Mock Accident Staged at Highland High School
The citizens of Monterey and passers-by on Myers-Moon Road could understandably have been confused into thinking there had been a horrible accident at Highland High School Tuesday. Police, fire department and rescue squad vehicles and personnel swarmed the school parking lot, and there was even a visit from the LifeGuard medical transport helicopter. However, what looked from a distance like an accident was merely a demonstration and training exercise, staged for the benefit of high school students, to warn of the dangers and consequences of impaired or distracted driving. Senior Trooper Todd Brendel of the Virginia State Police explained more.
“Today we’re doing a mock disaster, and it’s designed for the students, to show them the dangers of driving while intoxicated. We have staged a couple of vehicles here that have crashed into one another. We’re going to have a scenario of multiple patients, and just show them the dangers of driving while intoxicated, and showing the whole procedure of how the fire is involved, the medical system is involved, the county’s involved, the state’s involved, and even LifeGuard, which is the helicopter company that’s responding today.
As the students watched, first responders and emergency personnel carried out their duties just as they would at a real accident scene, including initial assessment, treatment of the injured, and arrest of a possibly impaired driver. They demonstrated how the Jaws of life can be used to extricate trapped passengers and the latest equipment uitilized by the rescue squad to replicate CPR. Trooper Brendel narrated the activities, and he and other authorities repeatedly drove home the point of how quickly bad decisions could lead to tragedy – the fatalities were able to walk away from this demonstration, but that doesn’t happen in real life. Highland High School principal Tim Good reflected on the exercise.
“Well, the idea behind the exercise, Todd talked with me several months ago about setting up this mock accident heading into our prom, as students are making decisions. The idea is to kind of give them the realistic view of what happens in one of these unfortunate events, and help them to make better decisions and think a little bit before they decide to drink and drive, or be distracted drivers, as they talked about as well.