Yukon News

Mock emergency promotes real talk

Ashley Joannou Wednesday October 19, 2016

Joel Krahn/Yukon News

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EMS responders place a student actor on a stretcher after being extracted from a van.

Students from Ross River and Faro recently got a first-hand look at the first responders who come to the rescue in an emergency.

A mock car crash was set up in Faro last Friday as part of the Prevent Alcohol and Risk Related Trauma in Youth (P.A.R.T.Y.) program.

Using students as actors in each of the vehicles, the scene was set up to mimic a collision where a van of innocent passengers was struck by a car driven by an impaired driver.

About two dozen students from Grades 6 to 12 watched as police, fire, EMS — and eventually the coroner — arrived on scene.

It was as realistic a scene as possible. The firefighters used extraction tools to peel doors off. Students playing trapped victims — complete with fake blood — were brought out of the vehicles and into an ambulance. One passenger was placed into a body bag.

Joel Krahn/Yukon News

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Byron MacLean describes to students the RCMP’s involvement in drunk driving accidents.

The scenario was part of a day-long event teaching students about the importance of their choices. They hear from RCMP officers, EMS staff, firefighters and medical personnel about what is involved in an emergency rescue and how one bad decision can impact their lives and the lives of other people.

Students talk about texting while driving as well as impaired driving. The program is not about preaching at kids not to drink, it’s about helping them be more prepared when it comes time to make that decision.

“Thinking ahead, planning ahead,” said coordinator Don Livingstone. “’We’re going to go to a party tonight, who’s going to be our designated driver? Who’s going to make sure that our designated driver doesn’t drink? Or, if somebody is drinking, how can we get home?’”

The Yukon P.A.R.T.Y Program has been around since 2002. Livingstone has been running it for the last three years.

In the communities, where class sizes are smaller, the program is expanded to include younger grades so enough students can take part.

In Whitehorse, it is designed for Grade 9 and 10 students. There, students spend a day at the Whitehorse General Hospital following the path of an injury survivor from a crash to the hospital to rehabilitation, and sometimes death.

“We just want to help kids have a bigger bag of tricks to make good decisions,” Livingstone said.

Contact Ashley Joannou at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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