It's doubtful that the next crop of new drivers in Hanna will drink and drive or text and drive.
The Hanna RCMP, Fire Department and EMS held a joint demonstration on Thursday, May 11 for the Grade 9 Class at J.C. Charyk School of what can happen in a serious highway crash.
"To send a message that the students could see and hear, not just listening to someone talk to them," explained Corporal Gerald Sherk, who heads up the Hanna Detachment. "They could actually get an experience of what the first responders are dealing with (and) what the victims may be dealing with when an accident like this occurs."
A number of high school students were made up to look like they had been in an accident and they played their roles seriously and accurately in front of about 100 Grade 9'ers.
"We've had a great response from the older students in Grades 10, 11 and 12 who did their make-up, did the acting (and) participated in the scenario," recalled Sherk. "Ambulance, Fire and Hanna RCMP have (also) all been working on this for quite a while now."
The crash scene was set up in front of the Hanna Fire Hall. Once the victims had been loaded into ambulances, the show moved inside the fire hall, where a hospital emergency room was set up for the incoming accident 'victims.'
Sherk hopes the message got across just how quickly, and how badly, things can turn for the worse.
"There are so many causes to accidents like this: everything from distracted driving to impaired driving. We want to make sure that they understand as they're going out to get their licenses and going out into the world as a driver, they have a great responsibility to prevent these types of incidents from happening."
So, what did the students think?
"It was cool at first, but then it got real scary because I didn't know what was going to happen," confessed Reagan Kelts.
She and the other Grade 9's were caught by surprize when one of the accident victims "died" on the emergency room table.
"I was so confused after they backed off because they let him go," remarked Shannon Hyggen. Jodi Regier echoed her sentiments.
"It was kind of neat, but it was a little bit weird, especially because I know the person," she told 99.5 Drum FM. "Even though I knew they were fine, it was just kind of weird to think that could happen."
Carson Goddard also got the message.
"It was really intense and it just goes to show you how real the crash can be," he stated. "I definitely have a different perspective on it all."

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