Page 14 - Work Force July-August 2021
P. 14

First responders drive home a sobering message
 WARSAW — A community team
of first responders, many of them CSEA members who work for the Village of Warsaw Police Department, created and held an automobile crash simulation for high schoolers to educate them on the dangers
of driving distracted or under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
The mock demonstration took place June 3 outside Warsaw
High School, complete with
student actors, crashed vehicles, fire personnel, police officers, ambulances, a hearse and a windy visit from a Western New York Mercy Flight helicopter. More than 140
high school students attended the simulation.
The program was spearheaded
by CSEA Village of Warsaw Police Department Unit member Scott Kelly, who is not only a village police officer but works as the Warsaw Central School District’s School Resource Officer.
“We wanted to hold this demonstration to illustrate to our
students there are real-life, deadly consequences when you choose to drink and drive,” said Kelly.
 Kelly said
putting the car
crash simulation
together was
a team effort,
involving many students and local agencies, including the Village of Warsaw Police Department, the
local fire department, the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney. Several of the volunteers and emergency public service workers who helped make the demonstration a memorable experience were CSEA members who live and work in the Wyoming County area.
In the simulated car accident, student actors with fake blood and injuries were put on stretchers and taken to the hospital. A driver was given a field sobriety test and
First responders and student actors simulate a serious automobile accident to underscore the need for safe driving.
arrested while a front seat passenger laid motionless on top of a car hood. The passenger student who was
ejected through the windshield was eventually pronounced dead by a medical examiner and was transported to the county morgue.
Kelly said the objective of the demonstration had to be “real-life” and graphic as possible, to drive
home a sobering message of making smart decisions.
“Our students should know
they have the power to make good decisions and prevent accidents before they occur, especially when
it comes to driving responsibly,” Kelly said. “I think this program accomplished that, so I am grateful.”
A risky time
The simulation happened during a particularly risky time of year for young drivers.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, from 2010 to 2019, more than 7,000 people have died
in automobile crashes involving teen drivers during a time period the foundation calls “100 Deadliest Days,” which runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The foundation also noted that teen drivers ages 16-17 are three times more likely
to be involved in a deadly crash compared to adults.
One of the major reasons for the increased number of teen driver accidents is that young people tend to have more unstructured time during the summer months. Top reasons for the accidents include inexperience, distracted driving, speeding and alcohol use.
— Ove Overmyer
 CSEA Long Island Region Veterans Committee Chair Maryann Phelps, left, salutes as committee member Steve Abramson plants a flag beside a gravesite at Calverton National Cemetery as part
of the committee’s annual Memorial Day Flag Placement, when committee members, guests and community members place flags at the graves of CSEA affiliated individuals who served in the Armed Forces.
 Honoring those who served
14 The Work Force
July-August 2021

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