On Wednesday, April 25, the North Fork Ambulance will present a biennial training exercise known as the mock DUI crash at Paonia High School beginning at 9 a.m.
The North Fork Ambulance coordinates and works in partnership with local agencies including ambulance, fire and law enforcement to educate students about the dangers of distracted and impaired driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. This year additional emphasis will be placed on the dangers of texting while driving. The goal is to create a memorable impression on the students that how they act behind the wheel of a vehicle has lifelong consequences for them, their passengers and others on the road.
The crash scene is set up by emergency personnel and includes wrecked cars, extremely realistic injuries, fake blood and high school students who very passionately act out the many emotions and pain associated with being involved in a DUI crash. As part of the scene, at least one student is "killed" by the crash and the coroner must respond, collect the body, and notify their family. This is often the most powerful aspect of the program.
Responding agencies include North Fork Ambulance, Colorado State Patrol, Delta County Sheriff's Office, Delta Dispatch, Paonia Police Department, Delta County coroner's office, Delta County School District and CareFlight. The mock DUI crash program is supported entirely by donations and contributions of these local emergency responders who are committed to educating students about the dangers of distracted and impaired driving for themselves and their communities.