By Nina Crowder
Copper Basin News
It was a beautiful fall evening on Friday, October 11, 2013 when chaos broke out as a mock accident was performed by Dudleyville Volunteer Fire Department. Many local residents participated and several others watched. This mock accident involved three vehicles; the scenario was to show the public the effects of texting and driving. And for added effect, they also threw in a drunk driver.
Diane Chacon was the coordinator of this event and is the make-up artist for many of the mock accidents in the area. Diane is a member of the Dudleyville Fire Department and currently the only Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Diane has been a EMT for 29 years and is a past Fire Chief for Dudleyville Fire. The current Dudleyville Fire Chief is Joey Morales.
“This is a good training exercise,” Diane said, “because you never know what kind of situation we are going to be presented with, not all accidents are cars on their four wheels, we have one on its side which is a difficult extrication and one on its roof, we did this to present different scenarios so the firefighters can get hands on training, they learn how to do the cribbing, stabilize the cars and so on.”
Upon the arrival of the Hayden Police Department, the officer calls in the ambulance and fire department with three vehicles and many injured. This will be a busy night for all of them. The ambulance is next to arrive and almost at the same time the firefighters reach the destination. They all rapidly jump in and start working.
The firefighters start to take bloodied bodies out of the vehicles; they are laid down on tarps and triaged according to the injuries. The “jaws of life” are used to take off the roof of one vehicle that is on its side and the other vehicle that is upside down. During emergency situations, the “jaws of life” are used to help remove victims who may be trapped in their vehicles.
Once the victims are free from the vehicles, several of them will be taken by ambulance to the local hospital. In this incident one person is taken by helicopter due to the severity of his injuries with bones coming out of his leg. There are two people dead on arrival who will be taken to the mortuary. This incident has nine people including children with injuries, one drunk driver who suffered minor scratches, one person with severe injuries and two people dead.
As you watch the situation unfold and see how many people it takes to help in a situation like this it makes you appreciate all the caring, concerned people there are and it also makes you stop and think about what could have been done to prevent an accident like this from occurring. We can all do our part in preventing accidents. Stay focused on driving when you are in the driver’s seat and do not drink and drive.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) the study of distracted driving shows that each day in the United States more than 9 people are killed and more than 1,060 people are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. Distracted driving is driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving. Distracted driving can increase the chance of a motor vehicle crash. There are three main types of distraction that include: visual, taking your eyes off the road; manual, taking your hands off the wheel; and cognitive, taking your mind off of driving. Distracted driving activities include things like using a cell phone, texting and eating. In-vehicle technologies (such as navigation systems) can also be a source of distraction. While any of these distractions can endanger the driver and others, texting while driving is especially dangerous because it combines all three distractions.
The National Statistics for Texting and Driving show about 660,000 drivers use a cell phone at any given time during daylight hours in the United States. Drivers talking on a cell phone are four times more likely to have a car accident. Talking on a cell phone while driving can make a young driver’s reaction time as slow as a 70 year old. Answering a text takes your attention away for about five seconds, which is enough time to travel the length of a football field. Studies have found that texting while driving causes a 400 percent increase in time spent with eyes off the road.
The purpose of the Dudleyville Fire Department’s mock accident is not only to show the public what can happen when texting and driving and when you drink and drive but also to give the local fire departments an opportunity to train and learn new skills. The agencies that helped successfully put on this mock accident are: Hayden Police Department, Mammoth Fire Department, Dudleyville Fire Department, Winkelman Fire Department, ASARCO EMTs, Kearny Ambulance, Hayden Fire Department and Native Air. Thank you to all the agencies and volunteers for helping make this a successful event! Remember no texting and driving; be safe out there!
See more photos online at http://bit.ly/1fygMjb