The Dangers of Drinking and Driving
For area high school seniors, it is now prom and graduation season, important milestones that very often include celebration.
These celebrations often involve parties, including late nights out on the road. Multiple friends are often in one vehicle as well. These celebrations can also involve the temptation of underage drinking, and even the use of other controlled substances.
With this risk for disaster, the Hundred Volunteer Fire Department has for the second year in a row collaborated with other local first responders, to bring the effects of irresponsible driving to local students. Hundred High School students received this tough lesson April 30 through a “mock accident.”
Despite the fictional nature of the skit, the first responders did not withhold sirens, busted glass, real life-saving equipment and the topics of arrest, as well as death.
Several departments, including the Mannington Volunteer Fire Department, Hundred Volunteer Fire Department, New Freeport Volunteer Fire Department, Wetzel Emergency Management Services, Marion EMS, Wetzel County 911, Air Evac Lifetime, Wetzel County Sheriff’s Office and West Virginia State Police took part in the event.
Hundred VFD Chief Bert Anderson said he has been nervous for months, planning for the event.
“It’s the second year we’ve had this,” he said.
Anderson further credits HHS Principal Daniel Gottren with helping “to get the ball rolling” in regards to the event.
First responders did not just leave after the conclusion of the accident either. Students then gathered in the auditorium where they heard from several of the responders, including Anderson.
Anderson noted that he has been a volunteer firefighter for 25 years and that his goal every prom/graduation season is that “everyone goes home.” He added that he does not want to call someone’s parents to deliver the bad news that their child has been in an accident.
“This is supposed to be the time of your life,” he added.
Mannington VFD Chief Deputy Bob Dye asked students to, before driving dangerously, think of their families and think of the people that care about them.
Dye noted that he has been working as a fire fighter for 20 years.
“I specialize in this,” he noted but added that he doesn’t want to have to use his skills on the students.
Sherry Stewart, Hundred-area resident noted that she has been a victim of a car accident.
She noted that the first responders “deserve a lot of respect, and he added that while the mock accident might have been play-acting, “it happens for real. It is real.”