B y Andrew Muse
Granville Central High School put on a demonstration showing the damaging effects of drunk and distracted driving for all the prom attendees on Friday afternoon at the Ken Burch athletic complex.
“It’s a way to show students what could happen if they choose to drink and drive on prom night,” Granville Engine and Hose Fire Chief Ryan Pedone said. “It hits close to home for some kids seeing their friends hurt or in trouble.”
The event put on by the school and fire department gives a portrayal of a prom attendee who had been drinking and driving.
The portrayal featured two cars, donated by Slate Valley Automotive, that had been in a horrific crash. In one car was drunk driver who struck another car with two more prom attendees inside, seriously injuring both.
When the students arrived at first was laughter and joking around, but as the response teams arrived their expressions changed and the reality of the situation became real.
“It was fun at first but once the rescuers got here it sunk in, it’s a scary situation,” Junior Bailey Pratt, who was an actor in the presentation, said. “The dangers of drinking and driving are real.”
The fire and EMS personnel upon arrival assessed the situation and began unloading gear to get the injured out of the car. Deputy Robert Sullivan talked the students through what was going on as the departments went through their procedures.
“It’s a controlled situation obviously but it’s a great simulation of what could happen by making the choice to drink and drive,” Sullivan said. “It’s just tradition to do this before prom but we hope what they learn stays with them forever.”
The drunk driver was mostly uninjured and was apprehended by the police when they arrived. The other cars passengers were not as fortunate and the fire department had to turn a hard top to a convertible to get them out. A Hearst showed up to take away a student that ‘died’ in the simulation.
“They do an amazing job at it,” Granville High school Principal Camille Harrelson said. “It sends a message to the students that actions have consequences, and drinking and driving is not worth it.”
After the demonstration the students were brought into the auditorium to review the simulation and to get students inputs on the situation.
“Some kids don’t think it could happen to them,” Junior Ryan Dalaba, who was also an actor in the presentation, said. “Drugs and alcohol are very powerful though and you have to make good decisions to avoid this happening to you.”
The hope was that students would heed to the dangers and make the right decisions on after Saturday’s prom.
“The students responded well, they know what they are coming to see but once they see the rescue and the Hearst come in it hits home,” Pedone said.