By Jaime Thomas
Firefighters, rescue personnel and police officers descended upon the scene of a mock fatal accident behind Granville High School as students stood by and watched. One of their classmates was taken away in an ambulance, another in a hearse.
It was part of a simulation accident the district holds on a yearly basis just before prom, in order to drive it home to the students to think before they drink and drive.
After firefighters used the Jaws of Life to remove the students from the cars, and police officer Paul Zinn gave field sobriety tests to the ‘driver,’ Granville Fire Chief Ryan Pedone and Ed Parsons, Washington county coroner talked about the scenario to the group.
“See that? That’s a foot tag so we can identify the body,” Parsons said, pointing at the victim. He then went on to describe in detail what an autopsy consists of, and reminded the students that blood tests would reveal to their parents and the public what they had been drinking or smoking if they were in an accident.
“Would you want to be the one to go tell this girl’s parent’s what happened?” After he was done speaking, employees from King’s Funeral Home zipped the body in a bag and drove it away in a hearse.
Pedone asked the students if the split-second decision to get behind the wheel after drinking would be worth it. He also pointed out that the driver’s life would forever be impacted as well.
“It’s a good learning experience for the kids to see what does happen,” Pedone said after the exercise. “Hopefully it’ll help them in making decisions, especially this weekend.” Additionally, he said the simulation is a win-win situation for rescue personnel, because they use it as a training drill in a controlled environment.
Pedone said Tyler Williams, a high school senior who is a firefighter and rescue squad member, put a lot of time into setting up this year’s event.
Granville Engine and Hose, Granville Hook and Ladder, the Granville Rescue Squad, the Granville police department, Kings Funeral Home and the county coroner all participated in the drill, and Monroe’s Auto Salvage donated the two cars that were used.