Stark Reality Driven Home for Students
‘It Can't Happen To Me’ became ‘It could happen to me’ at the risk awareness evaluation for the Grade 9 high school students of Mannville, Innisfree, St. Jerome’s and J.R. Robson.
The schools came together to participate in the ‘Social responsibility and Impact of Actions’ in Mannville and Vermilion from April 27-29.
The ‘It Can’t Happen To Me – Risk Awareness’ project has been hosted by the Mannville - Minburn - Innisfree Family and Community Support Services (M-M-I F.C.S.S) for the past 18 years. By working with community partners, presentations and the staged collision, the aim is to provide the opportunity for youth to understand the consequences of taking risks; such as texting and driving, drinking and driving, non-compliance with seat belt legislation or not wearing helmets in sports-quad-bikes.
The Fire Department cut the trapped victim from the car with the Jaws of Life, and the injured were transported by ambulance, while ‘the dead body’ which lay motionless was covered with a blanket.
Photos Marie Conboy
Mannville Fire Department Training Officer, Zane Polishuk, who is also a Science teacher at the Mannville High School, didn’t try to tiptoe around the subject of death, and told his students firsthand the harsh reality of what can happen in reckless driving situations.
“Sometimes after we lose a person in an accident on the highway, we have to find and pick up body parts before they freeze onto the highway,” said Polishuk.
“We are now seeing that texting while driving has outnumbered drinking while driving as the number one cause of road traffic accidents,” explained Polishuk.
A car placed sideways between two trees had one role player trapped in the car. Fake blood and make-up were used to bring the scenario to life, while students watched on and observed the trauma unfold, facing the harsh reality and consequences of drug use, drinking and driving and texting while driving. Many students were emotionally moved by the scene.
The Lakeland funeral directors arrive at the mock scene at the Mannville High School on April 27.
Some of the students acted as role-players in the mock scene. All three emergency departments responded quickly to the mock dispatch call, with the Fire Department first to arrive at the scene followed by the Prairie EMS ambulance services and the RCMP.
Members of the Fire Department cut the trapped ‘victim’ from the car with the Jaws of Life, while the injured were transported to the ambulances and ‘the dead body’ which lay motionless was covered with a blanket and taken away by the Lakeland funeral directors. One ‘victim’ at the scene was pronounced dead and the other was injured. The driver, who was texting and driving was arrested and taken away by the RCMP.
“It affects each student in a different way,” said Polishuk. “This information and demonstration of the consequences of taking risks will hopefully influence them to make responsible choices.”