Mock Accident Scene at Rangeley School Held in Conjunction with National EMS Week
May 31, 2007
A gruesome car crash...several teenagers seriously hurt...an apparent drunk driver...two dead at the scene. And, the Rangeley Lakes Regional School students (grades 8-12) watched it all happen.
This was the scene in Rangeley on May 25 as NorthStar and other emergency services staged an accident scene caused by a "drunk" driver. Seven students were made-up as if they had sustained injuries in the crash. Each was placed in and around two (previously) crashed vehicles in the school parking lot. As the other students assembled around the scene, one of them made the 911 call that started the action moving.
Within a few minutes, Rangeley police and a NorthStar ambulance were on the scene, followed quickly by fire trucks and equipment from Rangeley Fire Department. Shortly thereafter, a second and then a third NorthStar ambulance rolled in as ambulances from around the NorthStar system realigned themselves to assure coverage of the region. A Lifeflight helicopter with crew landed on the field behind the school as a hearse from Adams McFarland Funeral Home came on scene to transport the deceased.
The beautiful weather was a counterpoint to the carnage at the scene as the student "patients" were treated by the EMTs and carefully extricatedby the firemen using their saws and jaws-of-life tools. Parents began to arrive hoping to find that their kids were not among the hurt. It was clear how upsetting it could be to family members as Lucy Simonds displayed her anguish at the scene.
As the ambulances pulled away, the "drunk" driver of the car, who was only slightly hurt, was given a field sobriety test, handcuffed, arrested, and transported from the scene by Rangeley Police Chief Phil Weymouth. The two passengers in the drunk driver's car that "died" in this avoidable accident were loaded into the hearse and taken away. No one was wearing a seatbelt. Behind the scenes, Koob's Garage towed the cars and helped with the cleanup.
Later in the morning, all the students reassembled in the school gym. NorthStar EMT Harold Schaetzle, the coordinator of the entire day's program, warmly welcomed the "injured" and "dead" students to applause from the entire student body. The classes then heard from the police, the fire department, and from the participating EMTs as they related several moving stories of accident scenes caused by drunk driving. Guest speaker, Matt Clark, shared his poignant story of becoming permanently disabled from a drunk driving accident. Closing remarks from Schaetzle
completed the program.
It was clear that the scene made an impression with several youth becoming overwhelmed with emotion during the presentation. Counselors were available to help students get through what, to many, was a very emotional experience.
All involved felt that the program was successful. If only a single person decides not to drive after having alcohol or decides not get into a car with a drunk driver then it was worth every minute of the two-hour program.
NorthStar would like to send a very special thank you to all the participants but especially to the seven student volunteers that helped out as patients. David Jensen, Shanelle Dugan, Emily George, Sarah Simonds, Krista Jamison, Devon Sargent, and Taylor Gellman each did a phenomenal job with their parts in this re-enactment.
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