Prom/crash message: Don't drink and drive
PLYMOUTH — Plymouth High School students witnessed a bloody scene outside their school Thursday morning as five students were involved in a two-vehicle crash blamed on drunk driving. Fortunately, the situation was staged — a joint effort from school administration and Plymouth emergency responders to encourage students not to drink and drive during prom night this weekend.
Marsha Wainscott, of the Plymouth Fire Department, narrated the mock crash with a bullhorn, informing students that though it was a demonstration, the actions taken by emergency responders would be realistic.
“We are showing you what we see — this is real life for us,” said Wainscott.
Students were corralled behind caution tape as the call for help was made and the demonstration began. Brandi Reiter, Connor Flynn, Amber Redlinger, Lane Singleton, and Hayden Skirvin were the students involved in the “accident” and they used liberal amounts of fake blood and makeup to complete the visual.
The emergency call was made, and students waited in silence for the first police car to arrive at the scene. Plymouth police officers assessed the victims and questioned the conscious victims while they waited on fire and EMS to arrive. Once firefighters arrived, they began to cut the victims out of the car. Wainscott explained the tagging system emergency responders use for victims: a red card means critical; yellow card means injured, but not life threatening; green means the victim may have minor injuries, but is able to walk around; and a black card with the word “dead” on it.
One of the students was tagged with the black card and later placed in a body bag by Marshall County coroner Bill Cleavenger.
Medflight was called for two critically injured patients. While emergency personnel were waiting on the helicopter, they continued trying to free the injured students still trapped in one of the vehicles. Wainscott explained that paramedics would remain with the patients while firefighters were cutting into the car, constantly assessing the patients and possibly starting an IV or giving oxygen.
After the critical patients had been whisked off to the hospital, a sobering moment came as the dead patient was carried away by coroner’s staff.
A recording of the student talking about his friends and his hopes for the future played as he was taken away.
PHS principal Jim Condon addressed the students afterward, saying that he witnessed a crash demonstration similar to that one while he was a student, and didn’t pay much attention.
“Then I had three kids,” said Condon. “And I felt differently. I remember the feeling in my heart every time my kids left the house with the keys in their hand. I was hoping they would come home okay.”
Condon continued, “I just ask that this weekend, for those of you going to prom, remember that your decisions do not affect only you.”