In addition to Landing Zone classes taught by the transport crew/flight coordinators to educate first responders, Baptist Health MedFlight also provides a community service program called Prom Night. A mock accident scene is created to show the consequences of drinking and driving up close and personal by depicting a car wreck involving teenagers in a fatality accident with injuries.
The event takes the students step by step through the event as it would take place in real life. From the time the call comes through 911 to patients being transported for medical care to the drunken person being handcuffed and placed in custody to when the deceased is transported away by the coroner, the program’s objective is to keep kids from drinking and driving.
The following is the scenario that took place at Perryville High School at 12:30 p.m. Friday, April 4.
First, the students were oriented to the upcoming event by Dan of Baptist Medflight. The students then went outside on the east side of the gymnasium where across the parking lot was a damaged car up against a tree. Debris from inside the car, including beer cans, was strewn around the car.
The sheriff said in this case, the female driver was driving too fast and missed a curve, swerving off the road where a young man was leaning against a tree. The car hit the man and the tree and the impact threw one passenger out of the car. There were five passengers in the car injured.
Dispatch toned out Perryville and Cherry Hill fire departments and the sheriff’s department. Upon arrival, the first firefighter checked the victims, finding two of them deceased. He notified the coroner then as the firetrucks and ambulances arrived, all personnel responded to the medical care of the passengers in the car.
The sheriff talked to the driver, who was conscious but bleeding, and helped her from the car, after the jaws of life were used to remove the door. He proceeded to give her a sobriety test, which she failed, so she was handcuffed and transported to jail by another officer.
One of the passengers was critically injured and was transported by helicopter to Baptist Health. One was transported by GEMS Ambulance. Two others were treated and released.
The deceased were put into body bags and taken away by the coroner.
After the victims were all taken care of by the different personnel, Sheriff Scott Montgomery told the students that though this wasn’t real, it could happen to anyone. The students were allowed to look at the car and helicopter before going back inside to hear comments by the firefighters (Rob George), Sheriff Scott Montgomery, and Dan of Baptist Health Medflight.
Kevin Campbell, principal of PHS, allowed the students to ask questions of the firefighters (Lee Stewart), sheriff’s department (Scott), Baptist Medflight or GEMS Ambulance personnel (Cody, Sherrie). The questions were good — “how do you become a firefighter,” “how do you tell someone that their loved one has been fatally injured,” and “how old do you have to be to become an EMT” — and all the officials were applauded for their participation and for their community service.
Participating were PHS students who acted as victims; Colleen Thomas, Dispatch Supervisor at the Detention Center; Perryville and Cherry Hill volunteer fire departments; Perry County Sheriff’s Department, Scott Montgomery, Mike Surrett, and Terry Payne; GEMS Ambulance personnel, Laurie Wallace, paramedic; Sherrie Warner, EMT-B; Cody Rainey, EMT-B; Lee Galbraith, Advanced EMT-I; and Debra Hechtel; Dan, Latricia, Kristin, Justin, Brad, Debbie and Danny from Baptist Medflight; Kevin Campbell, high school principal.
On hand were Ann Offield of the Office of Emergency Management and Alice Wallis, 911 coordinator.
This Friday (April 11), it is hoped they can do the same scenario at Bigelow before their prom on Saturday.