Everyone has heard of mock crashes that schools do before prom or homecoming…before any big event that the high school administration and parents are afraid of a drunk driving crash. Franklin Township Fire and EMS, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Air Evac from Georgetown and AirCare from UC teamed up with Felicity-Franklin High School for one such mock crash May 7th. You know the drill, they set up a couple cars in a head-on collision, some drunk teenage driver ran into somebody, somebody dies, aircare has to come out and there’s always a frantic Momma screaming in the background because she lost her baby.
I was called in to take pictures so I could write you a little feel good story, about the coordination between our fire department and school, about the impact it will hopefully have on these children. I’m sure everyone reading this article knows drinking and driving is bad, but today I want to talk to you about the little girl grouped together with the fire department, the one on the left. I’m not going to say her name because she’s going to be absolutely horrified that I wrote this and anybody from the area can put two and two together. She is a freshman, one of five fire cadets at the mock crash, and is dating a junior so she will be going to her first-ever prom this Friday. The slightly taller uniformed one to the right will be her date.
She could not wait to be old enough to be in the cadet program so she could follow in my footsteps, she wants to go to be a paramedic or go to nursing school. I was truly nervous for her, the world is not the same place it was 20 something years ago when I started. I remember responding to a scene with 5 teenagers who’d rolled their car down a hill, only stopping as it wrapped around a large tree. As I was looking at the mock scene, the real scene popped into my mind.
I do not know if our mock crash will be able to get through to the sea of “invincible” high schoolers who believe it would never happen to them; but I hope this story gets through to every parent reading this article. Please talk to your kids about drinking and driving, please get to know their friends, please ask where they’re going, who they’re going with and be THAT Mom. Unfortunately these types of crashes are a daily occurrence, we do these mock drills to help prepare our children, but also to prepare ourselves. I am no longer a first responder, my back will not allow it, I would be there if I could. When I sat in my car after the event, I thought of my girl rolling up on a scene like that. Would she do what she needs to do? Would she be ok?
I pray that everyone in that picture will make good decisions tomorrow night and every night, I pray for our firefighters, our first responders who have to keep calm in the face of such tragedy and I pray that I have given her every opportunity and all the support that she needs to be able to handle the scene in front of her if the time comes.