Dangers of distracted driving brought to life

BARRY’S BAY – Students at Madawaska Valley District High School got a firsthand look at the dangers of distracted driving.

On November 3, the Madawaska Valley Fire Department arranged two extrication demonstrations, which took place right in the parking lot at the high school.

Fire Chief Corwin Quade said it was important for the kids to get a visual as to what can happen in a blink of an eye.

“Their lives can be changed forever and it may be the end of them forever,” Quade explained. “It also shows them the reality of what first responders have to do to try and get them out of a wrecked vehicle and the actual time it takes to get a person out of an accident.”

Distracted driving can mean using a cellphone while driving, or any activity that could distract a driver from the road. This could include changing the radio station or even chatting with a friend.

Quade explained to the students that when a crash occurs, firefighters have what is called the Golden Hour.

“We have one hour to get you out the vehicle and to an emergency room within an hour of the motor vehicle collision [MVC] happening. A person has an 80 per cent of surviving if we can do this, if we cannot, it drops to 20 per cent if the person is critically injured.”

Volunteer Firefighter David Afelskie played the crash victim. When students arrived outside, they saw him hanging out of the windshield. After given the green light, firefighters rushed to Afelskie’s side, until paramedics arrived to assess the situation.

Get your November 9, 2016 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full story.