Mock Accident Scene Takes Place at Rangeley School
Scenario portrays the perils of drinking and driving
June 1, 2010
Mock accident scene
Rangeley Lakes Regional School students in grades 8–12 saw it all happen: a serious car crash with several teenagers seriously hurt, an apparent drunk driver, and one fatality at the scene.
This was the scene in Rangeley on the morning of May 26 as NorthStar and other emergency services staged an accident scene caused by a drunk driver. Six students, made-up as if they had sustained injuries in the crash, were strategically placed in and around two crashed vehicles in the school parking lot. As other students came upon the scene, a 911 call started the action.
Within minutes Rangeley police, a Franklin Sheriff deputy, and a NorthStar ambulance were on the scene, followed quickly by fire trucks and equipment from the Rangeley Fire Department. Then a second and third ambulance rolled in forcing NorthStar—system wide—to realign ambulances to assure coverage of the region.
The beautiful weather was a contrast to the damage at the scene as the injured—none of whom were wearing a seatbelt—were treated by EMTs and carefully extricated by the firemen using saws and jaws of life tools.
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 the officers.
The driver of the van that was struck by the drinking driver’s car died in this avoidable accident. As the action was winding down, a hearse from Adams McFarland Funeral Home arrived at the scene to transport the deceased. It was clear how upsetting this could be to family members as the mother of one of the patients realistically displayed her anguish at the scene as she had to identify her daughter. It was a very emotional moment for all, participants and observers alike.
Later, students reassembled in the school gym. NorthStar paramedic Tom Doak, who helped narrate the scene outside, spoke of the impact to the kids, to the families, and to the responders. NorthStar base supervisor, Harold Schaetzle welcomed the injured and dead students to applause from the entire student body. The classes then heard from the police, the fire department, and participating EMTs as they related several stories of accident scenes caused by drunk driving, followed by a question and answer session.
All involved felt that the program was successful. It was frequently remarked that if just one 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 EMT and Americorps member, Nate Delavan, coordinated the program as an Americorps project. Those wishing to know more about NorthStar’s community programs or about Americorps at NorthStar should contact NorthStar at 779-2770.
NorthStar would like to send a very special thank you to Principal Sherry Connally and all the participants, but especially to the six student volunteers who posed as patients. Britt Taylor, Zach Abbott, Ross Gordon, Allie Hammond, Emma Christensen and Jacob Simonds each did a phenomenal job with their parts in this reenactment.
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