it is, where it goes and the fact because of his choice, he no longer has a choice about these issues. And yes the nurse will be inserting this!

The time invested to host these programs can be immense. The aren’t cheap. If your area has events such as these, ask what your agency or you can do to support them. If your area doesn’t have these kind of prevention programs start one….imagine what it would be like to make one young adult think twice about drinking and driving…..
I got your back
I know you’ve got mine!

Posted by Steve on May 27, 2009 | Permalink & Trackback